Call for Papers: Research Conference and Graduate Student Workshop
October 12, 2018
Organizers: Joshua Rauh and Owen Zidar

Policymakers at both the national and sub-national level are facing substantial fiscal challenges. Spending demands, infrastructure needs, and unfunded retirement liabilities are inducing governments to re-examine their tax systems, with the hopes of raising revenue more efficiently, while also considering the effects of their tax systems on outcomes such as economic development, job creation, and income inequality. While the question of how to tax businesses features prominently in these fiscal debates, a wide range of open research questions remain about how business tax policy affects incentives and inequality.

To address the issues associated with these challenges, on Friday, October 12, 2018, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will host a conference in Cambridge, MA, on "Taxation of Business Income." The program will be organized by Joshua Rauh (Stanford University and NBER), and Owen Zidar (Princeton University and NBER). There will be no published proceedings, but the conference will be summarized in the NBER Reporter. The conference will include eight papers, and will be preceded, on October 11, 2018, by a graduate student workshop on business taxation issues.

The conference will highlight recent research on the economic effects of business taxation at all levels of government. Examples of subjects that might be studied in papers for this conference include, but are not limited to:

1) Economic and revenue effects of different forms of business income taxation

2) The state and local tax deduction

3) Business taxation and income inequality

4) Incidence and efficiency consequences of business tax changes

5) Taxation of pass-through entities and small businesses

6) Property taxation of businesses

7) Business tax subsidies

8) Taxation and fiscal stress of state and local governments

9) Innovation and tax policy

10) International tax policy reforms affecting businesses

Submissions of research by scholars who are early in their careers, from researchers who are not NBER affiliates, and from researchers from under-represented minority groups are encouraged. Meeting participants will be chosen based on the manuscripts that they submit. Papers that have been accepted for publication should not be submitted. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2018. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by August 15, 2018. The NBER will pay the domestic travel and hotel expenses for one author per paper as well as for discussants at the conference.

Please submit manuscripts for consideration by the organizers at the following site:

Graduate Student Workshop on Business Income Taxation

On the day before the meeting, Owen Zidar will present a research overview and emerging issues workshop for graduate students who are interested in studying business taxation. Student nominations for this workshop are welcome, and should be sent by email to

Nominations must come from a student's faculty advisor, and should be limited to three paragraphs describing the student’s academic background, interest in business taxation, and, when appropriate, dissertation research. Funding is available, through a grant from the National Science Foundation, to support the travel and lodging costs of graduate students who participate in the workshop and conference. Graduate student nominations are also due on July 15, 2018.

Questions about either the conference or the graduate student workshop may be addressed to

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