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THE 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 particular policies.

 
 
 

 

2014 Upcoming Events

 

 

 

On April 25-26, we are co-sponsoring a conference with the University of Tennessee and the University of Georgia titled "Competition and Subnational Governments" to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee.  To register, please go to http://www.bus.umich.edu/conferences/Subnational-Competition.

The famed Michigan Tax Invitational (M-TAXI) for current and former OTPR-affiliated PhD students will be held in Ann Arbor on June 6-7. 

Finally, collaborating with Michael Devereux of the Centre for Business Taxation, Said Business School, University of Oxford, we will be co-sponsoring a conference on "Tax Systems" in Oxford on October 9-10.  The Call for Papers is available through this Web portal http://www.bus.umich.edu/Conferences/Tax-Systems/CallForPapers.aspx until March 15.

 Ross  School's OTPR

 Wows Conference with

 Outstanding Attendance

Once again, the Office of Tax Policy Research was very well represented at the November 2013 National Tax Association Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.  Our OTPR Annual Alumni Dinner attendance was 55, including current students, alumni, and guests!  To read what our students have to say about attending the conference and to view pictures, please see our January, 2014 newsletter.

 

 

Recently, David Agrawal, an OTPR-Affiliated 2012 UM PhD who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Georgia, had dinner with the well-known economist and UCLA professor, Arnold C. Harberger.  Professor Harberger  is quite famously known for "Harberger's Triangle," referring to deadweight loss occurring in the trade of a good or service due to government intervention.  Professor Harberger's distinguished career has spanned more than 60 years writing and researching in the fields of public finance, economic theory, international trade, economic development, and econometrics. 

 

 

 

 

THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX AT 100:

HOW DID WE GET HERE AND WHERE SHOULD WE GO NEXT?

A Forum of Tax Policy Experts and Tax Policy Makers

 

 

 

This forum marked the 100th anniversary of the federal income tax and brought together leading policy experts and policy makers to discuss the motivation for tax reform and the pros and cons of the leading options that have been proposed.

 

Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), House Ways and Means Committee, addresses the conference attendees while Professor Joel Slemrod looks on.

 

In holding this event on Capitol Hill (at the Rayburn House Office Building) on Tuesday, September 10, we engaged in constructive conversations with those members of Congress actively involved in tax policy formation. 

 

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), House Budget Committee, shares remarks with conference attendees.

 

This event was a joint effort of the Office of Tax Policy Research, the National Tax Association, and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.  Our nonpartisan and nonprofit organizations do not promote any particular tax program or policy, and are motivated by the enormous public benefit that can come from sound tax policy and wise administration.

 

 

 

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, visit our 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 concluded in: 

http://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jeclit/v35y1997i2p589-632.html

 
 

LESSONS FOR TAX POLICY IN THE GREAT RECESSION

While policy 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?

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