Prof. Dr. Christian Traxler
Christian Traxler is professor of Economics at the Hertie School of Governance. His primary research focus addresses questions on the optimal design of tax systems in a weak institutional context, i.e., when taxpayers can avoid or evade taxes. One key question in this context concerns the effectiveness of different tax enforcement strategies, which has major implications for the institutional design of public finance. A second strand of research studies illegal behavior beyond tax evasion, placing the work in the economic analysis of crime. In this field, Christian Traxler tries to identify the causal effect of different institutional settings and regulations on, for instance, alcohol consumption or gun ownership on crime. In addition, his work also analyzes the interplay of formal institutions of law enforcement (police, courts, etc.) with the informal enforcement of social norms – an interaction that crucially shapes illegal behavior.