Dario Tortarolo, 2020 Dissertation Award Winner

Dario Tortarolo has won the NTA’s Outstanding Dissertation Prize for 2020. He will accept the award at the Virtual NTA Annual Conference, on November 19, 2020 on Zoom. 

Dario is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham. His research interests lie at the intersection of public finance and labor economics, with a special interest in developing countries. In particular, his current work studies how tax and transfer policies affect the incentives of workers and firms, whether they incite rent-seeking behavior, and how labor market rigidities could limit the set of choices. Dario received his Ph.D. in economics from University of California, Berkeley in May 2020. In his dissertation, entitled Behavioral Responses of Workers and Businesses to Tax and Transfer Policies, he uses rich population-wide administrative data from Argentina and unprecedented policy changes to analyze real and avoidance responses of wage earners, independent workers, and businesses to the tax-benefit system. In the first chapter, together with Guillermo Cruces and Victoria Castillo, he exploits a large and quasi-randomized 2.5 year-long income tax holiday to study intertemporal labor responses of high-wage earners to the personal income tax. The second chapter, co-authored with Santiago Garriga, studies whether employers capture part of family allowances (tax credits) by lowering pretax wages when firms mediate their disbursement, and analyzes the mechanisms behind this rent-seeking behavior. In the final chapter, together with Santiago Garriga and Jorge Puig, he investigates avoidance responses (income underreporting) of self-employed workers and large businesses to a broad-base gross receipts tax using variation from several revenue-dependent discontinuities (notches).