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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Building bridges between tax scholars, policymakers and practitioners

Marcel Olbert

Assistant Professor of Accounting, London Business School

Marcel’s primary research interest concerns empirical research in accounting, with a focus on international company taxation and decision-making within business groups.  His most recent research has looked at transfer pricing, private equity buyouts and internal capital markets of financially distressed firms.  His current working papers can be found here.

Get to Know Marcel

Where are you from originally?
The Frankfurt area of central Germany.
What inspired your research interests?
My master studies at the University of Mannheim focused on quantitative methods, and I mostly took courses in finance, accounting and taxation. I soon figured out that empirical research on businesses was the niche for me.
Why do you enjoy what you do?
My research allows me to work on policy-relevant and international topics, and gives me the opportunity to be part of a global network of researchers. I love traveling and getting to know new people and cultures, and accounting and taxation research lets me combine this hobby with my work.
What are you hoping to gain from your time at Kenan-Flagler?
Kenan-Flagler has an outstanding accounting program and the UNC Tax Center is one of the leaders in tax research. I hope to get as much exposure and feedback as possible through discussing research projects with faculty and Ph.D. students, presenting my work and participating in the 2019 Tax Symposium. I also hope to contribute by sharing my experiences from my work in Europe.  I’d like to thank Kenan-Flagler, and in particular Jeff Hoopes, for inviting me to be a visiting scholar.
Outside of work, how do you plan to spend your time in Chapel Hill?
I’ve never been to North Carolina, so I’m looking forward to exploring the area.  And of course, I’ll be watching March Madness.  I already watched UNC beat Duke while I was attending the ATA conference in February, so I hope to catch even more exciting games once I get there.
What are your post-education plans?
My wife and I are open to relocating to the U.S., so I would definitely consider a job as an assistant professor at a top business school for accounting and tax research.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I spent one of my high school years in Mexico, and also spent a semester each in Hong Kong and St. Gallen, Switzerland during my university studies.  These experiences fueled my love of travel and different cultures.