Prof. Dr. Carsten Helm

A5 0-045 




Annegret Kock

A5 0-013



Catharina Schramm

A5 0-014




Herzlich willkommen am Fachgebiet für Finanzwissenschaft!


Veröffentlichung – Ecological Economics

Daniel Rüb, "Inequality beyond income quantiles: Distributional effects of climate mitigation policies", Ecological Economics, Volume 216, 2023.


It is argued that the political feasibility of climate mitigation policies depends heavily on their distributional effects. This paper therefore studies the distributional effects of the European Commission's Fit-for-55 package at the household level in seven EU countries, analyzing a carbon tax on transport and heating fuels as well as variations of a lump-sum refund. Based on the resulting income distributions, different inequality measures are computed. The paper aims to extend previous methodological approaches by including inequality measures such as the Theil index and Atkinson index and comparing the results of carbon taxes on transport and heating fuels for seven EU countries in a consistent manner. I find that a household-size specific lump-sum refund not only mitigates the negative distributional effects of a carbon tax but also reduces overall inequality compared to the baseline scenario without a tax.

Veröffentlichung — Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

D. Demougin und C. Helm, "Overwhelmed by Routine Tasks: A Multi-Tasking Principal Agent Perspective", Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 216, 2023, 654-669.


Abstract: Employees often report being overloaded with routine tasks, which distracts them from more demanding and rewarding work. We analyze this in a multitasking model involving a verifiable routine task and a skill-dependent task characterized by moral hazard. Multitasking is costly so that high- and low-skilled employees specialize, and only employees with intermediate productivity handle both tasks. In the Nash bargaining solution of contract negotiations, work overload in the routine task is used to lower the informational rent from the non-verifiable task. Compared to the first-best solution, more employees perform both tasks and effort in the routine task is inefficiently large. Moreover, the payment structure is such that the employee would prefer to allocate more effort to the demanding task, which we interpret as a loss of control over work
autonomy. Reducing employees’ bargaining power exacerbates the problem, while the effects of
improved monitoring are mixed.

Veröffentlichung CESifo Working paper

C. Böhringer, C. Helm und L. Schürer, "How to Boost Countries’ Climate Ambitions: Turning Gains from Emissions Trading into Gains for Climate", CESifo Working paper No. 10624, 2023.



The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement fall short of the abatement needed to reach the 2°C target. Emissions trading could be a “costless” means to reduce the ambition gap if countries used their gains from trade for additional abatement. However, this requires cooperative behavior. We show that with emissions trading, countries’ non-cooperative choices of emissions reduction contributions can lead to even more abatement, provided that these contributions may not be lower than initial NDCs. Intuitively, countries with high climate damages raise their contributions if they can meet them partly through abatement in countries with low abatement costs.

Veröffentlichung CESifo Working paper

C. Böhringer und C. Helm, "The Reverse Waterbed Effect of Sector Coupling—Unilateral Climate Policies and Multilateral Emissions Trading", CESifo Working paper No. 10362, 2023.



It is widely acknowledged that the transition towards a zero-emissions economy requires electrification of energy-related processes across all sectors of the economy — so-called sector coupling. In our analysis we consider countries whose electricity sectors are regulated by a multilateral emissions trading system (ETS). We examine the implications of a unilateral CO2 tax by a group of countries on emissions in their transport and buildings sectors. The tax induces a switch to electricity-based technologies (e.g., electric vehicles and heat pumps), thus raising the demand for emission allowances and their price in the electricity sector. This induces emission reductions in the electricity sectors of the other countries covered under the ETS; hence we have a “reverse waterbed effect”. CO2-intensive electricity generation technologies, especially coal, are most affected by this and their output falls as a result of sector coupling. Subsidies for electricity-based technologies in the transport and buildings sectors have similar effects, and the main insights still hold if these sectors are governed by a separate ETS, as it is planned for the EU. We examine this in a stylized analytical model and use a computable general equilibrium model calibrated to data for the EU to quantify the effects. Moreover, for the case of a second ETS, our numerical results suggest that the unilateral cancellation of emission allowances in the power sector leads to substantially higher welfare losses than doing so in the transport and buildings sectors.

Veröffentlichung CESifo Working paper

D. Demougin und C. Helm, "Overwhelmed by Routine Tasks: A Multi-Tasking Principal Agent Perspective", CESifo Working paper, No. 9753, 2022.



We analyze a multitasking model with a verifiable routine task and a skill-dependent activity characterized by moral hazard. Contracts negotiated by firm/employee pairs follow from Nash bargaining. High- and low-skilled employees specialize, intermediate productivity employees perform both tasks. Compared to the efficient solution, more employees exert both tasks and effort in the routine task is inefficiently large. As work overload in the routine task is decoupled from a corresponding increase in remuneration, employees perceive a loss of control to allocate effort between the two tasks. Reductions in employees’ bargaining power and improvements in monitoring technologies aggravate the issue.

Veröffentlichung — Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

C. Helm und M. Mier, "Steering the Energy Transition in a World of Intermittent Electricity Supply: Optimal Subsidies and Taxes for Renewables and Storage", Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2021


Abstract. Spurred by substantial subsidies, renewable energies have reduced their costs and captured a steadily growing market share. However, the variability of solar and wind power leads to new challenges for power systems. Policy instruments for steering the energy transition towards a zero-carbon future must account for this. We consider...

Nachwuchsworkshop "Umwelt- und Ressourcenökonomie" vom 14. - 15. Oktober 2021 in Oldenburg

Die umweltökonomisch ausgerichteten Professuren am VWL Institut (Asane-Otoo, Böhringer, Helm und Huse) richten vom 14. – 15. Oktober 2021 den Nachwuchsworkshop des Ausschusses für Umwelt- und Ressourcenökonomie (AURÖ) im Verein für Socialpolitik (VfS) aus. Der Workshop richtet sich an Nachwuchswissenschaftler:innen (insbes. Promovierende und PostDocs), insbesondere aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Beiträge aus allen Bereichen der Umwelt und Ressourcenökonomik sind willkommen.

Hier findet ihr weitere Informationen.

The professorships with a research focus in environmental economics at the VWL Institute (Asane-Otoo, Böhringer, Helm and Huse) are organising the Young Researchers Workshop of the Committee for Environmental and Resource Economics (AURÖ) in the Association of German-speaking Economists from 14 - 15 October 2021. The workshop is aimed at young researchers (esp. PhD students and Postdocs), especially from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Contributions from all fields of environmental and resource economics are welcome. As every year, the workshop offers the opportunity to present the own research to a small, professionally qualified audience and to discuss it with others. In addition, the workshop offers the opportunity to establish contacts with other young scientists in German-speaking countries and exchange experiences.

Click here for more information.

Auszeichnung von Oliver Richters mit dem Hans-Christoph-Binswanger-Preis

Das Fachgebiet gratuliert Oliver Richters zur Auszeichnung mit dem vom Institut für Wirtschaft und Ökologie an der Universität St. Gallen (IWÖ-HSG) und dem Bundesverband Deutscher Volks- und Betriebswirte (bdvb) 2020 verliehenen Hans Christoph Binswanger Preis. Die Dissertation wurde von Prof. Dr. Hans-Michael Trautwein betreut, Prof. Dr. Carsten Helm fungierte als Zweitgutachter.

Veröffentlichung Journal of Economics

C. Helm und F. Wirl, "Multitasking: incentivizing agents differing either in their work ethic or intrinsic motivation", Journal of Economics, 2021


Saint Thomas Aquinus ’agen autem non movet nisi ex intentione finis (an agent does not move  except out of intention for an end, quoted from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile, p. 169.)’. This paper uses the familiar multitasking framework in order to compare contracting with agents holding private information either about their work ethic or intrinsic motivation...

EAERE Award for Best Doctoral Dissertations in Environmental and Resource Economics

Das Fachgebiet gratuliert Paul Neetzow zum Preis für die beste Doktorarbeit 2020 der European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAERE). Paul Neetzow war Student des Oldenburger SEM-Studiengangs und bei der Dissertation fungierte Prof. Dr. Carsten Helm als Zweitgutachter. Betreut wurde die Arbeit von Prof. Dr. Klaus Eisenack, der 2016 von der Universität Oldenburg an die HU Berlin gewechselt ist.

Veröffentlichung — ifo Working Paper No. 330, 01-32, 2020

C. Helm und M. Mier, "Steering the Energy Transition in a World of Intermittent Electricity Supply: Optimal Subsidies and Taxes for Renewables Storage", ifo Working Paper No. 330, 01-32, 2020.


Interview im Weser Kurier vom 15.10.2019: "Man könnte viel mehr machen, als passiert"


10.2019 - Prof. Dr. Carsten Helm spricht sich im Interview mit dem Weser Kurier für eine deutlich höhere Bepreisung von Kohlendioxid (CO2) aus.

Gastkommentar zur aktuellen Klimapolitik


09.2019 - Prof. Dr. Carsten Helm kommentiert mit seinem Kollegen Prof. Dr. Christoph Böhringer in "Die Wirtschaft", wie Deutschland den Ausstoß von CO2 Emissionen über alle Sektoren hinweg senken kann und wie dabei entstehende soziale Härten abgefedert werden können. Den vollständigen Gastkommentar gibt es unter dem obigen Link oder in "Die Wirtschaft".

Gastkommentar über gerechte Klimasteuern: Eine Klima-Dividende kann soziale Härten abfedern


03.06.2019 - Jasper Meya, Umweltökonom im Fachgebiet Finanzwissenschaft, erklärt in seinem Gastbeitrag im Weser-Kurier warum die Dynamik von "Fridays For Future" jetzt genutzt werden sollte. Dabei geht er auf unterschiedliche Möglichkeiten zur Einführung der CO2-Bepreisung ein und zeigt auf, warum dabei die Frage der sozialen Gerechtigkeit nicht außer Acht gelassen werden darf. Den vollständigen Gastkommentar gibt es unter dem obigen Link.

Nachwuchsforscher treffen Nobelpreisträger

12.09.2017 - 16 Nobelpreisträger, 360 Nachwuchsökonomen, 66 Nationen: das war die 6. Tagung der Nobelpreisträger der Wirtschaftswissenschaften in Lindau. Zwei der begehrten Teilnehmerplätze gingen an wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter vom Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre: Neben Jan Schneider setzte sich auch Mathias Mier, Mitarbeiter am Fachgebiet Finanzwissenschaft, in dem mehrstufigen Bewerbungsverfahren durch. Sein Erfahrungsbericht ist unter dem obigen Link einzusehen.

(Stand: 29.05.2024)  | 
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