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National Tax Association Annual Meetings in Philadelphia 
November 9-11, 2017


This year's NTA meetings were particularly exciting for a number of reasons:  Jacob Bastian received the co-Dissertation Award, Sara LaLumia received the Best NTJ Paper Award, and Jim Hines received the Holland Medal for Lifetime Achievement.  Can we say that Michigan was in the house?!!!

   Jacob being congratulated by 
   NTA President Victoria Perry.


    Jim surrounded by Joel, Alan Auerbach, and
    Jim Poterba



For the seventh year in a row, OTPR has sponsored 20 or more students to attend the National Tax Association Annual Meeting.  One of the highlights of the meeting is our Annual Alumni Dinner.




IIPF Congress in Tokyo

This year's International Institute of Public Finance's 73rd Annual Congress was held in Tokyo, Japan. The OTPR Family was well represented with the following attendees: 
Claudio Agostini (2003), David Agrawal (2012), Jacob Bastian (2017), Sutirtha Bagchi (2014), Estelle Dauchy (2007), Enda Hargaden (2016), Makoto Hasegawa (2013), Ryo Ishida (2015), Laura Kalambokidis (1992), Sara LaLumia (2006), Ben Meiselman (2017), Eric Ohrn (2014), Nathan Seegert (2013), Teju Velayudhan (current student), Eleanor Wilking (current student), and one of our recent Visiting Scholars, Bassirou Sarr of Sengal.
Photo Left: During the
ceremonial "Breaking of the Saki Barrel," the IIPF  presidency was transferred from Joel, who led the IIPF for three years, to Clemens Fuest of the University of Cologne.
Photo Right:  Jacob Bastian, Claudio Agostini, Nathan Seegert, and Andrew McCallum. 
OTPR attendees eagerly toured the city and enjoyed eating the delicacies of Japanese cuisine.
Photo Left: Joel, Eleanor, and Teju, along with Prof. Binzhen Wu from Tsinghua University, who is the PhD advisor of our current visiting scholar, Yan Li.
Photo Right: Claudio, David, and Jacob



No, the word is not spelled incorrectly.  I am sure that many of you are wondering what "Fowling" is -- it is a combination of football and bowling -- really!  In May 2017, several cars filled with OTPR faculty, staff, and PhD students drove to Hamtramck, MI, where the fowling warehouse is located. 
The Fowling Bus                      Nourishment for the task at hand!      The OTPR Fowling Gang
Our first introduction was just noticing how the game was played.  The large bowling pins are set up 30 feet away and teams try to knock them down with a football.  What surprised most of us is that if the football bounces (which it did a lot), and it may knock down pins in the adjacent team's lane.  Those pins are counted as down no matter who hits them!  
Ben Going in the Wrong Direction     Obeid, Teju, Joel, Eleanor         Yeliz, Chiara, Jim, Steve
The Fabulous Foursome of Will Boning, Alecia and Traviss Cassidy, and Mary Ceccanese (who knocked down more pins in Jim's lane than her own) actually won eight games.  Champions forever!! The closest any other team could get was winning one game. However, Steve Hamilton performed a very unusual feat -- he knocked down only the center pin on his first attempt in one of the games.  That is called a "bonk" and it means they immediately won the match.  His name was added to the winner's board and the very loud fog horn was sounded!  This was an evening we all will not forget!



Claire, Chen, Ben, Gail                 Will, Alecia, Traviss, Mary              :         Steve




The February, 2017 issue of the OTPR Newsletter has just been published. There are many pictures and updates so be sure to check it out.  

The Newsletter also provides information about our upcoming 30th Anniversary, which begins on July 1, 2017 and runs through June 20, 2018.  Do you have any brilliant ideas we should consider to celebrate this momentous occasion?


(Presented by the Office of Tax Policy Research and Ross Thought in Action)

Wednesday, October 5
5 - 6:30 p.m.
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, Blau Building, B1580

​Reception Following


Economic issues occupy center stage in the 2016 presidential debate. The candidates have offered several proposals to address economic issues ranging from immigration to trade, taxation to health care, regulation to the environment. In the fiercely partisan debate that ensues, it is often difficult to evaluate the claims made, or even assess the accuracy and relevance of the evidence cited in favor of their own proposals. In this forum, University of Michigan economics professors offer their professional views on the most pressing economic issues of the day and the likely consequences of the solutions offered by the presidential candidates.

Moderator: JOEL SLEMROD, Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Professor of Economics, Director, Office of Tax Policy Research

Panelists members include:
THOMAS BUCHMUELLER, Waldo O. Hildebrand Professor of Risk Management and Insurance; Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy; Chair, Business Economics and Public Policy

ALAN DEARDORFF, John W. Sweetland Professor of International Economics and Professor of Economics and Public Policy Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Department of Economics

JAMES R HINES JR., L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law; Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor of Economics; Research Director, Office of Tax Policy Research

DEAN YANG, Professor, Department of Economics; Professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Research Professor, Population Studies Center

Michigan M-TAXI 2016
OTPR's fourth Michigan Tax Invitational (M-TAXI) was held on June 10-11, 2016.  Once again, more than 55 current and former OTPR-affiliated alumni convened in Ann Arbor for this 1 1/2-day conference. Alumni from 1994 through 2014 included academics in accounting, law, and economics, as well as the business community -- Ford Motor Credit company.  In addition, members of the Congressional Budget Office, Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury were present. Global attendees from Chile and Moscow also attended.The keynote address was given by Associate Professor Sara LaLumia, Williams College, who is also a 2006 OTPR alum and co-editor of International Tax and Public Finance. 
Photo Left:  Ben Meiselman (U of M), Jim Hines (U of M), Claudio Agostini (Universidad Adolfo Ibanez), Enda Hargaden (U of M), Nic Duquette (University of Southern California), Molly Saunders-Scott (Congressional Budget Office), and Sutirtha Bagchi (Villanova University) are happy to once again connect.  

Photo Right:  Andrew Litten (U of M), Yeliz Kacamak (U of M), Eleanor Wilking (U of M) and guest, Jeff Hoopes (Ohio State University) and Joel Slemrod (fearless leader and godfather).
Mentoring, networking, and new collaborations are formed during this conference providing rich opportunities for all attendees!
OTPR Faculty and Alumni Attend  2014  IIPF

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)

Michigan M-TAXI 2014

OTPR's third Michigan 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 attendance.

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 attendees!

Tax Competition and Subnational Governments

In April 2014, 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 Journal.

Richard Musgrave Visiting Professorship

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 Interests."

2012 Daniel M. Holland Award
For more information regarding Joel Slemrod's receipt of the Daniel M. Holland Award at the 2012 National Tax Association Annual Meeting, pictures, and the students' reflections on attending the NTA, please see the OTPR December 2012 newsletter.  
To view Slemrod's remarks (slides only), please click here.


Forty-nine OTPR-affiliated alumni, current students, and guests gathered to celebrate with Joel in Providence, Rhode Island, on November 15, 2012.

The International Institute of Public Finance created the "Peggy and Richard Musgrave Prize" in 2003 to honor and encourage younger scholars whose work meets the high standards of scientific quality, creativity and relevance that has been a mark of the Musgraves’ contribution to public finance. It is awarded annually, on the advice of the Chair of the Scientific Committee, to the author(s) of the best paper presented at the Congress. Authors need to be under 40 years of age. Professor Albouy’s paper is titled “Evaluating the Efficiency and Equity of Federal Fiscal Equalization.”
June 8-9, 2012
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

On June 8-9, 2012, OTPR hosted the second Michigan Tax Invitational.  Papers were divided into these five categories: international, evasion and enforcement, state and local tax issues, rethinking received tax wisdom, and behavioral responses to taxation.  In all, 17 papers were presented and discussed.  Former Michigan PhD students from Universidad de Chile, Drexel University, Federal Reserve Board of Governers, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Williams College, University of Chicago, Northeastern University attended as well as current PhD students and Michigan Faculty.

Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance

The Office of Tax Policy Research recently hosted the 67th Annual Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance.  Over 350 people from 30 countries attended this 4-day event that included 5 Keynote Speakers, 75 sessions, and over 250 papers.

To the left is a group photo of conference participants at the Detroit Institute of Arts. To view pictures of the Congress, please click here.

On the second day of the Congress, participants went on an excursion to the Henry Ford Museum and a strolling dinner at the Detroit Institute of Arts. To view pictures of the excursion, please click here.

Finally, the last night of the Congress featured a 5-course dinner and dancing. The festivities can be viewed by clicking here.
June 21-25, 1999

OTPR, along with the Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at UC-Berkeley and the Fund for Tax Research and John M. Olin Center of Law, Economics, and Business of Harvard Law School, sponsored a workshop in Berkeley, CA during the week of June 21-25, 1999.  This workshop provided an overview of the state of research in the economics and legal literatures on various aspects of international taxation and featured leading American academic tax specialists, including both economists and tax lawyers.  The purpose of the workshop was to stimulate research activity on international tax issues and to provide an opportunity for scholarly communication.

The International Institute of Public Finance’s Young Economists Award was instituted in 2008, with the aim of encouraging young scholars who present their papers at the IIPF annual congress. A Prize Committee, headed by the Scientific Chair of the respective congress, selects those papers presented at the congress that stand out for their scientific quality, creativity and relevance, and chooses up to three of them to be distinguished with this award. Authors need to be under 40 years of age.

Read Paper


The Office of Tax Policy Research is proud to announce that our own Mary Ceccanese received the 2010 Candace Johnson Staff Award for Excellence, a University-wide award given by the Office of the Provost to an exemplary staff member.
We know Mary as OTPR’s Coordinator, which she has done with exceptional competence, energy, creativity and good cheer for 22 years. It is not at all an understatement to say that OTPR would not be OTPR without her. What you might not know is that, over this time, Mary has expanded her job to become a change agent and educator, in the university and beyond, about the importance of creating and sustaining connections between the staff and faculty, managers and staff, and various other employee groups. She actively participates in Voices of the Staff, a volunteer-based program offering U-M staff members an opportunity to share ideas and define the campus community issues that matter most to them. She also is involved in the design and delivery of training workshops, mentoring relationships with staff in a variety of units, and the development of original tools for creating positive workplaces. Four years ago, Mary initiated a task force at the Ross School called FAST Connections, which promotes high-quality relationships between faculty and staff.

We all congratulate Mary on this award and are delighted to see her receive this recognition.