Friday, August 30, 2019

Conference at NYU next week

Next Friday to Saturday (September 6-7), NYU Law School will be hosting the 2019 Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting (JLFA) conference, in a joint venture with the Stern Business School at NYU. Info about the conference, including its schedule, is available here.

There's only one tax paper at the conference, by my friend Yehonatan Givati of Hebrew University, entitled Theories of Tax Deductions: Income Measurement Versus Efficiency. I will be the commentator, and I will use, although I have not yet decided whether I will subsequently post, PowerPoint slides.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fall 2019 NYU Tax Policy Colloquium schedule - this time with titles

We now have all the titles for this fall's papers at the NYU Tax Policy Colloquium, although the later ones especially may in some instances be placeholders. It goes something approximately like this:

1.      Tuesday, September 3 – Lily Batchelder, NYU Law School. “Optimal Tax Theory as a Theory of Distributive Justice.”
2.      Tuesday, September 10 – Eric Zwick, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “Top Wealth in the United States: New Estimates and Implications for Taxing the Rich.”
3.      Tuesday, September 17 – Diane Schanzenbach, Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy, “Safety Net Investments in Children.”
4.      Tuesday, September 24 – Li Liu, International Monetary Fund. “At A Cost: the Real Effects of Transfer Pricing Regulation.”

5.      Tuesday, October 1 – Daniel Shaviro, NYU Law School. “Digital Service Taxes and the Broader Shift From Determining the Source of Income to Taxing Location-Specific Rents.”
6.      Tuesday, October 8 – Katherine Pratt, Loyola Law School Los Angeles. “The Curious State of Tax Deductions for Fertility Treatment Costs.”
7.      Tuesday, October 15 – Zachary Liscow, Yale Law School. “Democratic Law and Economics.”
8.      Tuesday, October 22 – Diane Ring, Boston College Law School, and Shu-Yi Oe, Boston College Law School. “Falling Short in the Data Age.”
9.      Tuesday, October 29 – John Friedman, Brown University Economics Department. “Social Mobility and Higher Education.”

10.  Tuesday, November 5 – Marc Fleurbaey, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School. “Optimal Income Taxation Theory and Principles of Fairness.”
11.  Tuesday, November 12 – Stacie LaPlante, University of Wisconsin School of Business. "The Effect of Intellectual Property Boxes on Innovative Activity and Effective Tax Rates."
12.  Tuesday, November 19 – Joseph Bankman, Stanford Law School. “How Do You Measure Complexity?  Survey Evidence on the §199A Deduction.”
13.  Tuesday, November 26 – Deborah Paul, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, and Katz. “Has Helen’s Ship Sailed? A Re-Examination of the ‘Helen of Troy’ Regulations.”
14.  Tuesday, December 3 – Joshua Blank, University of California at Irvine Law School, and Leigh Osofsky, University of North Carolina Law School. “Simplexity and Automated Legal Guidance.”
All sessions meet from 4 to 5:50 pm at NYU Law School, Vanderbilt 202. For papers by the co-convenors (Lily Batchelder on September 3, and mine on October 1), we'll have NYU colleagues as guest commentators: Liam Murphy for her paper and Mitchell Kane for mine.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Link for an upcoming talk

Here is the link for a talk that I'll be giving at Reed College in Portland, OR, on September 26. The topic is literature and high-end inequality, as per my forthcoming book.

Teaser for upcoming item

I have almost completed a draft of the article that's been a prime focus of my summer research. The current, perhaps overly wordy, title is "Digital Service Taxes and the Broader Shift from Determining the Source of Income to Taxing Location-Specific Rents."

I'm not quite ready to post it on SSRN yet, but I'll be discussing it: (1) at the NYU Tax Policy Colloquium on October 1, (2) at the University of Toronto Law School on October 16, (3) at the National Tax Association's Annual Meeting in Tampa, exact date & time still TBD but November 21, 22, or 23, and (4) at the National University of Singapore on January 14 of next year.

This is a bit of a hot topic, although I'm taking a big-picture conceptual view rather than zeroing in on particular versions. (But I do use the recently announced UK DST as an illustrative example). It's probably fair to say that I diverge from hyperventilating American quasi-orthodoxy about (i.e., against) the DST.

Subject to competing time demands, etc., I'd be happy to hit the road & discuss the piece and the underlying issues that it raises, be it inside or outside the U.S. (I'll be on sabbatical in winter/spring 2020, hence with some scheduling flexibility.)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tarantino's Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood

I saw the new Tarantino film yesterday, I mainly quite enjoyed it, but didn't think it was great. And not nearly as convulsive as, say, Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs.

It's rather an odd duck. One set piece after another, usually entertaining but without much forward momentum. Also, it feels incredibly tailored to his personal obsessions - e.g., his pro-old Hollywood, anti-hippie nostalgia, and his wanting to re-create what a pool party at a Playboy mansion in the late 1960s might have been like - without entirely making the sale to the audience that we should share them at least for the film's duration. (Cf. Hitchcock, who specialized in effectively transmitting his dark personal obsessions to the audience.)

Brad Pitt was very charismatic in the classic old Hollywood manner. DiCaprio, interestingly, was deliberately made far less so, although as an actor he obviously has similar chops.

The ending, not to issue undue spoilers to any few of you out there who might not know it yet (but who still plan to see the film), drew power from the (altered) historical event's having such a huge cultural resonance, at least to anyone old enough to know and care about it. So there was a point at which the tension rises because one is thinking, my gawd, here it comes. But I still was left with a sense of a bunch of different things thrown together because they're all stuff from 1969 that the director wanted to play with