James M. Poterba

James M. Poterba is Mitsui Professor in the Department of Economics at MIT. He has been Director of the NBER Public Economics Research Program since 1991 and has edited volumes 6-20 of Tax Policy and the Economy.

  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21

    James M. Poterba

    Recent academic research findings on topics relating to taxation and social insurance policy, including the implicit tax imposed by Medicaid on private long-term care insurance benefits, an alternative system of unemployment insurance, and federal energy tax policy.

    This NBER series presents current academic research findings in the areas of taxation and government spending. The papers included provide important background information for policy analysts in government and the private sector without making specific policy recommendations. This twenty-first installment in the series reports on recent research concerning both taxation and social insurance policy. The papers discuss Medicaid's implicit tax on the benefits of private long-term care insurance, an alternative to current unemployment insurance systems, the tax treatment of health insurance expenditures, the effective marginal tax rates on labor supply and saving, and the rationale for and effect of energy-related tax policies.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £55.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20

    James M. Poterba

    This NBER series presents current academic research findings in the areas of taxation and government spending. The papers included provide important background information for policy analysts in government and the private sector without making specific policy recommendations. This twentieth anniversary volume addresses issues relevant to current policy debates as well as questions that are of longer-term interest. Topics include: the distribution of the corporate income tax burden; tax incentives for entrepreneurship; the effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on labor supply; refund-splitting as a way to encourage saving by low-income households; the concentration of variable annuity ownership households in high tax brackets; and new evidence on the fiscal health of the federal government that takes the Medicare prescription drug benefit into account.

    • Hardcover $58.00 £48.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Fiscal Reform in Colombia

    Fiscal Reform in Colombia

    Problems and Prospects

    Richard M. Bird, James M. Poterba, and Joel Slemrod

    Essays coathored by Colombian and North American tax experts analyze ways to achieve long-term sustainable fiscal policy and a more efficient tax system.

    Colombia, once a model of fiscal discipline for other Latin American nations, has seen its fiscal situation deteriorate since the early 1990s. Higher government spending, taxes that did not keep pace with expenditures, and severe recession led to an unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratio of 52 percent in 2002. Short-term tax increases, even coupled with spending reforms, have not restored Colombia to fiscal balance. A Colombian government commission charged with researching more long-term tax and fiscal reforms gave rise to the selected essays included in this book, each coauthored by Colombian and North American public finance experts. The analyses and recommendations have particular policy relevance for developing economies in general.The studies include both broad discussions of Colombian fiscal and tax systems and detailed analyses of such specific tax instruments as the payroll tax, value-added tax, and the bank debit tax. The focus is on three key concerns: the sustainability of Colombia's fiscal situation, possible reforms to the national tax system, and the fiscal relationship between the national and subnational governments. The theme that emerges from these studies—the importance of moving toward a more efficient and equitable tax system while also raising revenue—suggests the limitations of stopgap measures and the real need for long-term fiscal reform.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19

    James M. Poterba

    This NBER series presents current academic research findings in the areas of taxation and government spending. The papers included provide important background information for policy analysts in government and the private sector without making specific policy recommendations. The papers in Volume 19 address issues relevant to current policy debates as well as questions that are of longer-term interest. Topics include a comparison of federal, state, and local pre-kindergarten educational programs, the cost-effectiveness of different health insurance reform proposals, economic growth in countries with low marginal corporate income tax rates, the disparity between corporate income as reported to investors and as calculated for corporate tax liability, and the relationship between pyramidal structures and the taxation of intercorporate dividends.

    • Hardcover $12.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18

    James M. Poterba

    This NBER series presents current academic research in the areas of taxation and government spending. The papers included provide important background information for policy analysis without making specific policy recommendations.Volume 18 continues the series tradition of addressing issues that are relevant to current policy debates as well as to questions of longer-term interest, covering topics that include the tax treatment of assets saved for higher education expenses, the measurement of depreciation allowances, and the mortgage interest subsidy.

    • Hardcover $58.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17

    James M. Poterba

    This NBER series presents current academic research in the areas of taxation and government spending. The papers included provide important background information for policy analysis without making specific policy recommendations.

    Volume 17 continues the series tradition of addressing topics that are relevant to current issues as well as longer-range concerns, with topics that include the fiscal implications of the No Child Left Behind Act, the 2001 Tax Rebate, and the tax burdens of multinational corporations.

    • Hardcover $58.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16

    James M. Poterba

    This series publishes recent research on the economic effects of taxation and government expenditure programs, as well as studies of the distributional and incentive effects of current and proposed tax legislation. The research results are presented in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers.

    • Hardcover $58.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement

    The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement

    Jeffrey R. Brown, Olivia S. Mitchell, James M. Poterba, and Mark J. Warshawsky

    Annuity insurance products help protect retirees against outliving their incomes.

    Dramatic advances in life expectancy mean that today's retirees must plan on living into their eighties, their nineties, and even beyond. Longer life expectancies are the symbol of a prosperous society, but this progress also means that some retirees will need to plan conservatively and cut back substantially on their living standards or risk living so long that they exhaust their resources. This book examines the role that life annuities can play in helping people protect themselves against such outcomes.

    A life annuity is an insurance product that pays out a periodic amount for as long as the annuitant is alive, in exchange for a premium. The book begins with a history of life annuity markets during the twentieth century in the United States and elsewhere. It then explores recent trends in annuity pricing and money's worth, as well as the economic value generated for purchasers of these products. The book explains the potential importance of inflation-protected annuities and stock-market-linked variable annuities in providing more complete retirement security. The concluding chapters examine life annuities in various institutional settings and the tax treatment of annuity products.

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15

    James M. Poterba

    Based on a National Bureau of Economic Research conference, Tax Policy and the Economy is a timely review of issues in the current tax debate. Focusing on the economic effects of tax policies, written in a nontechnical style accessible to policymakers, corporate managers, lawyers and economists, each article demonstrates how economic research can make an important contribution to tax policy debates.

    • Hardcover $12.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 14

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 14

    James M. Poterba

    This series presents recent research on the effects of taxation and government expenditure programs on economic performance and analyses of the effects of potential tax reforms. The research results appear in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers.

    This series presents recent research on the effects of taxation and government expenditure programs on economic performance and analyses of the effects of potential tax reforms. The research results appear in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £55.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13

    James M. Poterba

    This series presents recent research on the effects of taxation and government expenditure programs on economic performance and analyses of the effects of potential tax reforms. The research results appear in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £55.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12

    James M. Poterba

    Topics in this volume include Medicare reform, taxation and telecommunications, tax incentives for higher education, incentive effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Social Security Earnings Test and the labor supply of older men, tax rate flexibility in consumption tax systems, fundamental tax reform and corporate finance, business transition issues in fundamental tax reform, and the effect of a consumption tax on the interest rate.

    This series presents recent research on the effects of taxation on economic performance and analyses of the effects of potential tax reforms. The research results appear in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers. Topics in this volume include Medicare reform, taxation and telecommunications, tax incentives for higher education, incentive effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Social Security Earnings Test and the labor supply of older men, tax rate flexibility in consumption tax systems, fundamental tax reform and corporate finance, business transition issues in fundamental tax reform, and the effect of a consumption tax on the interest rate.

    Contributors David Bradford, David Cutler, Chris Edwards, Martin Feldstein, Leora Friedberg, William Gentry, Jerry Hausman, Caroline M. Hoxby, R. Glenn Hubbard, Jeffrey Liebman, Andrew Lyon, Peter Merrill, Mel Schwartz

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 11

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 11

    James M. Poterba

    This series presents recent research on the effects of taxation on economic performance and analyses of the effects of potential tax reforms. The research results appear in a form that is accessible to tax practitioners and policymakers. Topics in this volume include an evaluation of Medicaid in the 1980s, medical savings accounts, comparative tax burdens under the existing income tax and a national retail sales tax, implications of a broad-based consumption tax, and mandated community-rated health insurance.

    Contributors David Bradford, Matthew Eichner, Daniel Feenberg, William Gentry, Jonathan Gruber, R. Glenn Hubbard, Mark McClellan, Andrew Mitrusi, James Poterba, David Wise

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10

    James M. Poterba

    The Tax Policy and the Economy series presents new research bearing on the economic effects of taxation on economic performance and analyzing the effects of potential tax reforms. Research results are presented in a timely and accessible fashion and will be of interest to tax practioners and those involved in formulating tax policy.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9

    James M. Poterba

    The Tax Policy and the Economy series presents new research bearing on the economic effects of taxation on economic performance and analyzing the effects of potential tax reforms. Research results are presented in a timely and accessible fashion and will be of interest to tax practitioners and those involved in formulating tax policy.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8

    James M. Poterba

    The Tax Policy and the Economy series presents new research bearing on the economic effects of taxation on economic performance and analyzing the effects of potential tax reforms. Research results are presented in a timely and accessible fashion and will be of interest to tax practitioners and those involved in formulating tax policy.

    Contents Welfare and the Well-Being of Children: The Relative Effectiveness of Cash and In-Kind Transfers - Janet Currie • Energy Taxes and Aggregate Economic Activity - Julio Rotemberg and Michael Woodford • Lifecycle vs. Annual Perspectives on the Incidence of a Value Added Tax - Gilbert E. Metcalf • The Efficiency Cost of Energy Taxes - Lawrence H. Goulder • Tax Policy, Multinational Firms, and the Incentives for R & D - James Hines, Jr.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7

    James M. Poterba

    The Tax Policy and the Economy series presents new research bearing on the economic effects of taxation on economic performance and analysis of the effects of potential tax reforms. Results of research are presented in a timely and accessible fashion and will be of interest to tax practitioners and those involved in formulating tax policy.

    Contents Alternatives to Traditional IRAs: Floors and Ceilings in Saving Incentives, B. Douglas Bernheim • New Evidence on the Incentive Effects of R&D Tax Credits, Bronwyn H. Hall • Interindustry Subsidies and the Unemployment Insurance Payroll Tax, Bruce D. Meyer • What Do We Know About Enterprise Zones? Leslie E. Papke • Understanding the Widening Income Distribution of the 1980s, James M. Poterba and Daniel R. Feenberg

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 6

    James M. Poterba

    The Tax Policy and the Economy series presents new research bearing on the economic effects of taxation on economic performance and analysis of the effects of potential tax reforms. Research results are presented in a timely and accessible fashion and will be of interest to tax practitioners and those involved in formulating tax policy.

    Partial Contents The Interindustry Effects of Carbon and Other Energy Taxes, Lawrence Goulder • Social Security Alternatives and the Intergenerational Distribution of Income, Laurence Kotlikoff • Corporate Tax Revenues Since the Reform of 1986, James Poterba • Taxation and Inequality: A Longitudinal Perspective, Joel Slemrod • Government Policy and Retirement Saving, David Wise

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Global Warming

    Global Warming

    Economic Policy Responses

    Rudiger Dornbusch and James M. Poterba

    The contributions in this book focus instead on the economic effects of global warming, providing an excellent summary of current thinking on this important issue.

    Global warming is debated largely in environmental terms. The contributions in this book focus instead on the economic effects of global warming, providing an excellent summary of current thinking on this important issue. They raise such crucial questions as: Which countries will suffer the most from climate change? What economic initiatives could be adopted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and chlorofluorocarbons? How will different nations fare under various proposals? What are the prospects for international cooperation?

    Contents Is There a Global Warming Problem? Andrew R. Solow • Economic Approaches to Greenhouse Warming, William D. Nordhaus • Tax Policy to Combat Global Warming: On Designing a Carbon Tax, James M. Poterba • Technological Substitution Options for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions, David W. Pearce • Economic Responses to Climate Change: A European Perspective, Emilio Gerelli • Economic Responses to Global Warming/International Burden Sharing and Coordination: Prospects for Cooperative Approaches to Global Warming, T.C. Schelling • The International Incidence of Carbon Taxes, John Whalley

    Global Warming Initiatives The Pacific Rim, Hirofumi Uzawa • Optional for Slowing Amazon Jungle-Clearing, Eustaquio Reis and Sergio Margulis

    Discussants Lars Bergman, William R. Cline, Peter Diamond, Lester B. Lave, Alan Manne, John P. Martin, Thorvald Moe, David M. Newbery, Norman J. Rosenberg, Lutz Wicke, Gerrit Zalm

    • Hardcover $68.00 £55.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00

Contributor

  • Fundamental Tax Reform

    Fundamental Tax Reform

    Issues, Choices, and Implications

    John W. Diamond and George R. Zodrow

    Leading experts on tax policy examine the complex issues involved in fundamental tax reform, including the relative merits of income-based and consumption-based taxation.

    Reform of the federal income tax system has become a perennial item on the domestic policy agenda of the United States, although there is considerable uncertainty over specifics. Indeed the recent report of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform recommended not one but two divergent policy directions (and included extensive discussion of a third).

    In Fundamental Tax Reform, top experts in tax policy discuss a wide range of issues raised by the prospect of significant tax reform, identifying the most critical questions and considering whether the answers are known, unknown—or unknowable. The debates over tax reform usually concern the advantages and disadvantages of income-based taxation as opposed to any of the several alternative forms of consumption-based taxation. The book opens with chapters that discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and political feasibility of these options. Other chapters consider the effect of tax reform on businesses, especially their investment behavior, and include a discussion of possible problems in any transition to a consumption-based tax; international taxation issues arising in an era of globalization; and individual behavioral response to tax reform, including a view of the topic from the perspective of the relatively new field of behavioral economics.

    Contributors Rosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach, John W. Diamond, Harry Grubert, Arnold C. Harberger, Kevin A. Hassett, Thomas J. Kniesner, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Edward J. McCaffery, Kathryn Newmark, David Rapson, Daniel Shaviro, Joel Slemrod, James P. Ziliak, George R. Zodrow

    Discussants James Alm, Henry J. Aaron, Charles L. Ballard, Leonard E. Burman, Robert S. Chirinko, Robert D. Dietz, Malcolm Gillis, Roger H. Gordon, Jane G. Gravelle, Timothy S. Gunning, James M. Poterba, Thomas S. Neubig, Alan Viard, George Yin

    • Hardcover $49.00 £7.99
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 4

    Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 4

    Lawrence H. Summers

    The Tax Policy and Economy series presents new research bearing on the effects of taxation on economic performance and analyzing the effects of potential tax reforms. Research results are, presented in a timely and accessible fashion. Volume 4 includes contributions by Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence Goulder, Lawrence Summers, Daniel Feenberg, and Eytan Sheshinski.

    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3

    Lawrence H. Summers

    Tax policy debates, generated by one of the most sweeping reforms of the federal income tax system since its inception, are certain to continue for years to come, providing a fertile field for economic research. This book is the third in a series of annual publications on tax policy and the economy initiated by the National Bureau of Economic Research and designed to convey research results in a way that is accessible to a wide body of lawyers, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in formulating tax policy.

    Volume 3 includes contributions by Douglas Bernaheim on the incentive effects of the corporate alternative minimum tax; James Poterba on venture capital and capital gains taxation; Daniel Feenberg and Jonathan Skinner on IRA saving; and by Martin Feldstein and Douglas Elmendorf and Lawrence Summers.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 2

    Lawrence H. Summers

    Tax policy debates, generated by one of the most sweeping reforms of the Federal income tax system since its inception, are certain to continue for years to come, providing a fertile field for economic research. This book is the second in a series of annual publications on tax policy and the economy initiated by the National Bureau of Economic Research and designed to convey research results in a way that is accessible to a wide body of lawyers, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in formulating tax policy.

    Studies in Volume 2 include Don Fullerton's reevaluation of traditional claims that investment incentives bias the tax system toward capital-intensive industries; Laurence Lindsey's further results on the sensitivity of tax revenues to reductions in the top marginal tax rate; Lawrence Kotlikoff's assessment of the impact of tax reform on the pension system; and Douglas Bernheim's examination of international evidence on the impact of budget deficits on trade deficits. Volume 2 also includes research by Roger Gordon and James Hines evaluating the impact of tax reform legislation on the investment decisions of multinational corporations.

    • Paperback $25.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 2

    Lawrence H. Summers

    Tax policy debates, generated by one of the most sweeping reforms of the Federal income tax system since its inception, are certain to continue for years to come, providing a fertile field for economic research. This book is the second in a series of annual publications on tax policy and the economy initiated by the National Bureau of Economic Research and designed to convey research results in a way that is accessible to a wide body of lawyers, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in formulating tax policy.

    Studies in Volume 2 include Don Fullerton's reevaluation of traditional claims that investment incentives bias the tax system toward capital-intensive industries; Laurence Lindsey's further results on the sensitivity of tax revenues to reductions in the top marginal tax rate; Lawrence Kotlikoff's assessment of the impact of tax reform on the pension system; and Douglas Bernheim's examination of international evidence on the impact of budget deficits on trade deficits. Volume 2 also includes research by Roger Gordon and James Hines evaluating the impact of tax reform legislation on the investment decisions of multinational corporations.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 1

    Lawrence H. Summers

    Tax policy debates, generated by one of the most sweeping reforms of the Federal income tax system since its inception, are certain to continue for years to come, providing a fertile field for economic research. This book is the first in a series of annual publications on tax policy and the economy initiated by the National Bureau of Economic Research and designed to convey research results in a way that is accessible to a wide body of lawyers, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in formulating tax policy.

    Volume 1 of Tax Policy and the Economy presents six studies of diverse tax policy issues, each bringing new data to bear on an important policy issue. Alan Auerbach and James Poterba examine the striking decline in corporate tax revenues as a share of GNP John Shoven describes new developments in corporate finance and tax avoidance, concluding that these devices have helped and will continue to help corporate shareholders escape the double taxation of dividends. Herman Leonard and Richard Zeckhauser review the experience of several states with tax amnesty programs and consider the likely effects of a Federal tax amnesty program. Jeffrey Harris explores the economic effects of tobacco taxation, particularly the effect the recent hike in the Federal excise tax on cigarettes had on prices and on the number of smokers. Douglas Bernheim suggests that the Federal estate tax could conceivably reduce Federal tax revenues. And in a concluding chapter, Michael Boskin and Douglas Puffert show that the redistributions between married workers and single workers in the Social Security system far outweigh the much discussed "marriage tax" effects of the individual income tax.

    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00