Augustin Bergeron, 2021 Dissertation Award Winner

Augustin Bergeron, Harvard University, has won the NTA’s Outstanding Dissertation Prize for 2021. He will accept the award at the 2021 Virtual NTA Annual Conference, on November 19, 2021 on Zoom. 

Augustin Bergeron is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford King center on Global Development. He will join the University of Southern California (USC) as an Assistant Professor of Economics in Fall 2022. His research interests lie at the intersection of public finance and development economics. In particular, his current work studies the determinants of fiscal capacity in developing countries. 

Augustin received his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government (PEG, economics track) from Harvard in May 2021. In his dissertation, entitled Essays on Taxation in Developing Countries, he uses large-scale randomized policy experiments conducted in partnership with a Provincial Government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to study what policy levers can increase tax revenue. In the first chapter, together with Gabriel Tourek, and Jonathan Weigel, he investigates how tax rates and tax enforcement jointly impact fiscal capacity in low-income countries by exploiting the randomization of tax liability and tax enforcement efforts by the government. The second chapter, co-authored with Pablo Balan, Gabriel Tourek, and Jonathan Weigel, studies the tradeoffs between local elites and state agents as tax collectors in low-capacity states by leveraging the random assignment of neighborhoods to tax collection by city chiefs or state agents. In the final chapter, together with Pedro Bessone, John Kabeya Kabeya, Gabriel Tourek, and Jonathan Weigel, he investigates the revenue gains associated with the optimal assignment of tax collectors to teammates and neighborhoods.