Stefanie Stantcheva

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Stéfanie Stantcheva
InstitutionHarvard University
FieldPublic economics, optimal tax
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Paris School of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James M. Poterba[3]
Iván Werning[3]
ContributionsResearch on optimal taxation
AwardsElaine Bennett Research Prize, 2020
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Stéfanie Stantcheva (born in Bulgaria[1]) is a Bulgarian-born French economist who is a professor of economics at Harvard University. She is a member of the French Council of Economic Analysis. Her research focuses on public finance—in particular questions of optimal taxation. In 2018, she was selected by The Economist as one of the 8 best young economists of the decade.[4] In 2020, she was awarded the Elaine Bennett Research Prize.[5]


Stantcheva's interest in economics had its roots in the economic turmoil of her homeland Bulgaria after it turned away from Communism in the 1990s.[1] After completing her secondary education in France, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from University of Cambridge in 2007, a MS in economics and finance from École Polytechnique in 2008, and a MS in economics from ENSAE and Paris School of Economics in 2009. She received her PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2014.[2]

Since 2014, Stantcheva has been employed at Harvard University. From 2014 to 2016 she was a Junior Fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows. She was an Assistant Professor 2016–17, an Associate Professor 2017–18 and was promoted to a full Professor in May 2018.[2] She has founded and runs the Social Economics Lab at Harvard, that runs large-scale online surveys in many countries to understand how people think, how they form their perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes, and how their views on economic and social policies emerge.

Stantcheva is a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow,[6] a 2017 Harvard University Furer Fellow, and an NSF CAREER Award Recipient.[7] She was part of the 2014 Review of Economic Studies' Tour.[8] She was selected as the best French young Economist in 2019 by the journal Le Monde and the Cercle des Économistes.[9] She was awarded the Young Economist Award from the Fondation France-Israel in 2019.

Stantcheva currently teaches undergraduate and graduate Public Economics at Harvard University and has taught other Economics and Policy courses in the past.

Professional activities[edit]

Stantcheva is an associate editor of the Journal of Political Economy (from May 2017), of the Quarterly Journal of Economics (from August 2018), and of the American Economic Review (from August 2018).[2] In 2016 and 2017, she received the Excellence in Refereeing Award from the American Economic Review.[2] In 2018 she was appointed as a member of the French Council of Economic Analysis (Conseil d'Analyse Economique), a non-partisan advisory body to the French Prime Minister.[10] In 2021 she was named a Fellow of the Econometric Society.[11]

Social Economics Lab[edit]

Stantcheva is the founder of the Social Economics Lab at Harvard. This lab conducts surveys of several countries to understand how their people think, and their attitudes and actions towards new social and economic policy. This data is extremely important to understand "invisible" data, like behavior, attitude, and belief. Some notable surveys taken, involve perceived versus actual numbers of immigrants and unemployment amongst them, shortcomings of the US tax system, and social mobility across US states. The most recent research coming out of this lab is how people reason with US tax policy, which mainly revolves around fairness, distribution, and government efficiency of taxes. In addition, studies into how people from different countries react to policy changes that seem to impede on civil liberties during COVID 19, is another critical point of research.[12]


Stantcheva's research concerns public finance—in particular, the question of how tax and transfer systems can better simultaneously raise revenues, reduce inequality, and foster the productivity of firms and individuals.[13] She focuses on three aspects of optimal taxation: 1) the dynamic effects of taxation, 2) the corrective role of taxation in the presence of asymmetric information and other market failures, and 3) social preferences and perceptions to understand the determinants of tax policy.[13] She combines theory and empirical work.

In the Social Economics Lab at Harvard University that she founded, she has developed the use of large-scale, cross-country Social Economic Surveys and experiments to study how people form their views about policies and their social attitudes. She has more particularly focused on the perceptions of intergenerational mobility,[14] immigration,[15] and inequality[16] and their link to support for redistribution. These Social Economics Surveys are rigorous research tools that can shed light on what is invisible in order datasets: perceptions, beliefs, reasoning, attitudes, views, and detailed individual economic circumstances.

Together with Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, she has presented a model of optimal labor income taxation for top incomes, taking into account standard labor supply responses as well as tax avoidance and compensation bargaining.[17] In another project together with Emmanuel Saez she has characterized optimal taxation of capital income.[18]

Stantcheva has studied the interplay between taxation and innovation,[19] examining the effects of personal and corporate income taxation on innovation and thinking about how to better design the tax system and R&D policies to foster innovation.[20] In "Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century"[21][22] she analyzes the impacts of individual and corporate income taxes on individual inventors, firms that do R&D, and on innovation at the state level in the U.S. throughout the 20th century. She has also shown that top personal tax rates affect the international location choices of superstar inventors.[23]


Stantcheva has made numerous appearances in the media both as an author and a speaker. Stantcheva has written articles and appeared in video essays by Vox. Recently Stantcheva spoke in a Vox video entitled "Where does Innovation come from?". Stantcheva has also given many lectures and talks, some of which are filmed.

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Striking a balance on taxes | MIT News". 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Stefanie Stantcheva" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b Stantcheva, Stefanie (2014). Optimal taxation with endogenous wages (PhD). MIT. hdl:1721.1/90133. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Our pick of the decade's eight best young economists". The Economist. 18 December 2018. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Stefanie Stantcheva Recipient of the 2020 Elaine Bennett Research Prize". American Economic Association.
  6. ^ "2018 Fellows". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Stefanie Stantcheva wins NSF CAREER Award". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Restud Tour | The Review of Economic Studies". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  9. ^ "" L'objectif de mes recherches est d'améliorer la conception des politiques fiscales "". Le (in French). 13 May 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Stantcheva Stefanie. Website of CAÉ, retrieved November 22, 2018". 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Congratulations to our 2021 Fellows". The Econometric Society. 22 September 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Stefanie Stantcheva (8 November 2018). "The Tax and Transfer System" (PDF). Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  14. ^ Alberto Alesina, Edoardo Teso (2018). "Intergenerational Mobility and Support for Redistribution". American Economic Review. 108 (2): 521–554. doi:10.1257/aer.20162015. S2CID 33408213.
  15. ^ Alesina, Alberto; Miano, Armando; Stantcheva, Stefanie (2018). "[NEW!] Immigration and Redistribution". NBER Working Paper No. 24733.
  16. ^ Kuziemko, Ilyana; Norton, Michael; Saez, Emmanuel; Stantcheva, Stefanie (2015). "How Elastic are Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments". American Economic Review. 105 (4): 1478–1508. doi:10.1257/aer.20130360. S2CID 217949116.
  17. ^ Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva: Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes A Tale of Three Elasticities. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014, 6 (1), p. 230-271.
  18. ^ Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva: A simpler theory of optimal capital taxation. Journal of Public Economics, 2018, 162, p. 120-142.
  19. ^ "Taxation and Innovation". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  20. ^ Ufuk Akcigit, Stefanie Stantcheva (2016). "Optimal Taxation and R&D Policies". NBER Working Paper No. 22908 [Revise and Resubmit at Econometrica].
  21. ^ Akcigit, Ufuk; Grigsby, John R.; Nicholas, Tom; Stantcheva, Stefanie (2018). "[NEW!] Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century". NBER Working Paper No. 24982.
  22. ^ Akcigit, Ufuk; Grigsby, John; Nicholas, Tom; Stantcheva, Stefanie (16 October 2018). "Taxation and innovation in the 20th century". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  23. ^ Akcigit, Ufuk; Baslandze, Salome; Stantcheva, Stefanie (2016). "Taxation and the International Mobility of Inventors". American Economic Review. 106 (10): 2930–2981. doi:10.1257/aer.20150237. S2CID 210425123.

External links[edit]