2022 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Government Finance and Taxation Award Honorable Mention: Paul Kindsgrab

Paul Kindsgrab, will be awarded an honorable mention at the 2022 NTA Annual Conference, on November 10, 2022 in Miami, FL.

Paul received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2022. His primary fields of interest are public finance and labor economics. Paul’s research empirically studies how tax policy impacts the economy, with a focus on providing insights that can inform tax policy design.

Paul’s dissertation, Empirical Essays in Public Economics, seeks to expand our understanding of how tax policy impacts the economy by drawing on insights from labor and macroeconomics. His research uses theoretical models to derive empirical strategies, combines publicly available and administrative data with quasi-exogenous policy variation to measure policy effects, and uses welfare frameworks to provide perspective on the policy relevance of the effects.

Chapter 1 of his dissertation measures how much higher personal income taxes on U.S. top 1% earners “trickle down” and reduce other workers’ wages via geographically concentrated spillovers. While trickle-down effects feature prominently in tax policy debates, relatively little is known about their magnitude. Chapter 2 empirically studies the effect of local business taxes on business entry. Business entry has been linked to productivity growth, job creation, and the magnitude of business cycles, highlighting the need for evidence on the impact of business taxes on business entry. Chapter 3 theoretically and empirically studies whether the wage incidence of worker-level policies (e.g., mandated benefits and payroll taxes) varies across firms. While a growing body of evidence suggests that wages vary systematically across firms, less is known about if and how much policy incidence varies across firms.