Pre-Season Seminar: Nicolas Werquin (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

we are excited to welcome Nicolas Werquin as a guest of ECONtribute. We want to take this as an opportunity to invite you for a pre-season seminar in Public Economics.


Date & Time: Wednesday, 04/10/2023, at 10:00 – 12:00 PM

Location: Room 3.206 in the SSC building.


There will be two Presentations:


A Fair Day’s Pay for a Fair Day’s Work: Optimal Tax Design as Redistributional Arbitrage

Nicolas Werquin


We study optimal tax design based on the idea that policy-makers face trade-offs between multiple margins of redistribution. Within a Mirrleesian economy with labor income, consump- tion, and retirement savings, we derive a novel formula for optimal non-linear income and savings distortions based on redistributional arbitrage. We establish a sufficient statistics representation of the labor income and capital tax rates on top earners, which relies on comparing the Pareto tails of income and consumption. Because consumption is more evenly distributed than income, it is optimal to shift a substantial fraction of the top earners’ tax burden from income to savings. We extend our representation of tax distortions based on redistributional arbitrage to economies with general preferences over an arbitrary number of periods and commodities, and we allow for return heterogeneity, age-contingent taxes, and stochastic evolution of types.



Is a market-based approach to climate policy desirable?

Felix Bierbrauer


A uniform price for carbon is at the center of market-based approaches to climate policy. Actual climate policy, by contrast, has many sector-specific rules. This paper studies the desirability of the market-based approach using tools from the theory of optimal taxation. It is found that (i) a market-based approach is efficient in that it allows to reach emission targets at minimal costs, and (ii) that departures from it can be justified by equity concerns. In the light of this equity-efficiency tradeoff, a justification of the market-based approach can be given, but it involves indifference with respect to the distributive consequences of climate policy.



One-to-One Meetings, Lunch & Dinner:

If you are interested, you can talk one-to-one to Nicolas Werquin after the presentation. There will be 3 separate 30-minutes slots.

Ph.D. students are encouraged to (also) sign up for the lunch with the speaker.

To register for the one-to-one meetings and lunch, please take part in the appointment survey until 28/09/2023:


04.10. - 04.10.2023

10:00 - 12:00

ECONtribute Seminar


Room 3.206, SSC Building

Universitätsstraße 22a, 50923 Cologne


Tim Bock