Richard Blundell

Teaching Resources

I. Undergraduate ECON0024: Economic Policy Analysis 2021/2022: Reforming the Tax System

These two lectures will look at the theoretical background and the evidence base for reforming the tax system. In particular, the taxation of earnings and the taxation of saving.

They will draw from the two Mirrlees Review volumes: Dimensions of Tax Design and Tax by Design, both open access at

  • Mirrlees Review

    The Lectures will ask two questions: How does theory and practice line up? What does the evidence point to as the key areas for reform?

    Lecture I. The Taxation of Earnings

  • Lecture I Slides

    Lecture II. The Taxation of Saving

  • Lecture II Slides

    Essay/Presentation Topics and Exercises

  • Essay/Presentation Topics and Exercises

    External Readings (for references to my papers see my publications on my webpage) :

  • Brewer, Saez and Shephard 2010, in Mirrlees Review: Dimensions of Tax Design.
  • Slemrod and Kopczuk 2002
  • Banks and Diamond 2010, in Mirrlees Review: Dimensions of Tax Design.
  • Auerbach 2006
  • Piketty, Saez and Stantcheva 2014

  • II. Empirical Evidence and Earnings Taxation: Lessons from the Mirrlees Review

  • Munich Lectures I: Overview, CESIfo, Munich, November 16th 2010
  • Munich Lectures II: The Taxation of Earnings, CESIfo, Munich, November 17th 2010
  • Munich Lectures III: The Taxation of Consumption and Savings, CESIfo, Munich, November 18th 2010
  • Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families, Richard Blundell and Andrew Shephard, October 2010
  • Extensive and Intensive Margins of Labour Supply: Working Hours in the US, UK and France, Richard Blundell, Antoine Bozio and Guy Laroque, March 2011

  • III. Microeconometrics (MRes/PhD MECT Second Term weeks 6-10)

    IV. Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics

    This is a review of the most popular policy evaluation methods in empirical microeconomics: social experiments, natural experiments, matching methods, instrumental variables, discontinuity design and control function. It discusses the identification of both the traditionally used average parameters and more complex distributional parameters. In each case, the necessary assumptions and the data requirements are considered. The adequacy of each approach is discussed drawing on the empirical evidence from the education and labor market policy evaluation literature. A full set of STATA .do files for each of the estimation approaches is provided. The .do-files can be used together with the datasets to reproduce all the results discussed.

    V. Labour Supply and Tax Policy Simulation:

    The data files and code provided here allow the estimation of a discrete choice model of labour supply. A sample of data on lone mothers from the UK is also provided which allows the simulation of the labour market impact of the UK Working Families' Tax Credit (WFTC) reform.

  • Link to references, data files and code