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.
February 12, 2020
Dana Goldstein and Anemona Hartocollis
Simply giving middle-class and low-income students an SAT "bonus" of 64 to 160 points -- essentially equaling the advantage seen in legacy admissions at selective colleges -- would significantly reduce socio-economic segregation in higher education, concludes a new study, co-authored by economics professors Emmanuel Saez and Danny Yagan. The study found, among other things, that three-quarters of affluent students with a 1080 SAT score attended one of the 976 selective colleges studied, compared to half of the students from the lowest income bracket with the same score.
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October 16, 2019
An article on economists' shifting thoughts on wealth taxes focuses on the work of Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. Professors Saez and Zucman have found that the top 0.1% of taxpayers accounted for about 20% of American wealth in 2012, up from 7% of wealth in 1978 and close to levels last seen in 1929. They believe that concentrated wealth leads to concentration of political power, and that undermines democracy. But they say there are other concerns, as well. For example, in a recent paper they noted that the ratio of household wealth to national income in the U.S. has nearly doubled over the past 40 years, largely due to the rising value of assets. Those higher asset values could mean that either companies are becoming more efficient or economic sclerosis is setting in. Property values may be increasing because regulations make it difficult to build, and higher stock prices could mean that markets are becoming less competitive. Taxing and redistributing wealth could thus be seen as a justified response to misfiring markets.
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October 9, 2019
Christopher Ingraham
For the first time in history, the 400 wealthiest Americans paid a lower effective tax rate than the working class did in 2018, according to new data presented in a book co-authored by Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. The book, called The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay, explores how this trend developed and how it could be reversed. According to this reporter: "The relatively small tax burden of the super rich is the product of decades of choices made by American lawmakers, some deliberate, others the result of indecisiveness or inertia, Saez and Zucman say. Congress has repeatedly slashed top income tax rates, for instance, and cut taxes on capital gains and estates. Lawmakers also have failed to provide adequate funding for IRS enforcement efforts and allowed multinational companies to shelter their profits in low-tax nations. ... But the tipping point came in 2017, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation, championed by President Trump and then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, was a windfall for the wealthy: It lowered the top income tax bracket and slashed the corporate tax rate." Stories on this topic have appeared in nearly 100 sources, including the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle Online, and the New York Times.
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