Alan Auerbach

Research Expertise and Interest

economics, law, tax policy, public finance

Research Description

After receiving his Ph.D. in economics, Alan Auerbach served as an assistant, then associate professor, of economics at Harvard University, and as a professor of law and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and as the Deputy Chief of Staff on the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation.

He joined Boalt in 1994 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics. Auerbach was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.

In addition to teaching, Auerbach is director of the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, a collaboration between the law school and the Department of Economics. The center was established in 1994 by Boalt graduate Robert D. Burch to depoliticize economic policy and to support the thoughtful analysis of tax policy issues.

In the News

GOP’s 2017 tax plan came down hardest on California, researchers say

When the Republican Party rammed through tax changes in 2017, it wasn’t a surprise that the rich got richer. But in a just-published paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, UC Berkeley economist Alan Auerbach and seven co-authors have uncovered eye-opening results of that hurried blitz, namely: red state rich did better than blue state rich.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
July 25, 2022
Peter Coy
Differences in wealth and differences in income are the wrong ways to measure economic inequality, and going by either of them "dramatically overstates" the degree of inequality in the United States, a working paper argues. The right measure of economic inequality is differences in spending power, says the paper, "U.S. Inequality and Fiscal Progressivity: An Intragenerational Accounting," which is by the economist Alan Auerbach of the University of California, Berkeley, the economist Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University and the software developer Darryl Koehler of Economic Security Planning. Spending power ? the amount of goods and services that a person can buy ? is what really matters to people because it captures the ability to satisfy their wants and needs, Auerbach, an expert on the economics of public finance, told me. He asked me to imagine bars of gold encased in a radioactive block. If wealth can't be used, it's of no value. The same goes for income, he said.
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