To give you as much flexibility as possible in planning your studies, you can generally start working on your dissertation or thesis at any time, as long as we have free capacities.
The formal requirements of the examination rules applying to your programme must be met. We recommend that you write your Bachelor’s dissertation during the 6th semester of your Bachelor's programme and your Master’s thesis in the 4th semester of the Master's programme. In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to arrange for the dissertation or thesis to be written during a different semester. In your own interest, we expect you to furnish proof that you have the appropriate knowledge to successfully complete a thesis or dissertation at the chair. This is usually done by successfully attending at least two lectures and ideally also a seminar offered by the chair. Please attach an up-to-date HISQIS statement to your application.
Your thesis or dissertation will have an applied microeconomic focus. You will work on policy relevant topics based on research articles published in leading scientific journals. Therefore, you should have appropriate knowledge of microeconomic and statistical methods. If your thesis or dissertation includes original empirical work, Stata skills may be very helpful. Please consider this when planning your studies. The chair reserves the right to deny individual applications if it considers the student to not meet the requirements, i.e. if we have good reason to believe that the thesis or dissertation cannot be successfully completed due to substantial lack of knowledge which cannot be remedied in the relatively short time-frame available for researching and writing the thesis or dissertation.
Topics and application
We expect you to submit a specific topic for your dissertation or thesis upon application. For further orientation, you may have a look at this overview of topics assigned in the past. In order to determine whether this topic is suitable for a thesis or dissertation and can be supervised at the chair, please attach a short presentation (exposé) of 1–1.5 pages, introducing the problem and giving a brief outline of the work you are planning. If the topic seems promising from an academic point of view and is realistically feasible, you will be allowed to write your thesis or dissertation on this exact (or a closely related) topic.
You can also conduct your own empirical research in your thesis. Please take sufficient time in advance to check accessibility of the relevant data sets and prepare your exposé. After submission of your application, we will evaluate whether your preferred research project seems feasible regarding the scope of your thesis or dissertation and might suggest some further adjustments. If you would like to conduct a replication study, you can find interesting sources here. The chair will support you in getting access to required software packages during the preparation of your thesis or dissertation.
In exceptional cases, undergraduate students can choose a topic specified by the chair. In this case, please select three of the topics listed below and indicate them on the application form in order of preference. If you are accepted by the chair, you will be set a specific topic at the start of the thesis/dissertation preparation period.
- The Impact of Exposure to Extreme Temperatures on Public Health
- The Effect of Social Norms on Pro-Environmental Behaviour
- The Effects of Minimum Wages on Labour Market Outcomes: an Economic Analysis
- The Career Cost of Children
- The Effects of School on the Spread of Covid-19
- Alcohol Regulations and Crime
- Rank Effects in Education
Since the literature you are expected to work with in your dissertation or thesis is usually in English, we strongly recommend to also write your dissertation or thesis in English. If you have specific reasons why you still would like to write in German, please indicate this already upon application.
Please submit the application form together with your up-to-date HISQIS statement to the chair at least one month before the date you would like to start. If you can't submit it via e-mail please note the secretary's office hours. You will be informed within few days whether your application was successful.
After successful application, the first person to contact is Professor Stefan Bauernschuster. Your thesis or dissertation will be supervised by Professor Bauernschuster or a research assistant of the chair.
When you write your thesis at the Chair you are expected to participate in the Abschlussarbeitenkolloquium, where you will present the outline of your thesis or dissertation at an early stage and your nearly-finished thesis or dissertation later.
Please read the general information about Bachelor’s dissertations and Master’s theses for your specific degree programme.
On the day of the assignment of the topic bring along
- the official registration form for your degree programme (filled in as far as possible)
- your certificate of enrolment and
- your up-to-date HISQIS statement
General information and the registration forms (in German) for the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics and the Master of Arts in International Economics and Business degrees
General information and the corresponding registration form (in German) for the Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Public Policy
Important information for the start
Please be aware of the guidelines for scientific writing published by the Chair of Public Economics.
An in-depth investigation of articles published in academic journals is an integral part of your thesis/Dissertation. Please have a look at the Economics journal ranking; this might be helpful when you start searching for relevant literature.