Batten Institute

Roger Gordon



Bio: Roger Gordon is Professor of Economics at the University of California at San Diego. Over the years, he has been a visiting professor at a wide variety of universities and institutions throughout the world, including People’s University in Beijing, where he first met Professor Li. Professor Gordon is an editor of the Journal of Public Economics, a former co-editor of the American Economic Review, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and a fellow of the Econometric Society. His research focuses on diverse topics in public finance and the economics of transition. Papers he has written include “Taxes and Entrepreneurial Activity,” “Do Taxes Affect Corporate Debt Policy?,” “Are ‘Real’ Responses Simply Income Shifting between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?,” “Government as a Discriminating Monopolist in the Financial Market: The Case of China,” “How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?,” “Why Is Capital so Immobile Internationally?,” and “Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in an Open Economy?”

Professor Gordon graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in applied math, summa cum laude, and received a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. He was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University from 1976 to 1980 and then went to Bell Labs, where he was a member of the technical staff. In 1984 he moved to the University of Michigan, where he was named Reuben Kempf Professor of Economics.

Expertise: Corporate Taxation 


Fellowship Focus: Roger Gordon’s Batten Fellowship includes collaboration with his faculty host, Wei Li, on two related research projects. One investigates the development of financial market institutions in emerging economies and how they affect the government’s ability to collect tax revenue. The other investigates the development of government tax policy more broadly and the impact of this tax policy and government enforcement efforts on entrepreneurial activities and rates of economic growth. These projects are part of a broad research agenda aimed at compiling a rich international database tracing how institutions change as countries develop and then trying to infer which institutions are key in facilitating economic development. 

Other outputs included a keynote speech at an international conference in Hong Kong, which focused on the development of market institutions in China. The audience consisted of economists from all over the world, and the conference paper is to be included in a volume in honor of Princeton University Professor Gregory Chow. 

Additional outputs include a presentation to the Darden community, “Cutting the Corporate Tax Rate: What Are the Implications?” and a studio interview to be included as part of the Batten Institute’s Transformation & Leadership Series. Professor Li and Professor Gordon’s collaborations will culminate in a paper entitled, “Taxation and Economic Development in China.” 

Contact Info


Appointment: 2001

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