The 2009 ESRI Geary Lecture: "The Challenge of Tax Reform and Expanding the Tax Base"

Venue: The ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2

Speaker: Professor James Poterba, National Bureau of Economic Research, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Jim Poterba is President and CEO of the world-renowned National Bureau of Economic Research. He has been a Professor of Economics at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for over 20 years serving recently as head of department. His research (which has led to more than 100 journal articles) focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms. His recent work has emphasized the effect of taxation on the financial behavior of households, particularly their saving and portfolio decisions. He edited the Journal of Public Economics, the leading international journal for research on taxation and government spending, between 1997 and 2006. He is a co-author of The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement (2001), and an editor or co-editor of Global Warming: Economic Policy Responses(1991), International Comparisons of Household Saving (1994), Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation (1996), Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance (1999), and Fiscal Reform in Columbia (2005).

Professor Poterba is currently a Vice-President of the American Economics Association and a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Economics Advisory Panel of the Congressional Budget Office and in 2005 was a member of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. He was Director of the Public Economics research program of the National Bureau of Economic Research for 18 years. During that time he organised an annual conference on Tax Policy and the Economy and edited the proceedings.

Dr. Poterba studied Economics as an undergraduate at Harvard, and received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, a Batterymarch Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

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