Prof. Florian Scheuer

UBS Foundation Professor of Economics of Institutions

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Florian Scheuer received his PhD from MIT in 2010. He is interested in the policy implications of rising inequality, with a focus on tax policy. In particular, he has worked on incorporating important features of real-world labor markets into the design of optimal income and wealth taxes. These include economies with rent-seeking, superstar effects or an important entrepreneurial sector, frictional financial markets, as well as political constraints on tax policy and the resulting inequality. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Review of Economic Studies, among other journals. In 2017, he received an ERC starting grant for his research on “Inequality - Public Policy and Political Economy.” Before joining Zurich, he was on the faculty at Stanford, held visiting positions at Harvard and UC Berkeley and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Co-Editor of Theoretical Economics and Member of the Board of Editors of the Review of Economic Studies. He is also a Co-Director of the working group on Macro Public Finance at the NBER. He has commented on tax policy in various US and Swiss media outlets.

Interessen

Macroeconomics, Political Economy, Public Economics, Economics of Institutions

UBS Foundation Professor of Economics of Institutions

Prof. Florian Scheuer

Mehr zu Prof. Florian Scheuer auf

Florian Scheuer received his PhD from MIT in 2010. He is interested in the policy implications of rising inequality, with a focus on tax policy. In particular, he has worked on incorporating important features of real-world labor markets into the design of optimal income and wealth taxes. These include economies with rent-seeking, superstar effects or an important entrepreneurial sector, frictional financial markets, as well as political constraints on tax policy and the resulting inequality. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Review of Economic Studies, among other journals. In 2017, he received an ERC starting grant for his research on “Inequality - Public Policy and Political Economy.” Before joining Zurich, he was on the faculty at Stanford, held visiting positions at Harvard and UC Berkeley and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Co-Editor of Theoretical Economics and Member of the Board of Editors of the Review of Economic Studies. He is also a Co-Director of the working group on Macro Public Finance at the NBER. He has commented on tax policy in various US and Swiss media outlets.

Interessen

Macroeconomics, Political Economy, Public Economics, Economics of Institutions

Selected publications

  • Taxation and the Superrich with Joel Slemrod, Annual Review of Economics forthcoming download

  • How Initial Conditions Can Have Permanent Effects: The Case of the Affordable Care Act with Kent Smetters, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 10 (2018), 302-343 download

  • The Taxation of Superstars with Iván Werning, Quarterly Journal of Economics 132 (2017), 211-270 download

Research

Florian Scheuer’s most recent research investigates the policy implications of rising income and wealth inequality, with a focus on tax policy. For instance, he has examined the determinants of top incomes, such as the top one percent, whose share of total income has rapidly expanded over the past decades in several developed countries. Many observers have argued that superstar effects have played an important role in this trend, fueled by skill-biased technological progress and globalization. Scheuer has shown that, even though superstar phenomena increase top income inequality, they do not necessarily provide a force for higher top marginal tax rates, since they also imply a greater taxable income elasticity of top earners.

Another frequently raised concern has been that some top incomes, rather than contributing to total economic output, have been earned at the expense of other workers. Scheuer has developed models to examine income taxation in the presence of such rent-seeking activities, and to quantify their importance. In other recent work, he has incorporated further important, real-world features of labor markets into the design of optimal income and wealth taxes, including worker sorting into different occupations, economies with an important entrepreneurial sector, as well as political constraints on tax policy in times of rising inequality.

Apart from tax policy, Florian Scheuer has been interested more broadly in the functioning of markets and the design of welfare-improving government interventions in case of market failures. For example, he has studied equilibria in insurance and financial markets with important frictions such as adverse selection or aggregate risk. A common motivation for his work is to identify pressing societal challenges and use rigorous economic analysis to inject scientific objectivity into the—often times heated—public debate about policy responses.

Florian Scheuer’s most recent research investigates the policy implications of rising income and wealth inequality, with a focus on tax policy. For instance, he has examined the determinants of top incomes, such as the top one percent, whose share of total income has rapidly expanded over the past decades in several developed countries. Many observers have argued that superstar effects have played an important role in this trend, fueled by skill-biased technological progress and globalization. Scheuer has shown that, even though superstar phenomena increase top income inequality, they do not necessarily provide a force for higher top marginal tax rates, since they also imply a greater taxable income elasticity of top earners.

Another frequently raised concern has been that some top incomes, rather than contributing to total economic output, have been earned at the expense of other workers. Scheuer has developed models to examine income taxation in the presence of such rent-seeking activities, and to quantify their importance. In other recent work, he has incorporated further important, real-world features of labor markets into the design of optimal income and wealth taxes, including worker sorting into different occupations, economies with an important entrepreneurial sector, as well as political constraints on tax policy in times of rising inequality.

Florian Scheuer on Google Scholarbrowse

Videos

In the media

  • Besteuerung der Superreichen: «In der Schweiz geht es erstaunlich fair zu» NZZ Interview vom 20.11.2019 lesen

  • Welche Steuer für Amazon, Apple und Google? SRF Echo der Zeit vom 13.5.2019 (in German) listen

  • Talk im Turm: Geld und Geist UZH News vom 17.4.2018 (in German) read

  • Florian Scheuer Explores whether top salaries are of benefit to the poorest Science stories by EU Grants Access vom 1.11.2018 read

Quotes

Many developed countries have seen a dramatic increase in inequality in the past decades. We have made great progress in empirically documenting these trends, but the open question is: Which policy responses does this trend need? This includes tax policy, which has always taken the center stage in the public policy debate, and which I have focused on in much of my past research. 
We find that the critical question to ask is whether top earners are benefiting at the expense of others, and if so, at whose expense.

Interviews and features

2018

2017

Images

Kontakt

Persönlich

Supportpersonal

Name:

Michèle Himmelrich

Bürozeiten:

Monday - Thursday

Addresse

University of Zurich

Department of Economics, Schönberggasse 1, 8001 Zürich
(Google Maps)