Gabriel Zucman

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Gabriel Zucman (born 30 October 1986) is a French economist. Since 2015 Zucman has been working as an assistant professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley.[1] He is mostly known for his research on tax havens, popularized in his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations.[2][3][4][5]


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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]


Zucman's research currently focuses on issues of economic inequality and, most importantly, tax havens. In The Missing 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.[9] In Capital is Back, Zucman and 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] The rest of Zucman's research deals with the effect of the G20's crackdown on tax havens, cross-border taxation, the long-term relationship between wealth and inheritance, and the trajectory of wealth inequality in the United States.


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