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Dr. David Agrawal, an assistant professor for both the Martin School and the Department of Economics, has been featured in a piece published by WalletHub examining state and local taxes. The post ranks states, but also compares the varying types of taxes across states. The authors then ask a number of experts, including Dr. Agrawal, about how people respond to taxes. It's an interesting read as we approach the deadline to file taxes this year!
Many Americans these days do their shopping online-- for gifts, services, and even their groceries. However, unless the vendor has a physical location in the shopper's state, the purchaser likely isn't paying state and local sales taxes. This is because the Supreme Court has ruled that only firms with a physical presence in a state must remit state and local sales taxes. Today, as more and more consumers make purchases on the internet, states are potentially missing out on an important source of revenue.
This fall, Dr. Agrawal and his co-author, Dr. Fox, discuss the challenges and possible policy solutions -- including potential federal legislation requiring all large online vendors to remit taxes such as the Marketplace Fairness Act -- in their work "Taxes in an e-commerce generation," published in International Tax and Public Finance. Their article provides a global perspective on an extremely salient topic in tax policy!
Dr. Denison published a new study with co-author Dr. Robert Greer from UGA in Public Budgeting & Finance. You can read the abstract below and check out the full paper online here.
Determinants of Debt Concentration at the State Level
"We examine the general factors that affect the distribution of debt among state and local governments. We measure the distribution as the percentage of total state and aggregate local debt that is issued or held by the state level of government. Using a fiscal federalism framework, we discuss the fiscal, legal, and political factors that play an important role in determining the level of government that issues debt. Findings suggest that important factors of debt concentration at the state level include state political ideology and economic factors of income per capita and unemployment rates."
Charter schools have been a hot topic, both at the federal and state level. Our very own Dr. Zimmer, who is a leading educational policy expert with over 150 media mentions in the past year, examines the impact of Florida charter high schools on future success in a recent publication in the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management. Dr. Zimmer and his co-authors found that "students attending charter high schools are more likely to persist in college, and that in their mid-20s they experience higher earnings."
In their analysis, the researchers compared two groups of students-- those that entered a charter high school after completing 8th grade at a charter middle school, and those that went to a conventional high school after completing 8th grade at a charter middle school. Through statistical analysis, they found that those attending the charter high school were 8.8% more likely to attend a two- or four-year postsecondary institution than their peers. They also, on average, made around $2,300 more than their peers overall and around $3,000 more if they attended college within six years of high school graduation.
Why is this the case? And, can we generalize the results to other school systems and states? Like other schools, charter school programs all differ. The authors have a couple of ideas about why the students they studied were more successful-- perhaps they received better life skill coaching, for example. Much more research is needed to understand the mechanisms.