2021 Dissertation Award Honorable Mention: Daniel G. Garrett

Daniel G. Garrett, Duke University, will be awarded an honorable mention at the 2021 Virtual NTA Annual Conference, on November 19, 2021 on Zoom.

Daniel is currently an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. His research is at the intersection of public finance and corporate finance. He explores how the mechanisms public entities use to raise funds—primarily issuing bonds and raising taxes—affect businesses, workers, and investors with the goal of making the processes by which we raise public funds more equitable and efficient.

Daniel received his Ph.D. in Economics in May 2021 from Duke University for his dissertation titled Essays in Public Finance. The first chapter focuses on frictions in the underwriting market for municipal bonds in the US. The chapter provides evidence that the market for underwriting suffers from a winner’s curse if the advisor who structures a bond is also able to act as an underwriter. A regulation following from Dodd-Frank that prohibits advisors from concurrently acting as underwriters leads to changes in bond structure and decreased municipal borrowing costs, particularly for new money issues from the most opaque municipalities. In joint work with Andrey Ordin, Jimmy Roberts, and Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, the second chapter asks how changes in the relative tax advantage of municipal bond interest pass through to municipal borrowing costs. By employing a structural model to disentangle bids and markups in primary market auctions for underwriting privileges, the paper shows surprisingly large pass-through of the tax advantage due to very elastic underwriter markups. The third chapter, which is coauthored with Eric Ohrn and Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, tests how increased depreciation tax incentives impact workers in local markets. The chapter shows that increases in bonus depreciation and Section 179 generosity led to large increases in local employment and total earnings, but no discernable increase in earnings per worker.