University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Profiles of University of Michigan Faculty Experts in State and Local Policy Areas

Professor Joel Slemrod

Director, Office of Tax Policy Research, Ross School of Business

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics

Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Ross School of Business

Years On UM Faculty: 18

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Regarding how his research has been affected by interactions with policy practitioners, Professor Slemrod states:

"Dealing with people in the real world alerts me to developments and current issues related to tax policy. In the past, professionals in the policy world have suggested research topics to me that they believed would inform the public policy debate."


Tax policy: federal tax system, economics of taxes, impacts of tax policies on the economy.


"Corporate Tax Avoidance and the Effectiveness of Investment Tax Incentives," with Estelle Dauchy and Claudia Martinez. This study seeks to clarify the relationship between corporate tax avoidance activity and the incentive to invest. Understanding this relationship is especially critical due to the fact that corporate tax avoidance has grown in recent years and may have contributed to the prevalence of companies who have losses rather than profits. This study will determine whether successful tax avoidance undermines the effectiveness of federal tax incentives designed to encourage business investment.


"Taxation as a Public Health Instrument: Lessons from Cigarette Taxation". The taxation of cigarettes raises ethical issues about the singling out a segment of society on the basis of its tastes, political issues concerning the paternalistic role of government, public health issues about the social costs of smoking, and economic questions such as the effectiveness of price increases in suppressing demand. A comprehensive treatment of cigarette taxation issues thus requires a cross-disciplinary approach, bringing together ethicists, political scientists, public health scholars, and economists who study taxation. This project will host a conference to generate new policy-relevant research and investigate these issues.

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