Peer-Reviewed Publications

Intertemporal Labor Supply Substitution? Evidence from the Swiss Tax Holidays

Joint with Emmanuel Saez and Michael Siegenthaler. NBER Working Paper No. 24634 (revised July 2020), slides, and VoxEU and ökonomenstimme columns.
Conditionally accepted (in May 2020) by the American Economic Review.
Abstract: This paper estimates intertemporal labor supply responses to two-year long income tax holidays staggered across cantons in Switzerland. Swiss cantons shifted from an income tax system based on the previous two years' income to a standard annual pay as you earn system, leaving 2 years of income untaxed. We find significant but quantitatively small responses of earnings with an inter-temporal elasticity of .05 overall. Some groups, such as high wage income earners and especially the self-employed display larger responses with elasticities around .1 and .2 respectively. We find no effects along the extensive margin at all and almost no effects on hours of work suggesting that responses are driven primarily by tax avoidance rather than real labor supply.

Volatile Top Income Shares in Switzerland? Reassessing the Evolution Between 1981 and 2010

Joint with Reto Föllmi.
The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 99(5) (December 2017), pp. 793-809.
Abstract: In the last 20 years, the share of top incomes in Switzerland has risen, while exhibiting large variations. Switzerland is similar to European countries for the top1% but closer to the U.S. for higher top income groups. With the synthetic control method we close a time gap in the tax data, exploiting the fact that Swiss cantons changed their tax system at different points in time. Using social security data which cover all top labor incomes, we document the growing importance of labor compared to capital incomes among top income earners in Switzerland.
Data are available on (Updated until 2014). Here you can find the Online Appendix Tables, a PDF of the paper, a voxEU Column and an article written for Republik Magazin. The paper was covered in several media outlets, including, NZZ am Sonntag (here, here, and here), Die Volkswirtschaft, Handelszeitung, Le Temps, and Blick.

Book Chapters

Evidence from Unique Swiss Tax Data on the Composition and Joint Distribution of Income and Wealth

Draft (July 2020)
Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Measuring and Understanding the Distribution and Intra/Inter-Generational Mobility of Income and Wealth, Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Janet C. Gornick, Barry Johnson, and Arthur Kennickell, editors. Conference held March 5-6, 2020. Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.
Abstract: I compose a unique, new data set using individual income and wealth tax data from eight Swiss cantons. I describe the data in detail and show that it is representative for Switzerland as a whole. Next, I present a set of empirical facts regarding the distribution of wealth and income in Switzerland. I shed light on the composition of wealth and income along the distribution, including the very top. I find substantial heterogeneity in the composition for different population groups. Real estate wealth is held only by the upper half of the wealth distribution. Most importantly, due to the strong age-wealth gradient, age has an important influence on the composition as well as on the joint distribution of income and wealth. At any income level except for the bottom quintile, retirees are more likely to be higher up in the wealth distribution than non-retirees—including at the very top of the wealth distribution. Overall, I find a strong correlation between income and wealth, combine with a pronounced tail dependence, especially at the top. Taking age into account, gender differences in wealth levels are small. They are more pronounced in the income distribution, where women also rely more on transfer income than on labor income compared to men.

"Verteilung, Bildung und die Chancen des sozialen Aufstiegs"

in: Denknetz Jahrbuch 2018. Bildung und Emanzipation. Zürich: edition 8, September 2018.

Non-Reviewed Publications

Inequality in Switzerland: A Haven of Stability?

Joint with Reto Föllmi. pdf
CESifo Forum, 2/2018 (Summer 2018), pp. 19-25.

Die Verteilung von Einkommen und Vermögen in der Schweiz

Joint with Reto Föllmi. pdf
UBS International Center of Economics in Society Public Paper, No. 6 (November 2017)

Die Topeinkommen in der Schweiz seit 1980: Verteilung und Mobilität.

Social Change in Switzerland, Nr.11 (November 2017).

Cantonal Differences in Health Care Premium Subsidies in Switzerland

Joint with Berit Gerritzen and Alma Ramsden.
University of St. Gallen SEPS Working Paper No.14-20 (July 2014).

Bookreview on: ‘Methods for Quantitative Macro-Comparative Research’ by Salvatore Babones

Journal of World-Systems Research, Vol. 20(1) (March 2014).

Mit Konjunkturstabilisierung längerfristige Wachstumschancen sichern

Joint with Daniel Lampart.
SGB-Dossier, Nr. 65 (June 2009).


Mindestlöhne – Situation und Handlungsbedarf. Bericht der SGB-Expertengruppe Mindestlohn.

Joint with Daniel Lampart, Doris Bianchi and Gabriela Medici.
Zürich: Editions à la Carte, May 2011.

Link to my Google Scholar site.