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Steven M. Sheffrin Professor Department of Economics Tulane University

Steven M. Sheffrin

Professor of Economics


Steven M. Sheffrin joined the Tulane faculty in 2010. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his career at the University of California, Davis and served as both department chair of Economics for seven years and dean of the Division of Social Sciences for ten years. Sheffrin has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, the London School of Economics, Nuffield College in Oxford, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He also served as a financial economist with the Office of Tax Policy Analysis, U.S Department of the Treasury.

He is the author of twelve books and over one hundred articles in macroeconomics, international finance, and taxation, including work in federal and state corporate taxation, taxpayer compliance, the psychology of taxation, and property taxation. His most well-known books are Rational Expectations, Property Taxes and Tax Revolts: The Legacy of Proposition 13, and Tax Fairness and Folk Justice. Building on his prior work in tax policy, he has been active in tax reform efforts in Louisiana including having served on the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy and currently serves as a member of the Louisiana Tax Institute.

Research Interests

  • Tax Fairness and Public Perceptions
  • Property Taxation and Tax Limitations
  • Macroeconomics and Taxation

Publications (Selected)

Selected Books

Exploring Long-Term Solutions for Louisiana’s Tax System, 2018, LSU Press, (with James Richardson and James Alm)

Tax Fairness and Folk Justice, 2013, Cambridge University Press.

Rational Expectations, Cambridge University Press, 1983, Second Edition 1996. Translations in French, Spanish, and Japanese.

Property Taxes and Tax Revolts: The Legacy of Proposition 13, (with Arthur O’Sullivan and Terri A. Sexton), Cambridge Press, 1995. Paperback reissued 2007.

Markets and Majorities, Free Press, 1993.

The Making of Economic Policy: History, Theory and Politics, Basil Blackwell, 1989. Translation in Japanese.

Economics: Principles and Tools, (with Arthur O’ Sullivan and Stephen J. Perez), Prentice Hall, 1998, now in 10th Edition 2016. Also, Canadian, Singapore and Portuguese editions.

Selected Articles

Joseph J. Cordes and Steven M. Sheffrin, "Estimating the Tax Advantage of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, March 1983.

Robert Driskill and Steven M. Sheffrin, "The 'Patman Effect' and Stabilization Policy," Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 1985.

Mark Dynarski and Steven M. Sheffrin, "Housing Purchases and Transitory Income: A Study with Panel Data," Review of Economics and Statistics, May 1985.

Robert Driskill and Steven M. Sheffrin, "Is Price Flexibility Destabilizing?" American Economic Review, September 1986.

Steven M. Sheffrin, "Have Economic Fluctuations Been Dampened? A Look at Evidence Outside the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics.1989

Mark Dynarski and Steven M. Sheffrin, "The Behavior of Unemployment Durations Over the Cycle," Review of Economics and Statistics.1990

Steven M. Sheffrin and Wing T. Woo, "Present Value Tests of an Intertemporal Model of the Current Account," Journal of International Economics, 29 (1990), 237-253.

Kevin D. Hoover and Steven M. Sheffrin, "Causation, Spending, and Taxes: Sand in the Sandbox or Tax Collector for the Welfare State?" American Economic Review, Vol. 82, No. 1, March 1992, 225-248.

Steven M. Sheffrin and Robert K. Triest, "Can Brute Deterrence Backfire? Perceptions and Attitudes in Taxpayer Compliance," in Joel Slemrod, ed., Why People Pay Taxes? Tax Compliance and Enforcement, University of Michigan Press, 1982

Steven M. Sheffrin, "What Does the Public Believe About Tax Fairness?" National Tax Journal, 1993.

Steven M. Sheffrin, "Perceptions of Fairness in the Crucible of Tax Policy," in Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality, ed. Joel Slemrod, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Robert L. Manwaring and Steven M. Sheffrin, “Litigation, School Finance Reform, and Aggregate Educational Spending,” International Tax and Public Finance, 4, 107-127 (1997).

Kevin D. Salyer and Steven M. Sheffrin, “Spotting sunspots: Some evidence in support of models with self-fulfilling prophecies,” Journal of Monetary Economics 42 (1998) 511-523.

Paul R. Bergin and Steven M. Sheffrin, “Interest Rates, Exchange Rates and Present Value Models of the Current Account”, The Economic Journal, Vol. 110, No. 463, April 2000, 535-558.

Steven M. Sheffrin, “State Budget Deficit Dynamics and the California Debacle,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 18, No. 2, pages 205-226. 2004

Steven M. Sheffrin, “Fairness in Market Value Taxation,” in Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on the Property Tax, ed. R. Bahl, J. Martinez, and J. Youngman, Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 241-262. 2010

Steven M. Sheffrin and Yothin Jinjarak, “Causality, Real Estate Prices and the Current Account,” Journal of Macroeconomics, v 33, 233-246.. 2011

Grant Driessen and Steven M. Sheffrin, “Agglomeration, Tax Differentials, and the Mobility of Professional Athletes, Public Finance Review. 2016

Steven M. Sheffrin, What Role Can Desert Play in Designing Tax Policies? Pittsburgh Law Review, v. 15, 2017

Steven M. Sheffrin, “The Domain of Desert Principles for Taxation,” Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, v. 11, n. 2, pp. 220-244 2018

Steven M. Sheffrin and Rujun Zhao “Public Perceptions of Tax Avoidance of Corporations and the Wealthy,” Empirical Economics, 2020