Research Papers organized by topic

Organized chronologically here


"Business Incomes at the Top" (with Eric Zwick), Journal of Economic Perspectives, 34(4), 2020, 27-51 (and NBER WP 27752).
Accounting for Business Income in Measuring Top Income Shares: Integrated Accrual Approach Using Individual and Firm Data from Norway" (with Annette Alstadsæter, Martin Jacob and Kjetil Telle), June 2017, revise and resubmit, the Journal of European Economic Association, NBER WP 22888.
"Intergenerational Wealth Formation over the Life Cycle: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records 1984-2013" (with Simon Boserup and Claus Kreiner), April 2017
"Born with a silver spoon: Danish evidence on wealth inequality in childhood," (with Simon Boserup and Claus Kreiner), Economic Journal, 2018, 128(612), 514-544.
"Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data: Comment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2016, 321-27.
"The Role of Bequests in Shaping Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records" (with Simon Boserup and Claus Kreiner), American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 2016, 106(5), 656-61.
"Recent Evolution of Income and Wealth Inequality: Comments on Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st Century'", Tax Law Review, 2015, 68(3), 545-62.
"What Do We Know About the Evolution of Top Wealth Shares in the United States?", Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2015, 29(1), 47-66 (and NBER WP 20734).
"Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data since 1937" (with Emmanuel Saez and Jae Song). This is a revised version of "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937" available also as NBER WP #13345. Web appendix and series for figures and tables. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010, 125(1), 91-128.
"Women, wealth and mobility" (with Lena Edlund), American Economic Review, 2009, 99(1), 146-78.
"Top Wealth Shares in the United States, 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," (with Emmanuel Saez). Note: this is the long version of the paper that includes all of the tables, figures and appendices. The shorter version is published in National Tax Journal, 2004, 57(2, part 2), 445-488 and data for all tables and figures is also available.

Income tax: design, behavioral responses, avoidance and administration

"Social networks and tax avoidance: Evidence from a well-defined Norwegian tax shelter" (with Annette Alstadsæter and Kjetil Telle), International Tax and Public Finance, 2019, 26(6), 1291-1328.
"The Polish busines "flat" tax and its effect on reported incomes: a Pareto improving tax reform?," revise and resubmit at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
"The Choice of Personal Income Tax Base" (with Roger Gordon), Journal of Public Economics, 2014, 118, 97-110.
"Are Closely-Held Firms Tax Shelters?" (with Annette Alstadsæter and Kjetil Telle), Tax Policy and the Economy, 2014, 28, 1-32.
"Electronic Filing, Tax Preparers and Participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit" (with Kiki Pop-Eleches), Journal of Public Economics, 2007, 91(7-8), 1351-1367.
"Tax Simplification and Tax Compliance: An Economic Perspective," in Max Sawicky (ed.), Bridging the Tax Gap. Addressing the Crisis in Tax Administration, 2006, Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute, 111-143.
"Putting Firms into Optimal Tax Theory" (with Joel Slemrod), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 2006, 96(2), 130-134.
"Tax Bases, Tax Rates and the Elasticity of Reported Income," Journal of Public Economics, 2005, 89(11-12), 2093-2119. The NBER working paper version is here.
"The Optimal Elasticity of Taxable Income" (with Joel Slemrod), Journal of Public Economics, 2002, 84(1), 91-112.
"Redistribution when Avoidance Behavior is Heterogeneous," Journal of Public Economics, 2001, 81(1), 51-71.

Bequests, wealth and estate tax

"Comment on 'Progressive Wealth Taxation'", prepared for Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Fall 2019
"U.S. Capital Gains and Estate Taxation: A Status Report and Directions for a Reform," in Alan Auerbach and Kent Smetters (eds.), The Economics of Tax Policy, Oxford University Press, 2017, 265-91. Presented at the Burch/Brookings/Wharton conference.
"Incentive Effects of Inheritances and Optimal Estate Taxation," American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 2013, 103(3), 472-77.
"Taxation of intergenerational transfers and wealth," in Alan Auerbach, Raj Chetty, Martin Feldstein and Emmanuel Saez (eds.), Handbook of Public Economics, Volume 5, Elsevier, 2013, 329-90.
"Optimal Estate Taxation in the Steady State"
"Economics of estate taxation: A brief review of theory and evidence," Tax Law Review, 2009, 63(1), 139-157.
"Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007, 122(4), 1801-1854.
"To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives" (with Joseph Lupton), Review of Economic Studies, 2007, 74(1), 207-235.
"Denial of death and economic behavior" (with Joel Slemrod), Advances in Theoretical Economics: 2005, Vol. 5: No. 1, Article 1.
"The Trick is to Live: Is the Estate Tax Social Security for the Rich?", Journal of Political Economy, 2003, 111(6), 1318-1341.
"Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity" (with Joel Slemrod), Review of Economics and Statistics, 2003, 85(2), 256-65.
"Tax Consequences on Wealth Accumulation and Transfers of the Rich" (with Joel Slemrod), in Death and Dollars: The Role of Gifts and Bequests in America, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2003, 213-249.
"The Impact of the Estate Tax on the Wealth Accumulation and Avoidance Behavior of Donors" (with Joel Slemrod), in William G. Gale, James R. Hines Jr., and Joel B. Slemrod (eds.), Rethinking Estate and Gift Taxation, Brookings Institution Press, 2001.

Other topics

"Norwegian and US Policies Alleviate Business Vulnerability Due to the Covid-19 Shock Equally Well" (with Annette Alstadsæter, Julie Brun Bjørkheim and Andreas Økland), National Tax Journal, 2020, 73(3), 805-828 (also NBER WP 27637).
"The First Weeks of the Coronavirus Crisis: Who Got Hit, When and Why? Evidence from Norway (with Annette Alstadsæter, Bernt Bratsberg, Gaute Eielsen, Simen Markussen, Oddbjørn Raaum, and Knut Røed), May 2020.
"Reflections on Taxation in Support of Redistributive Policies", prepared for Olivier Blanchard and Dani Rodrik (eds.), "Combating Inequality: Rethinking Policies to Reduce Inequality in Advanced Economies", MIT Press, forthcoming, December 2019.
"Business Income and Business Taxation in the United States Since the 1950s'' (with Conor Clarke), in Robert Moffitt (ed.), Tax Policy and the Economy, 2017, volume 31, NBER and University of Chicago Press, 121-159.
"Does Tax-Collection Invariance Hold? Evasion and the Pass-through of State Diesel Taxes" (with Justin Marion, Erich Muehlegger and Joel Slemrod), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2016, 8(2), 251-86. Earlier version circulated as "Do the Laws of Tax Incidence Hold? Point of Collection and the Pass-through of State Diesel Taxes", NBER Working Paper 19410
"Mansion tax: The Effect of Transfer Taxes on the Residential Real Estate Market" (with David Munroe), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2015, 7(2), 214-57. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take Up of Social Benefits" (with Henrik Kleven), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2011, 3(1), 54-90.
"The Limitations of Decentralized World Redistribution: An Optimal Taxation Approach" (with Joel Slemrod and Shlomo Yitzhaki), European Economic Review, 2005, 49(4), 1051-1079. This is a revised version of NBER Working Paper #9186: "Why World Redistribution Fails".
"A Note on Optimal Taxation in the Presence of Externalities," Economics Letters, 2003, 80(1), 81-86.