Gabriel Zucman

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Gabriel Zucman
Born (1986-10-30) 30 October 1986 (age 31)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Institutions Paris School of Economics
University of California at Berkeley
London School of Economics
Field Public economics
Alma mater École normale supérieure de Cachan (BSc)
Paris School of Economics (MSc, PhD)
Awards Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (2017)
Excellence in Refereeing Award (2017) American Economic Review (2015)
Prix du meilleur jeune économiste de France (2018)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc
Website Gabriel Zucman

Gabriel Zucman (born 30 October 1986) is a French economist known for his research on tax havens and corporate tax havens from his 2015 book The Hidden Wealth of Nations.[1][2][3] Zucman is also known for his work on the quantification of the financial scale of base erosion and profit shifting ("BEPS") tax avoidance techniques employed by multinationals in corporate tax havens,[4][5] through which he identified Ireland as the world's largest corporate tax haven in 2018.[6] Zucman showed that the leading corporate tax havens are all OECD-compliant, and that tax disputes between high-tax locations and havens are very rare.


Gabriel Zucman was born in Paris, France in 1986. From 2005 to 2010, he attended the École normale supérieure de Cachan, one of France's prestigious Grandes Écoles.[7] Hereafter, he first earned his M.Sc. in economic policy analysis in 2008 and a PhD in economics in 2013, both from the Paris School of Economics, for which he received the French Economic Association's award for best PhD dissertation in 2014. After finishing his studies, Zucman worked for a year as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) before accepting a position as assistant professor of economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the same position at UC Berkeley, being currently on leave from LSE. Moreover, Zucman has worked as Co-Director of the World Wealth and Income Database (WID), a database aiming at the provision of access to extensive data series on the world distribution of income and wealth, since 2015.[8]

Besides his research and teaching activities, Zucman has refereed for several economic journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, Econometrica, and the Journal of Political Economy. He also co-founded and acts as editor-in-chief for Regards croisés sur l'économie, a review aimed at exposing the French general public to academic research in economics.[9]


In August 2014 in Capital is Back, Zucman and French economist Thomas Piketty investigate the evolution of aggregate wealth-to-income ratios in the top eight developed economies, reaching back as far as 1700 in the case of the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France, and find that wealth-income ratios have risen from about 200-300% in 1970 to 400-600% in 2010, levels unknown since the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the change can be explained by the long-run recovery of asset prices, the slowdown of productivity, and population growth.[10] Zucman has co-written several papers with Thomas Piketty.

Much of Zucman's research is on issues of economic inequality and, most importantly, tax havens. In 2015 in his book,The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman uses the systematic anomalies in international investment positions to show that the net foreign asset positions of rich countries are generally underestimated because they don't capture most of the assets held by households in offshore tax havens. Based on his calculations, he finds about 8% of the global financial wealth of households, or $7.6 trillion, to be held in tax havens, three-quarters of which go undeclared.[11]

In 2017-18, Zucman has been focused on the scale of multinational tax avoidance by base erosion and profit shifting ("BEPS") tools in the largest corporate tax havens. Zucman believes Ireland, recognised as a major corporate tax haven, is still materially underestimated by Orbis-database studies due to technical factors (even though these studies rank Ireland as the 5th largest global corporate Conduit OFC).[12] Research published by Zucman, Tørsløv and Wier in June 2018, showed that Ireland is the largest corporate tax haven in the world, even larger than the entire Caribbean corporate tax haven system.[4][5][6] This research also showed that tax disputes between high-tax jurisdictions and corporate tax havens are extremely rare, and that tax disputes really only occur between high-tax jurisdictions.[13]

Much of Zucman's other research deals with the effect of the G20's crackdown on tax havens and corporate tax havens, cross-border taxation and multinational profit shifting, the long-term relationship between wealth and inheritance, and the trajectory of wealth inequality in the United States. Zucman is frequently quoted in the leading global news media.[14][5][15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sunstein, Cass R. (January 14th, 2016). Parking the Big Money. The New York Times Book Review.
  2. ^ Houlder, Vanessa (October 2nd, 2015). ‘The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens’, by Gabriel Zucman. Financial Times.
  3. ^ Drucker, Jesse (September 21st, 2015). If You See a Little Piketty in This Tax-Haven Book, That's Fine. Bloomberg Businessweek.
  4. ^ a b Gabriel Zucman; Thomas Tørsløv; Ludvig Wier (8 June 2018). "The Missing Profits of Nations" (PDF). National Bureau of Economic Research. 
  5. ^ a b c "Zucman:Corporations Push Profits Into Corporate Tax Havens as Countries Struggle in Pursuit, Gabrial Zucman Study Says". Wall Street Journal. 10 June 2018. Such profit shifting leads to a total annual revenue loss of $200 billion globally 
  6. ^ a b "Ireland is the world's biggest corporate 'tax haven', say academics". Irish Times. 13 June 2018. New Gabriel Zucman study claims State shelters more multinational profits than the entire Caribbean 
  7. ^ Curriculum vitae of Gabriel Zucman.
  8. ^ The WID is managed jointly by Facundo Alvaredo, Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman; see the website.
  9. ^ Curriculum vitae of Gabriel Zucman.
  10. ^ Thomas Piketty; Gabriel Zucman (August 2014). Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700-2010. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129 (3). p. 1255-1310. 
  11. ^ Gabriel Zucman (August 2013). The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128 (3). p. 1321-1364. 
  12. ^ Gabriel Zucman; Thomas Tørsløv; Ludvig Wier (November 2017). "Why high-tax locations let tax havens flourish" (PDF). 
  13. ^ Gabriel Zucman; Thomas Torslov; Ludvig Wier (June 2018). "The Policy Failure of High-Tax Countries" (PDF). National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Papers. pp. 44–49. 
  14. ^ Gabriel Zucman (8 November 2017). "The desperate inequality behind global tax dodging". The Guardian. 
  15. ^ Gabriel Zucman (4 August 2017). "Gabriel Zucman on tax evasion and inequality". Financial Times. 

External links[edit]