25 Years IWH

Professor Dr Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher

Professor Dr Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher
Current Position

since 7/12

Head of the Research Group Fiscal Federalism and Institutional Change

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 7/12

Assistant Professor in Economics, especially Fiscal Policy

Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Research Interests

  • fiscal federalism
  • mechanism design
  • theory of public goods
  • environmental economics
  • tax policy

Since July 2012, Professor Altemeyer-Bartscher has been an Assistant Professor for Economics, focusing on fiscal policy, at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as well as a member of the Department of Macroeconomics and head of the Research Group "Fiscal Federalism and Institutional Change" at IWH.

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher studied economics at the universities in Tübingen, Lausanne and Bonn. He was a doctoral student in the priority program of the German Science Foundation “Institutional Design in Federal Systems”. In 2009, he received his doctoral degree from Chemnitz University of Technology (Thesis: “On Federal Transfers and Incentives”). He worked as a research assistant at Chemnitz University of Technology until June 2012 and was a guest researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2006 and 2010.

Your contact

Professor Dr Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher
Professor Dr Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher
Mitglied - Department Macroeconomics
Send Message +49 345 7753-735

Publications

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On the Distribution of Refugees in the EU

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher Oliver Holtemöller Axel Lindner Andreas Schmalzbauer Götz Zeddies

in: Intereconomics , No. 4, 2016

Abstract

The current situation regarding the migration of refugees can only be handled efficiently through closer international cooperation in the field of asylum policy. From an economic point of view, it would be reasonable to distribute incoming refugees among all EU countries according to a distribution key that reflects differences in the costs of integration in the individual countries. An efficient distribution would even out the marginal costs of integrating refugees. In order to reach a political agreement, the key for distributing refugees should be complemented by compensation payments that distribute the costs of integration among countries. The key for distributing refugees presented by the EU Commission takes account of appropriate factors in principle, but it is unclear in terms of detail. The compensation payments for countries that should take relatively high numbers of refugees for cost efficiency reasons should be financed by reallocating resources within the EU budget.

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International Side-payments to Improve Global Public Good Provision when Transfers are Refinanced through a Tax on Local and Global Externalities

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher A. Markandya Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

in: International Economic Journal , No. 1, 2014

Abstract

This paper discusses a tax-transfer scheme that aims to address the under-provision problem associated with the private supply of international public goods and to bring about Pareto optimal allocations internationally. In particular, we consider the example of the global public good ‘climate stabilization’, both in an analytical and a numerical simulation model. The proposed scheme levies Pigouvian taxes globally, while international side-payments are employed in order to provide incentives to individual countries for not taking a free-ride from the international Pigouvian tax scheme. The side-payments, in turn, are financed via environmental taxes. As a distinctive feature, we take into account ancillary benefits that may be associated with local public characteristics of climate policy. We determine the positive impact that ancillary effects may exert on the scope for financing side-payments via environmental taxation. A particular attractive feature of ancillary benefits is that they arise shortly after the implementation of climate policies and therefore yield an almost immediate payback of investments in abatement efforts. Especially in times of high public debt levels, long periods of amortization would tend to reduce political support for investments in climate policy.

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Environmental Protection and the Private Provision of International Public Goods

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher Dirk T. G. Rübbelke E. Sheshinski

in: Economica , 2010

Abstract

International environmental protection like the combat of global warming exhibits properties of public goods. In the international arena, no coercive authority exists that can enforce measures to overcome free-rider incentives. Therefore decentralized negotiations between individual regions serve as an approach to pursue efficient international environmental protection. We propose a scheme which is based on the ideas of Coasean negotiations and Pigouvian taxes. The negotiating entities offer side-payments to counterparts in order to influence their taxation of polluting consumption. Side-payments, in turn, are self-financed by means of externality-correcting taxes. As we show, a Pareto-efficient outcome can be attained.

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Working Papers

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Endogenous Institution Formation in Public Good Games: The Effect of Economic Education

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher Dmitri Bershadskyy Philipp Schreck Florian Timme

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 29, 2017

Abstract

In a public good experiment, the paper analyses to which extent individuals with economic education behave differently in a second-order dilemma. Second-order dilemmas may arise, when individuals endogenously build up costly institutions that help to overcome a public good problem (first-order dilemma). The specific institution used in the experiment is a communication platform allowing for group communication before the first-order public good game takes place. The experimental results confirm the finding of the literature that economists tend to free ride more intensively in public good games than non-economists. The difference is the strongest in the end-game phase, yielding in the conclusion that the magnitude of the end-game effect depends on the share of economists in the pool of participants. When it comes to the building-up of institutions, the individual efficiency gain of the institution and its inherent cost function constitute the driving forces for the contribution behaviour. Providing an investment friendly environment yields in economists contributing more to the institution than non-economists. Therefore, we make clear that first-order results of a simple public good game cannot be simply applied for second-order incentive problems.

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Bracket Creeps: Bane or Boon for the Stability of Numerical Budget Rules?

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher Götz Zeddies

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 29, 2016

Abstract

As taxpayers typically pay low attention to a small inflation-induced bracket creep of the income tax, policy-makers tend to postpone its correction into the future. However, the fiscal illusion fades away and political pressure for a tax relief arises since after some years the cumulative increase of the average tax rate exceeds a critical threshold. Using Germany as an example, this paper shows that bracket creeps can provoke revenue cycles in public budgets hindering governments’ compliance with the numerical budget rules. An indexation of the tax tariff could prevent such fluctuations and thus provides a favourable framework for the debt rule.

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Fiscal Equalization, Tax Salience, and Tax Competition

Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 3, 2014

Abstract

Jurisdictions that engage in inter-regional tax competition usually try to attenuate competitive pressures by substituting salient tax instruments with hidden ones. On this effect, we investigate the efficiency consequences of inter-regional tax competition and fiscal equalization in a federal system when taxpayers fail to optimally react on shrouded attributes of local tax policy. If the statuary tax rate is a relatively salient instrument and taxpayers pay low attention to the quality and the frequency of tax enforcement, the underlying substitution of tax instruments with the aim of reducing the perceived tax price may suppress the under-exploitation of tax bases that is typically triggered by fiscal equalization.

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