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During our almost 30-year history, we have sponsored or co-sponsored more than 20 conferences.  From one of our earliest conferences on the "Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich," to the IIPF 67th Annual Congress on "Rethinking the Role of the State: Responses to Recent Challenges," to our "Tax Systems" conference co-sponsored with the Centre for Business Taxation at the University of Oxford, OTPR conferences feature experts from around the world that address tax issues of our time and provide an atmosphere for conversations and collaborations. To view the titles, dates, and locations, please visit our Conferences tab.  



International Projects/Visiting Scholars

Participating in international projects and hositing Visiting Scholars have provided opportunities for collaborative discussions that aid us in our mission of encouraging and facilitating joint research on tax systems.  These collaborations have included the following countries:  Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.


Advising/Mentoring Ph.D Students

One of our primary responsibilities is to advise and mentor Ph.D. students. In total, we have advised more than 55 students who are now embarking on their own journeys in academic institutions, government, and business.  You may find them at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Columbia University, or the Higher School in Economics St. Petersburg;  the U.S. Department of the Treasury; the Ministry of Finance, Thailand, or the Ministry of Finance, Japan; the Korea Capital Market Institute or Abt Associates.  We are proud of the global impact they are creating.







OTPR's latest publication is Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija's 5th edition of Taxing Ourselves, which will be available in Spring 2017.








The OTPR team consists of a number of individuals, whose photos, titles, and brief bios can be found below.

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 2017. 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.

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.


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 28th 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.




Research Affiliate

Laura Kawano is a Research Affiliate with the Office of Tax Policy Research in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. She was previously a financial economist in the Business and International Tax Division at the U.S. Department of Treasury. In the fall of 2013, Laura was a visiting assistant professor in the Business Economic and Public Policy Department at the Wharton School. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on the impacts of tax policy on individual and firm choices. She has written on household portfolio choices, the elasticity of taxable income, and tax salience. She has also worked on projects that use administrative data to understand the long-run impacts of unemployment spells and natural disasters. Laura received her B.A. from Occidental College in 2002 and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2010.



​Research Affiliate

Dr. Neubig is a Research Affiliate in the Office of Tax Policy Research and founding member of the Tax Sage Network, a group of experienced tax policy economists sharing their insights on current tax policy economic issues. Tom most recently served as the Deputy Head of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division in the Center for Tax Policy Administration at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris (April 2014 - May 2016). The Division produces internationally comparable tax statistics, tax policy analyses, and tax policy advice. He was responsible for producing the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) report on Measuring and Monitoring BEPS. Prior to joining th​e OECD, Tom was the global accounting firm EY’s Director of Quantitative Economics and Statistics. Based in Washington, DC, Tom was an advisor to numerous public and private clients on federal, state and global tax policy issues, including revenue and economic impact analysis. He led a group of 34 quantitative analysts who assisted clients with tax policy studies, economic impact analyses, statistical sampling and surveys. He was also Ernst & Young’s Americas Tax Policy Leader from 2008 to 2011. Before joining EY, Tom was Director and Chief Economist of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis and served as the top Executive Branch career economist in tax policy between 1986 and 1990, and was a financial economist working on major tax policy changes between 1980 and 1986. Tom was the President of the National Tax Association in 2003 and 2004. Tom received his BA from Kalamazoo College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Email: Phone: 703-785-5343 .


​Research Affiliate

Luis Alejos is an economist in the Fiscal and Municipal Management Division at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. His past work experience includes positions as Country Economist for El Salvador at the Inter-American Development Bank, Director of Public Credit at the Ministry of Finance in Guatemala, Lecturer in International Trade and International Finance at Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala, as well as consulting for international organizations and think tanks. His current research agenda focuses on public finance issues in developing countries, such as income tax evasion in environments with low enforcement, tax avoidance through domestic profit shifting, the incidence of simplified tax regimes for micro and small enterprises, and the fiscal impact of extreme weather events.  Luis received his BSc. in Economics (2004) and MSc. in Economics (2005) from University College London, England, and his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Economics (2018) from the University of Michigan. 

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 December 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