Emmanuel Saez

Title
Professor of Economics
Department
Dept of Economics
Phone
(510) 642-4631
Fax
(510) 642-6615
Research Expertise and Interest
inequality, taxation, redistribution
Research Description

Emmanuel Saez is the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on tax policy and inequality both from theoretical and empirical perspectives. Jointly with Thomas Piketty, he has constructed long-run historical series of income inequality in the United States that have been widely discussed in the public debate. He received his PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999.

In the News

July 11, 2014

Tapping real-time financial data can improve economic policymaking

Measuring the nation’s economic health has long been a slow, costly and imprecise exercise, but researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have helped develop a new way to measure real-time consumer behavior that could vastly improve economic policymaking.

October 7, 2011

Wall Street protests echo researcher’s findings on growing income gap

Emmanuel Saez, a UC Berkeley economist, received a 2010 MacArthur “genius” award for his research on the growing income gains of super-wealthy American households and the parallel income erosion of the other 99 percent of the nation. In a Q & A, Saez talks about the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, in light of his work.

April 15, 2011

Saez wins AEA prize for tax paper

Emmanuel Saez, the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley, has been named by the American Economic Association as recipient of the first ever American Economic Journal: Economic Policy “Best Paper Prize” for his “Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?”

September 28, 2010

Two young faculty members named MacArthur 'genius' fellows

Two UC Berkeley faculty members, economist Emmanuel Saez and computer scientist Dawn Song, have been named MacArthur "genius" Fellows. They are among 23 recipients to receive the prestigious award – $500,000 in unrestricted funds over the next five years – announced Sept. 28 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

In the News

July 11, 2014

Tapping real-time financial data can improve economic policymaking

Measuring the nation’s economic health has long been a slow, costly and imprecise exercise, but researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have helped develop a new way to measure real-time consumer behavior that could vastly improve economic policymaking.

October 7, 2011

Wall Street protests echo researcher’s findings on growing income gap

Emmanuel Saez, a UC Berkeley economist, received a 2010 MacArthur “genius” award for his research on the growing income gains of super-wealthy American households and the parallel income erosion of the other 99 percent of the nation. In a Q & A, Saez talks about the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, in light of his work.

April 15, 2011

Saez wins AEA prize for tax paper

Emmanuel Saez, the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley, has been named by the American Economic Association as recipient of the first ever American Economic Journal: Economic Policy “Best Paper Prize” for his “Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?”

September 28, 2010

Two young faculty members named MacArthur 'genius' fellows

Two UC Berkeley faculty members, economist Emmanuel Saez and computer scientist Dawn Song, have been named MacArthur "genius" Fellows. They are among 23 recipients to receive the prestigious award – $500,000 in unrestricted funds over the next five years – announced Sept. 28 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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.
March 19, 2020
Associated Press
As financial markets worldwide plummet, infected by fear and uncertainty over the COVID-19 coronavirus, Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman published a paper this week, predicting that the U.S. gross domestic product could contract by more than 7% this year if more parts of the country impose shelter-in-place orders like those the Bay Area has instituted through April 7, at least. They believe our government must become a "payer of last resort" for businesses and individuals who may be unable to pay their bills during the crisis. "The government can prevent a very sharp but short recession from becoming a long-lasting depression," they say.
February 24, 2020
Scott Jaschik
As long as most colleges employ SAT or ACT test scores as key measures for admission, it will be difficult for them to attract more low-income students, suggests a new working paper co-authored by economics professors Emmanuel Saez and Danny Yagan for the National Bureau of Economic Research. That's because wealthier students tend to perform better on the tests. A solution, they propose, would be to give students from middle- and low-income families a "bonus" of 64 to 160 points on the SAT test. Link to the paper at OpportunityInsights.org.
February 21, 2020
Jim Tankersley, Ben Casselman
An in-depth profile of Berkeley economists Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez begins: "One of the most liberal policy proposals animating the Democratic presidential primaries is the handiwork of two French economists who are not formally advising any campaign and have barely met the candidates running for the White House. ... [They] are the driving force behind proposals for a wealth tax, an idea embraced by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as a way to reduce economic inequality by forcing the richest Americans to pay taxes on everything they own and diverting that money to public services like universal health care and free college tuition. ... Their efforts documenting a sharp increase in the concentration of wealth at the very top and their outspokenness have vaulted the tax from a fringe idea in American politics to the center of a reinvigorated debate on taxing the rich." In an interview, they talked about their research and their critics. Referring to voters' unhappiness with inequality in the U.S., Professor Zucman said: "Clearly it's been central to the campaign," but he adds: "Let me be very clear that the wealth tax is not going to solve all these problems. It's part of the solution."
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