Call for Papers

Business Taxation in a Federal System

On-Line Conference, October 2, 2020

Policymakers at both the national and sub-national level are facing substantial fiscal challenges. Spending demands, declining revenues, infrastructure needs, and unfunded retirement liabilities are inducing governments to re-examine their tax systems, with the hopes of raising revenue more efficiently, while also considering the effects of their tax systems on outcomes such as economic development, job creation, and income inequality. While the question of how to tax businesses features prominently in these fiscal debates, a wide range of open research questions remain about how business tax policy affects incentives and inequality.

To address these issues, on Friday, October 2, 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the generous support of the Smith Richardson Foundation, will host an on-line conference on "Business Taxation in a Federal System." The program will be organized by Joshua Rauh (Stanford University and NBER) and Owen Zidar (Princeton University and NBER). There will be no published proceedings, but the conference will be summarized in the NBER Reporter. The conference will include up to eight papers.

The conference will highlight recent research on the economic effects of business taxation at all levels of government. Examples of subjects that might be studied in papers for this conference include, but are not limited to:

    1) Economic and revenue effects of different forms of business income taxation
    2) The state and local tax deduction
    3) Business taxation and income inequality
    4) The incidence and efficiency consequences of business tax changes
    5) The taxation of pass-through entities and small businesses
    6) Property taxation of businesses
    7) Business tax subsidies
    8) Taxation and fiscal stress of state and local governments
    9) Innovation and tax policy
    10) International tax policy reforms affecting businesses

The NBER invites the submission of research papers for potential presentation at this conference. In keeping with the constraints that apply to all NBER research, papers may not include policy recommendations or have been published by October 2020. Researchers should submit papers for consideration for this symposium no later than Thursday, August 13, 2020 at:

Papers from researchers with and without NBER affiliations are welcome, and studies by early career scholars and from researchers who are members of groups that are historically under-represented in economics are especially encouraged. Please feel free to forward this call for papers to colleagues who may also have interesting work to present. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by August 31, 2020.

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