Richard Blundell gives MAE Lecture

In the second MAE Distinguished Speaker Lecture, Professor Richard Blundell of University College London talked about “Empirical Evidence and Tax Reform”

The lecture’s starting point was the Mirrlees Review that brought together a high-profile group of international experts to identify the characteristics of a good tax system for any developed economy in the 21st century. Professor Blundell described a broad set of descriptive statistics that are essential for understanding modern taxation, including male and female working patterns, the makeup of the modern welfare system and changes in inequality. Based on his recent research, he then discussed how one can estimate the impact of different programs, viewing the welfare and taxations systems as part of a unified system.

Sir Richard Blundell is the David Ricardo Professor of Political Economy at University College London. He is the Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy and of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, both in the United Kingdom. He has made lasting contributions to labor economics, public finance, and applied econometrics. His research covers the empirical microeconomic study of consumer behavior, savings, labor supply, taxation, welfare, innovation and inequality. Among other works, he has developed econometric methods for intertemporal decisions over labor supply, human capital and consumption, family labor supply behavior, dynamic panel data models, and nonparametric analysis of individual decisions.

Blundell is the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards including the Yrjö Jahnsson Prize (1995) for his work in microeconometrics and the analysis of labor supply, welfare reform and consumer behavior; the Econometric Society Frisch Prize Medal (2000) for the paper “Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms;” the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize (2008) given to a high-level economist whose research combines both the theoretical and applied aspects of economics; the CES-Ifo Prize (2010); the Sandmo Prize (2011); the IZA Prize in Labor Economics (2012); the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Prize in Economics (2015); and the Erwin Plein Nemmers Economics Prize (2016). He was knighted in the 2014 Queens New Years Honours list for his services to Economics and Social Science.

He has served as president of the European Economics Association, the Econometric Society, the Society of Labor Economics and the Royal Economic Society. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy and the Institute of Actuaries and an Honorary Member of the American Economic Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.