James Cilke, 2024 Davie-Davis Award Recipient

James Cilke is the recipient of the 2024 Davie-Davis Public Service Award. Cilke serves as a Senior Economist for the U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation. Previously, he served as a financial economist at the Office of Tax Policy at the Treasury Department in the Economic Modeling and Computer Applications Division of the Office of Tax Analysis of the Department of the Treasury from 1985 to 2003.

Cilke has dedicated his career to improving research and micro-simulation models for policy makers. He was instrumental to the development of analytical and revenue estimating models that significantly improved the Treasury Department’s ability to evaluate tax proposals. He made significant improvements to the Office of Tax Analyst’s microsimulation model; he led the design and development of the individual receipts model, and he was the designer of a highly innovative panel model.  At the Joint Committee, he has been responsible for the individual tax model and for imputations to represent the non-filing population.  His responsibilities include the design, development, and maintenance of an Individual Income Tax Simulation Model, applying the Tax Model to meet the information needs of the Joint Committee on Taxation, assisting in the construction of quantitative estimates of tax proposals, as well as estimating changes in Federal tax receipts from proposals by members of Congress. Tax policy experts around the world recognize Cilke as a leading scholar on the microsimulation modeling of individual taxation and tax policy issues. Further, he is known for being a kind colleague who is generous with his time and has spent much of it mentoring junior staff.

Adam Looney, from the University of Utah and chair of the Davie-Davis Award Selection Committee, noted “Jim’s career has been dedicated to government service and advancing good economic analysis. He is a leader in the field of microsimulation modeling, and the committee is very pleased to recognize such a noteworthy scholar with the Davie-Davis Public Service Award.”

Prior to his work at the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Office of Tax Policy at the United States Treasury Department, Cilke was an economic analyst for the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue. He received his PhD in Economics, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science, from the University of New Mexico. He has authored and co-authored a number of published papers, many through the National Tax Association and National Tax Journal.  Many centered on measuring the characteristics of the non-tax filing population. 

Jim Cilke is a current and long-time member of the NTA.  He will be honored at the National Tax Association’s annual Spring Symposium, May 9 -10 in Washington, DC. 

The Davie-Davis Public Service Award was created in 2005 in memory of two long-time National Tax Association members, Bruce F. Davie and Albert J. Davis. The award honors NTA members who have followed Bruce F. Davie and Albert J. Davis in serving the public through the provision of insightful analyses and objective advice on issues of taxation and government finance to elected officials, other policymakers, and the general public.

A full list of previous winners can be found here