Gabriel Zucman

Gabriel Zucman

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Dept of Economics
Research Expertise and Interest
inequality, wealth, taxation

In the News

April 10, 2020

COVID-19: Economic impact, human solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting every level of the U.S. economy with an unprecedented challenge, and the government must mount a sustained, ambitious economic response lasting months and perhaps years, UC Berkeley economists said in an online forum today.
February 20, 2019

Seven early-career faculty win Sloan Research Fellowships

Seven assistant professors from the fields of astronomy, biology, computer science, economics and statistics have been named 2019 Sloan Research Fellows. They are among 126 scholars from the United States and Canada whose early-career achievements mark them as being among today’s very best scientific minds. Winners receive $70,000 over the course of two years toward a research project.

In the News

April 10, 2020

COVID-19: Economic impact, human solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting every level of the U.S. economy with an unprecedented challenge, and the government must mount a sustained, ambitious economic response lasting months and perhaps years, UC Berkeley economists said in an online forum today.
February 20, 2019

Seven early-career faculty win Sloan Research Fellowships

Seven assistant professors from the fields of astronomy, biology, computer science, economics and statistics have been named 2019 Sloan Research Fellows. They are among 126 scholars from the United States and Canada whose early-career achievements mark them as being among today’s very best scientific minds. Winners receive $70,000 over the course of two years toward a research project.

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 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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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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