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.

The focus of my research lies on the possibilities for unilateral climate policy and the interface between public economics and the economics of climate change. In particular this includes the areas of sustainable development, tax competition, the supply side dynamics of fossil resource extraction, inequality and the intra- and intergenerational distribution of wealth.

Currently, I am working on

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

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 1, p 350-357. 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 25(5), p 1252-1276. 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 39(1), p. 39-63. 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 68(3), p 445-472. DOI: 10.1007/s10640-015-9982-1. Download accepted manuscript here.

Other publications

Martin Hänsel, Max Franks, Matthias Kalkuhl and Ottmar Edenhofer (2021). Optimal carbon taxation and horizontal equity: A welfare-theoretic approach with application to German household data. CEPA Discussion Papers 28. Center for Economics Policy Analysis. https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-49812

Max Franks and Ottmar Edenhofer (2020). Optimal Redistributive Wealth Taxation When Wealth Is More Than Just Capital. CESifo working paper No. 8093. https://www.cesifo.org/node/52780

Max Franks and Kai Lessmann (2019). Tax competition with asymmetric endowments in fossil resources. Available at SSRN 3593219. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3593219

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:


Janis Bergmann, The role of negative emissions for optimal climate policy.

Thomas Kouroughli, 2020, Investigating the relationship between food prices and the deployment of BECCS


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

Courses taught:


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

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

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