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The Office of Tax Policy Research, established at the University of Michigan Business School in 1987, has two missions. The first is to encourage and facilitate joint research on the tax system by economists and scholars of other disciplines. The second is to serve as a liaison on tax issues among the academic, business, and policymaking tax communities. The Office draws on the substantial data resources and expertise already existing at the University of Michigan in these fields, and also involves scholars from outside the University.


Joel Slemrod

Joel Slemrod is the Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and   Public Policy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics.  He also serves as Director of the Office of Policy Research, an interdisciplinary research center housed at the Ross School of Business.  Professor Slemrod received the B.A. degree from Princeton University in 1973 and the Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1980.  Professor Slemrod has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Canadian Department of Finance, the New Zealand Department of Treasury, the South Africa Ministry of Finance, the World Bank, and the OECD.  From 1992 to 1998 Professor Slemrod was editor of the National Tax Journal.  He is the co-author with Leonard E. Burman of Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know, published in 2012, and co-author with Jon Bakija of Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen’s Guide to the Debate over Taxes, whose 5th edition will be published in 2014. In 2012 he received from the National Tax Association its most prestigious award, the Daniel M. Holland Medal for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study and practice of public finance.

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James Hines
   Research Director

James Hines teaches at the University of Michigan, where he is the
L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law in the law school and the Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor of Economics in the department of economics. He also serves as Research Director of the Stephen M. Ross School's Office of Tax Policy Research. His research concerns various aspects of taxation. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Harvard, all in economics. He taught at Princeton and Harvard prior to moving to Michigan in 1997, and has held visiting appointments at Columbia, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law School.

He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, research director of the International Tax Policy Forum, co-editor of the American Economic Association’s Journal of Economic Perspectives, and once, long ago, was an economist in the United States Department of Commerce.

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     Ugo Troiano
            Research Associate

Ugo Troiano is an assistant professor of economics in the department of economics. He is also a Research Associate of the Office of Tax Policy Research in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. His current research focuses on the economic effects of fiscal rules, and on analyzing whether the incentives of policymakers affect tax enforcement. Previous research dealt with explaining cross-country variation in mandated benefit provision and with analyzing the connection between economic growth and political accountability.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2013.

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Mary Ceccanese
    Center Administrator

Mary Ceccanese received her B.A. in Human Resource Administration (summa cum laude) from Concordia College in 1992. She is in her 26th year of working in the Office of Tax Policy Research at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She is responsible for coordinating all of the ongoing activities of OTPR including project management, financial and grant administration, publication and editorial coordination, as well as populating the OTPR Family Tree!

From 1992 to 1998, Ms. Ceccanese was the editorial assistant for the
National Tax Journal.

Claudio Agostini
 OTPR International Affiliate

Claudio Agostini is a Professor of Economics at the School of Government at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez in Chile. He also serves as the President of the Chilean Society of Public Policy, as the editor of Economía y Política, and co-editor of Economic Analysis Review. Professor Agostini holds a B.A. in Economics from the Catholic University of Chile and received the Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2003.  Professor Agostini has been consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.  His current research focuses on mining taxation and royalties, diesel and gasoline taxation, income tax avoidance, and incidence of special tax regimes and exemptions. Previous research dealt with the capitalization of new subway lines on housing prices, the impact of corporate taxation on foreign direct investment, and the effects of government cash transfers on poverty and inequality.


Musgrave Fellowship

University of Michigan doctoral students contribute importantly to the performance of OTPR's mission. Consequently, OTPR offers annually a special fellowship designed to attract to Michigan and support outstanding graduate students interested in pursuing public finance as a field. This fellowship is the Richard A. Musgrave Fellowship, named in honor of one of the leading figures of twentieth century public finance, who wrote his most influential book while a professor at Michigan.

The fellowship supplements other support offered by the University and the economics department with a guaranteed research assistantship in the first and second summers of the Musgrave's Fellow's residence at Michigan. The goal is to enhance graduate training with early participation in research projects.

Richard A. Musgrave was born in 1910 in Königstein, Germany. He received a Diplom Volkswirt from Heidelberg University in 1933, an M.A. from Harvard University in 1936 and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1937. He was an instructor and tutor at Harvard from 1936-1941. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he served as an Economist in the Research Division at the Federal Reserve Board from 1939-1948. In 1948-49 he was a lecturer at Swarthmore College, and in 1949 he moved to the University of Michigan, where he was Professor of Economics.

Professor Musgrave taught at Michigan for nine years. During his Michigan years he wrote his revolutionary The Theory of Public Finance, 1959, which changed the way future generations of public finance students conceptualize the key questions in this field. As the work proceeded, subsequent chapters were discussed in his seminar, encouraging his students to undertake future work in public finance. During his years at Michigan, Professor Musgrave also published scores of articles and Congressional testimonies. A study on tax incidence, published jointly with members of his seminar, was honored recently as the most widely cited article ever published in the National Tax Journal.

To be considered for the Musgrave Fellowship, the applicant must submit to OTPR, at the time of application to the economics Ph.D. program (deadline of January 15), the following materials:
• A copy of the Ph.D. program application
• A statement of research interests and request to be considered for the Musgrave Fellowship
• One recommendation letter