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Call For Papers: "Reforming State And Local Tax Systems"

Close-up of Arch on Building on Tulane University's Campus - The Murphy Institute

Attempts to reform state and local tax systems seem like a perennial event. These tax systems are in many cases the relic of older times, ill-designed for the realities of the modern economy. Especially in the last decades, state and local tax systems have faced increasing challenges, in such areas as the growth of services and internet sales, increased tax competition, greater factor mobility across state (and national) boundaries, and other similar developments, many of which have made it increasingly difficult for state and local tax systems to generate adequate revenues in an efficient and fair way. In the face of these challenges, there have been frequent and varied attempts to reform state and local tax systems.

However, our understanding of what works – and what does not work – is grossly inadequate. The Murphy Institute and the Department of Economics at Tulane University are sponsoring a conference that will explore developments in state and local tax reforms.

On October 23, 2015, the Murphy Institute and Department of Economics at Tulane will host a one-day conference to explore new research on state and local tax reforms, including empirical, experimental, and theoretical contributions. We invite participants from all relevant disciplines to submit papers for the conference. We are particularly interested in new research that reflects both the most recent challenges facing state and local governments and the most recent approaches examining these challenges. The conference aims at bringing together researchers working on these issues to explore recent advances and to increase awareness of the subject. Papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of Public Finance Review, subject to the normal refereeing process.

Researchers working in these areas are invited to submit either complete papers or 2-page abstracts via email attachment to: James Alm at or Steven Sheffrin at The submission deadline for papers and abstracts is May 1, 2015. Acceptance for presentation will be communicated no later than June 1, 2015. The conference will be held at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA on Friday, October 9, 2015. The Murphy Institute will pay normal travel and hotel expenses, as well as an honorarium of $1000, for the selected participants.

Conference organizers are James Alm and Steven Sheffrin.

Contact information for the Murphy Institute is:

108 Tilton Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Tel: +1 504 865 5317
Fax: +1 504 862 8755
Program Manager: Ruth Carter (

Contact information for the Department of Economics is:

206 Tilton Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118
Tel: +1 504 865 5321Fax: +1 504 865 5869
Department Manager: Paul Watson (