Nirupama Rao

Nirupama Rao
Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Nirupama Rao is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.  Her research concerns the economic effects of fiscal policy, focusing on the impact of policy on firm production, investment and pricing decisions and individual consumption decisions.  She has studied how excise taxes on oil production affect the extraction decisions of domestic producers, the effectiveness of federal tax credits for R&D, and investigated the composition and importance of corporate deferred taxes.  She has also been working on projects relating to the interaction of regulatory policy and taxation, how tax liabilities evolve over individual's lifetimes and how prices affect food choices  She is a recipient of the National Tax Association Dissertation Award.  Rao completed her PhD in economics at MIT in June 2010 where she previously earned her undergraduate degree.  Prior to graduate school, she worked at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Semester Course
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


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Spring 2014 PADM-GP.2140.002 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


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Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2140.002 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 PADM-GP.2140.002 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2140.002 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2147.001 Corporate Finance and Public Policy

This course introduces students to the main areas of corporate finance and how they relate to policy issues and discussions. The course covers topics in the three main areas of corporate finance: 1) capital structure (financing choices), 2) valuation (project and firm valuation) and 3) corporate governance (optimal governance structures). We will analyze how public policy, through taxes, public expenditures and regulation, affect these aspects of corporate finance.


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Spring 2012 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2011 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2010 PADM-GP.2140.001 Public Economics and Finance

Public finance (the economic analysis of revenues and expenditures of the public sector) and public economics (economic analysis of the public sector in a market economy) analyze the impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in the economy. In this course, you will learn how to interpret economic analyses and how to use the tools of microeconomics and empirical analysis to investigate and predict the effects of public expenditures, regulation and government revenue-raising activities.


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Date Publication/Paper
2014

Rao, Nirupama S. 2014. Do Tax Credits Stimulate R&D Spending? The Effect of the R&D Tax Credit in its First Decade
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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of the R&D tax credit between 1981-1991 using confidential IRS data from corporate tax returns. The key advances on previous work are an instrumental variables strategy based on tax law changes that addresses the simultaneity between R&D spending and its user cost and the use of new confidential data. Estimates imply that a ten percent reduction in the user cost of R&D leads the average firm to increase its research intensity—the ratio of R&D spending to sales—by 11 percent in the short-run. Long-run estimates imply that firms do face adjustment costs and further increase spending over the longer-run. Analysis of the components of qualified research shows that wages and supplies account for the bulk of the increase in research spending. Comparisons of the elasticity across firms of different sizes, industries, tax status, multi-national status and credit history are also made. Neither small nor young firms appear more responsive in the static analysis but the dynamic model reveals stronger short-run responses, suggesting that they may face lower adjustment costs or liquidity constraints in financing R&D. Long-run and retiming analyses show no evidence that firms allocate their qualified research spending over time to maximize their R&D tax credits. Elasticities of qualified and total research intensities from a smaller sample suggest firms respond to user cost changes largely by increasing their qualified spending, meaning that what R&D the federal credit deems qualified research is an important margin on which the credit affects firm behavior.

2013

Rao, Nirupama S. (with Chris Conlon) 2013. The Price of Liquor is Too Damn High: State Facilitated Collusion and the Implications for Taxes
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Abstract

Alcohol markets are subject to both heavy regulation as well as excise taxes at the federal and state level. We examine the impact of particular state regulations on the structure of the alcohol market. We show that post and hold and meet but not beat pricing regulations at the wholesale level eliminate competitive incentives among whole-sellers and minimum retail markup rules at the retailer level e ectively allow whole-sellers to set retail price floors. Our model suggests that without any competitive incentives at the wholesale level, firms will set prices as if they were a single monopolist. Wholesalers will tend to mark up premium brands relative to call or well products. Regression results indicate that states featuring post and hold regulations consume 4% to 10% less alcohol than other states, suggesting that the regulations may over-restrict quantity. Tabulations suggest that premium products comprise a smaller share of consumption in post and hold states. This output gap due to collusive pricing leads any taxes levied on the liquor market to entail greater deadweight loss relative to a competitive wholesale market. We conduct an empirical analysis, where instead of providing wholesalers with market power, the state increases taxes to keep the overall level of alcohol consumption fixed. We also compute the deadweight loss of increasing taxation under both the existing scheme, and one with a competitive wholesale market. We find that the state of Connecticut could substantially increase taxes and tax revenues without affecting aggregate quantities if it repealed post and hold. Back of the envelope estimates suggest that Connecticut is forgoing over $300M in potential revenue from alcohol taxes in a competitive wholesale market.

Rao, Nirupama. 2013. Taxes and the Extraction of Exhaustible Resources: Evidence from California Oil Production NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2211681. Jan 2013
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Abstract

Rapid oil price increases frequently bring calls for special oil industry taxes. This paper uses new well-level production data and price variation induced by federal oil taxes and price controls to estimate how taxes affect production. Theory suggests temporary taxes create strong incentives for retiming productioneven well shutting. Empirical estimates suggest little shut-in in response to taxes, but substantial production retiming with an estimated elasticity between 0.208 and 0.261. The estimates are used to calibrate a simple model of the efficiency cost of tax-induced distortions, implying that a 15% tax reduces social efficiency by between 3% and 25% of the revenue raised.

2011

Rao, Nirupama, James Poterba and Jeri Seidman 2011. Deferred Tax Positions and Incentives for Corporate Behavior Around Corporate Tax Changes National Tax Journal 64, 1 (March 2011): 27-57
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Abstract

A firm's deferred tax position can influence how it is affected by a transition from one tax regime to another. We compile disaggregated deferred tax position data for a sample of large U.S. firms between 1993 and 2004 to explore how these positions might affect firm behavior before and after a pre-announced change in the statutory corporate tax rate. Our results suggest that the heterogeneous deferred tax positions of large U.S. corporations create substantial variation in the short-run effect of tax rate changes on reported earnings. Recognizing these divergent incentives is important for understanding the political economy of corporate tax reform.

2009

Rao, Nirupama and Pablo Kurlat 2009. Unemployment Insurance in Governing America, Facts on File, New York, 2009 William E. Cunion and Paul Quirk, eds.
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Abstract

In the Press

05/16/2013
How the R&D Tax Credit Is Like Duct Tape [Op-Ed]
US News & World Report