Dr. Max Franks

Postdoctoral Researcher


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20763
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


I am currently a Postdoc in the Future Lab "Public Economics and Climate Finance" and I also work as a Postdoc at the Berlin Institute of Technology / Fak. VI / Economics of Climate Change. Prior to my PhD at PIK and TU Berlin, I graduated from HU Berlin with a German Diploma in Mathematics.

My research focuses on the analysis of policy instruments at the interface between public economics and the economics of climate change. Currently, I work on policies for carbon dioxide removal (CDR). I have published on policies in the areas of sustainable development, carbon dioxide removal, tax competition, the supply side dynamics of fossil resource extraction, inequality and the intra- and intergenerational distribution of wealth.

Currently, I am working on

  • Optimal Carbon Pricing when Carbon Removal is not Permanent (with Ottmar Edenhofer, Friedemann Gruner, Matthias Kalkuhl and Kai Lessmann)
  • Emission and distributional effects of a CO2e-tax on agricultural goods - The case of Germany (with Julian Schaper and Nicolas Koch)
  • Energy prices, optimal taxation and fair compensation (with Martin Hänsel, Matthias Kalkuhl and Ottmar Edenhofer)
  • Gas prices and social policies (with Martin Hänsel, Friedemann Gruner, Matthias Kalkuhl, Max Kellner, Felix Knopp and Ottmar Edenhofer)

On policies for carbon dioxide removal and interregional leakage, hear me speak on the "Reviewer 2 does Geoengineering podcast":

- https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/reviewer2geoengineering/episodes/Carbon-taxes--CDR-subsidies---Franks-e1t33kt

- https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/reviewer2geoengineering/episodes/Economic-value-of-temporary-CDR---Franks--Venmans-e1u9dqo

and see this press release: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/en/news/latest-news/carbon-dioxide-removal-should-receive-additional-financial-support

On equity considerations of carbon pricing, see this press release: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/en/news/latest-news/ted-redistribution-the-socially-just-price-for-co2

On carbon pricing and sustainable development, see this press release: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/flipping-the-switch-making-use-of-carbon-price-dollars-for-health-and-education

On inequality and policy options to redistribute wealth, see this press release: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/wealth-inequality-closing-the-gap-by-taxing-land-and-bequests

Peer reviewed articles

Max Franks and Ottmar Edenhofer (2023). Optimal Redistributive Wealth Taxation When Wealth Is More Than Just Capital. FinanzArchiv . DOI: 10.1628/fa-2023-0011

Ottmar Edenhofer, Max Franks, Matthias Kalkuhl, Artur Runge-Metzger (2023). On the Governance of Carbon Dioxide Removal – A Public Economics Perspective. FinanzArchiv (accepted). Working paper version: https://www.cesifo.org/node/75256

Max Franks, Kai Lessmann (2023). Tax competition with asymmetric endowments in fossil resources. Resources Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2023.103613

Max Franks, Matthias Kalkuhl, Kai Lessmann (2023). Optimal Pricing for Carbon Dioxide Removal Under Inter-Regional Leakage. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2022.102769. Download accepted manuscript here.

Martin Hänsel, Max Franks, Matthias Kalkuhl and Ottmar Edenhofer (2022). Optimal Carbon Taxation and Horizontal Equity: A welfare-theoretic approach with application to German household data. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2022.102730

Ottmar Edenhofer, Max Franks and Matthias Kalkuhl (2021). "Pigou in the 21st Century. A tribute on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Economics of Welfare." International Tax and Public Finance. DOI: 10.1007/s10797-020-09653-y.

Max Franks, Kai Lessmann, Michael Jakob, Jan Steckel, and Ottmar Edenhofer (2018). "Mobilizing Domestic Resources for the Agenda 2030 via Carbon Pricing" Nature Sustainability. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-018-0083-3.

Max Franks, David Klenert, Anselm Schultes, Kai Lessmann, and Ottmar Edenhofer (2018). "Is Capital Back? The Role of Land Ownership and Savings Behavior." International Tax and Public Finance. DOI: 10.1007/s10797-018-9486-3. Download accepted manuscript here.

Siegmeier, Jan, Linus Mattauch, Max Franks, David Klenert, Anselm Schultes, and Ottmar Edenhofer (2018). "The fiscal benefits of stringent climate change mitigation: an overview." Climate Policy 18(3), p 352-367. DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2017.1400943. Download accepted manuscript here.

Gregor Schwerhoff, Max Franks (2018). "Optimal Environmental Taxation with Capital Mobility." Fiscal Studies. DOI: 10.1111/1475-5890.12144. Download accepted manuscript here.

Max Franks, Ottmar Edenhofer, and Kai Lessmann (2017). "Why Finance Ministers Favor Carbon Taxes, Even if They Do Not Take Climate Change into Account." Environmental and Resource Economics. DOI: 10.1007/s10640-015-9982-1. Download accepted manuscript here.


Other publications

Matthias Kalkuhl, Max Franks, Friedemann Gruner, Kai Lessmann, Ottmar Edenhofer (2022). Pigou’s Advice and Sisyphus’ Warning: Carbon Pricing with Non-Permanent Carbon-Dioxide Removal. CESifo working paper No. 10169. https://www.cesifo.org/node/73501

Bjoern Soergel, Elmar Kriegler, Christoph Bertram, Michael Crawford, Laura Delsa, Max Franks, Florian Humpenöder, Debbora Leip, Kai Lessmann, Alexander Popp, Nicolas Taconet, Isabelle Weindl, and Ottmar Edenhofer (2022). Joint implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change mitigation and biosphere protection: Policy options for tackling multiple crises simultaneously. Potsdam : Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), 33 p. https://doi.org/10.48485/pik.2022.003

Linus Mattauch, Felix Creutzig, Nils aus dem Moore, Max Franks, Franziska Funke, Michael Jakob, Lutz Sager, Moritz Schwarz, Achim Voß, Marie-Luise Beck, Claus-Heinrich Daub, Moritz Drupp, Felix Ekardt, Gregor Hagedorn, Mathias Kirchner, Tobias Kruse, Thomas Loew, Karsten Neuhoff, Isabella Neuweg, Sonja Peterson, Matthias Roesti, Gerhard Schneider, Robert Schmidt, Reimund Schwarze, Jan Siegmeier, Philippe Thalmann, Johannes Wallacher (2019). Antworten auf zentrale Fragen zur Einführung von CO2-Preisen. Gestaltungsoptionen und ihre Auswirkungen für den schnellen Übergang in die klimafreundliche Gesellschaft. Diskussionsbeiträge der Scientists for Future 2, 2019,  http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3371150

Ottmar Edenhofer and Max Franks (2017). Kann ein CO2-Preis nachhaltige Entwicklung finanzieren?, In: Ischinger, W., Messner, D. (eds.): Deutschlands Neue Verantwortung - Die Zukunft der deutschen und europäischen Außen-, Entwicklungs- und Sicherheitspolitik, Econ Verlag, 170-177, http://www.deutschlands-verantwortung.de/beitraege/kann-ein-co2-preis-nachhaltige-entwicklung-finanzieren

Max Franks (2016). "Rents, Taxes, and Distribution: Towards a New Public Economics of Climate Change." PhD thesis, TU Berlin, http://dx.doi.org/10.14279/depositonce-5585.

Supervision of master's theses:


On the emission and distributional effects of a CO2e-tax on agricultural goods - The case of Germany


The role of negative emissions for optimal climate policy.

Investigating the relationship between food prices and the deployment of BECCS


Numerical Analysis of the Social Cost of Carbon in a Decentralized Economy Model in GAMS - a Modular Approach

Courses taught:


Summer Term, Economics of Climate Change (with Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Hänsel)


Winter Term, Economics of Climate Policy (with Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Hänsel), Technische Universität Berlin


Summer Term, Economics of Climate Change (with Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Hänsel)


Winter Term, Economics of Climate Policy (with Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Hänsel), Technische Universität Berlin


Winter Term, Economics of Climate Policy (with Ottmar Edenhofer), Technische Universität Berlin
2018 Summer Term, Economics of Climate Change (with Ottmar Edenhofer and Kerstin Burghaus), Technische Universität Berlin
2017/18 Winter Term, Economics of Climate Policy (with Ottmar Edenhofer), Technische Universität Berlin
2017 Summer Term, Economics of Climate Change (with Ottmar Edenhofer), Technische Universität Berlin
2013 Summer Term, Climate Change Economics: Green Growth and New Models of Prosperity -- Fairy Tale or Strategy? (responsible: Ottmar Edenhofer), Technische Universität Berlin

2022 First prize for the best paper submitted to the German Federal Ministry of Finance's seminar on market based climate policy.

2017 Invitation to the 6th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Economic Sciences

2016 Potsdam Young Scientist Award for an outstanding PhD thesis

2015 Best Overall Paper of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform's 3rd annual conference

2023 CESifo Area Conference on Climate and Energy Economics, Munich, Germany | IfW Workshop on the role of public research and innovation measures on mitigating climate change, Kiel, Germany
2022 EAERE, Rimini, Italy
2021 IIPF, Reykjavik, Iceland (virtual)
2020 SURED, Ascona, Switzerland
2019 IIPF, Glasgow, UK | KOSMOS Conference, Berlin, Germany | Annual meeting of the Verein für Socialpolitik, Leipzig, Germany
2018 WCERE, Göteborg, Sweden | 1. EAYE Workshop on Housing and Macroeconomics, Leipzig, Germany | IFO Workshop on Heterogeneous Agents and the Macroeconomics of Climate Change, Munich, Germany
2017 Journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet, Aix-En-Provence, France | PET, Paris, France
2016 Taxation Theories Conference, Toulouse, France| OLG Days, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2015 Annual meeting of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, Venice, Italy | AURÖ workshop, Hamburg, Germany | ICP workshop, Berlin, Germany | EAERE, Helsinki, Finnland | Invitation to the French Foreign Ministry to a round table discusssion with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Paris, France
2014 MCC Workshop for Public Finance, Berlin, Germany | Annual meeting of the Societa Italiana Economica Publica, Pavia, Italy