Joel Slemrod began the University of Michigan’s Office of Tax Policy Research in 1988, and this weekend celebrated its 30th anniversary with an excellent conference.
OTPR has become one of the top academic forces in global tax policy and tax administration with its many publications, conferences, and its outstanding tax scholars that now are several professional generations old and growing. Over ninety PhDs in tax areas have emerged from OTPR and are now at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional Budget Office, many other countries’ finance and tax administrations, as well as other important academic and non-government institutions. Mary Ceccanese (30 years) and Jim Hines (20 years) have also been instrumental in OTPR’s success.
I was fortunate to be the moderator of the conference’s first roundtable on global tax policy issues with a premier panel including Alan Auerbach, Richard Bird, Michael Devereux, Jim Poterba and Harvey Rosen. The session covered many topics, including the future of destination-based taxation, the principle of value creation in the context of non-digital and digital tax, the “growth” vs. “redistribution” lens on tax policy issues, Musgravian “stabilization” policy, and developing countries’ issues including tax administration and political economy. I highly recommend the 90-minute video of this roundtable, which can be viewed at this LINK.
The other roundtables and the paper presentations on the second day demonstrated the quality and breadth of OTPR’s research and policy/administration contributions. Congratulations to Joel, Mary, Jim and all of the OTPR family on an amazing first 30 years and many more in the future.