OFFICE OF TAX POLICY RESEARCH
is a research office at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the
University of Michigan. OTPR supports and disseminates academic research
on all aspects of the tax system, with the goal of informing discussion
about the future course of policy. We are non-partisan and advocate no
THE EUROPEAN JOURNEY
Professor Joel Slemrod has embarked on a
European journey. Please see the bullets below for details.
09/04/2014 -- Presented the Keynote address at a seminar held in
Helsinki, Finland and entitled "Casting Light on the Shadow Economy:
A Field Experiment Approach."
09/06/2014 -- Presented at a conference entitled "Inequality --
Measurement, Trends, Impacts and Policies" sponsored by the United
Nations University and held in Helsinki, Finland.
09/17/2014 -- Presented the Keynote address at the 1st Annual MaTax
Conference (Mannheim Taxation Science Campus) held at the Unviersity
of Mannheim, Germany.
09/26/2014 -- Presented the Keynote address at the 26th Annual
Conference of the Italian Soceity of Public Economics held in Pavia,
09/29/2014 -- Attend and discussed a paper at a conference entitled
"Tax Complexity and Simplification" held at Monash University in
OTPR Faculty and Alumni Attend
Professor Joel Slemrod recently spoke at the International Institute of
Public Finance's Annual Congress held in Lugano, Switzerland. OTPR
was well represented at IIPF by our affiliated alumni either presenting
or co-authoring papers (including one of our current students)!
Claudio Agostini (2003)
Jeffrey Hoopes (2013)
David Agrawal (2012)
Wojciech Kopczuk (2001)
Sebastien Bradley (2011)
Eric Ohrn (2014)
Estelle Dauchy (2007)
Daniel Reck (Current PhD)
Naomi Feldman (2004)
Nathan Seegert (2013)
Makoto Hasegawa (2013)
Caroline Weber (2012)
Tax Systems Conference in Oxford, UK
Collaborating with Michael Devereux of
the Centre for Business Taxation, Said Business School, University of
Oxford, OTPR will be co-sponsoring a conference on "Tax Systems" in Oxford
on October 9-10. Registration will be available beginning on July
1 through the following URL:
More photos of both the Subnational Government
Competition and M-TAXI conferences can be found in the July issue of the
OTPR newsletter. In
addition, we have started a new feature recognizing achievements of OTPR-affiliated
alumni; please be sure to share with us any of your accomplishments.
Lastly, Part 1 of the
OTPR Family Tree
has been completed listing all of Joel's advisees through 2013.
Part 2 listing Jim's has begun. Please update Mary at
firstname.lastname@example.org with any new
additions for 2014.
Tax Invitational (M-TAXI) was held on June 6 - 7, 2014. More than
55 current and former OTPR-affiliated alumni convened
in Ann Arbor for this 1 1/2-day conference.
Alumni from 1997 through 2013 included academics in accounting and
economics, as well as members of the Federal
Reserve Board, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve Bank of
Kansas and the Urban Institute. Global
attendees from Chile and Moscow were also in
The keynote address was given by Professor
Roger Gordon, University of California, San Diego. He formerly
held an appointment in the Department of Economics and collaborated on
projects with both both Professor Joel Slemrod and Professor Jim Hines.
Laura Kawano (U.S. Department of the Treasury),
Sebastien Bradley (Drexel University), Estelle Dauchy (New Economic
School, Moscow), Nate Seegert (University of Utah), and Naomi Feldman
(Federal Reserve Board of Governors) are happy to return to Ann Arbor
and to reconnect.
Mentoring, networking, and new collaborations
are formed during this conference providing rich opportunities for all
In April, we teamed up
with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Center for Business
and Economic Research) and the University of Georgia (Department
of Economics) to convene leading academic
economists and accountants to study
competition in subnational governments and urban areas, and
present their findings in an open conference. Competition was
studied and presented in three highly complementary modules: (1)
fiscal (tax) competition, (2) competition in urban areas, and
(3) competition in education. The conference was held
on April 25 and April 26 at the prestigious Howard H. Baker, Jr.
Centre for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Among the more than 70
people attending were participants from both American and
Canadian academic institutions, as well as representatives from
the Multistate Tax Commission, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy,
and the Federal Reserve Board. A number of the papers presented
will be published in an upcoming edition of the National Tax
In 2008, the CESifo Group and the International Institute of Public
Finance (IIPF) established the Richard Musgrave Visiting Professorship
to honor the
memory of one of Public Finance's greatest scholars. This annual
prize honors an outstanding scholar in the area of Public Finance.
With this award the prize winner is also named a Distinguished CESifo
Fellow. The award winner is chosen through a formal selection
process by the President and Vice President of IIPF, together with the
President of the CESifo Group.
The 2014 award winner is Professor James R.
Hines Jr., Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor of Economics in
the Department of Economics and L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of
Law in the Law School at the University of Michigan. Professor
Hines's research focuses largely on taxation, straddling the border
between law and economics. He has made substantial contributions
in the areas of commercial law, corporate law, family law, taxation and
estate planning. He has received several teaching awards,
including from Harvard and Princeton universities. He has written
a number of books, devoted in particular to international taxation and
taxing multinational corporations. On April 24, 2014, as part of
his visiting professorship, he delivered the sixth Richard Musgrave
Lecture on the topic of "International Taxation and National
VIDEO FILES: ASK THE TAX PROFESSOR
Taxes are a
volatile subject in many conversations. Should one group pay more than
another? Why do corporations pay less in taxes than individuals do? Why
is the U.S. tax system so complex? In order to answer some of these
questions, OTPR is sponsoring a video series entitled “Ask the Tax
Professor.” In this series, Professor Joel Slemrod answers these and
many other tax questions that Americans are asking.
To learn more,
News & Events Page.
LESSONS ABOUT TAX REFORM FROM 1986
Everyone seems to
agree that it's a good idea to place tax reform at the heart of a
package of policies to stave off the fiscal cliff and address the
long-term fiscal imbalance. But what can it accomplish other than
raising revenue without raising tax rates? One set of lessons
comes from the consequences of the last major income tax reform in the
United States, the Tax Reform Act of 1986. In a survey article
published in the 1997 Journal of Economic Literature, Alan
Auerbach and Joel Slemrod investigated this issue. Read what they
LESSONS FOR TAX
POLICY IN THE GREAT RECESSION
makers struggle with identifying and enacting the appropriate
short-term policy response to the recent financial crisis and
economic downturn, both academics and policy makers are
examining the causes of the crisis and what lessons this might
bring to bear on longer-term policy. With near unanimity
attention to both the causes and appropriate long-term policy
response has focused on the financial sector, although fiscal
policy, including tax policy, has certainly figured prominently
in countries’ short-term policy response to the economic
contraction. In recent months, though, officials from two
international organizations, the IMF and the OECD, have produced
reports addressing what aspects of the tax system may have
helped cause or exacerbate the crisis, and whether tax policy
needs to be re-evaluated in light of the recent events. In this
article OTPR Director Joel Slemrod offers some speculations
about the lessons for tax policy, and the analysis of tax
policy, from the Great Recession. What did we get wrong? What
did we underestimate the importance of? What do we need to
think more about?