Zachary Liscow

Associate Professor of Law

(on leave, fall 2020)


Zachary Liscow is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His main research interest is understanding the appropriate policy levers to address income inequality and, in particular, the role that tax policy versus other legal rules should play.

FULL BIOGRAPHY
Zachary Liscow

Contact Information



Faculty Assistant


Brendan Toller

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School, 2015

Ph.D. (Economics), University of California, Berkeley, 2012

A.B., Harvard University, 2005

Courses Taught


  • Taxation
  • Taxation, the Law, and Economic Inequality
  • Inequality: Economic and Tax Policy
  • Supervised Research: Economic and Tax Policy

Zachary Liscow is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His main research interest is understanding the appropriate policy levers to address income inequality and, in particular, the role that tax policy versus other legal rules should play. He also works in a variety of other areas, including urban economics, environmental policy, and empirical legal studies. Liscow earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College degrees in Economics and in Environmental Science and Public Policy. He has been a Staff Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and worked for the World Bank's inspector general. Liscow clerked for the Honorable Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Want More Infrastructure? Make It Cheaper to Build

Professor of Law David Schleicher and Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 are mentioned in a Bloomberg commentary on how to make building more affordable.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Why Should Only the Tax Code Be Fair?

Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 was interviewed on The Tax Maven podcast.

Monday, July 27, 2020


A Q&A with Professor Zachary Liscow on Corporate Tax Rates

Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 discusses his new paper with coauthor Edward G. Fox, which argues in favor of higher corporate taxes.

Monday, August 19, 2019


How High are Infrastructure Costs? Analyzing Interstate Construction Spending

A paper coauthored by Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 and Leah Brooks of The George Washington University on why highway construction costs have risen is highlighted.

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Zachary Liscow and Leah Brooks on Cost of Highway Construction

A paper co-written by Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 suggests why Interstate highway construction costs have tripled over time.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Professor Liscow on the Effects of Tax Policy Changes

Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow discuses recent tax policy changes and their effects.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Green New Deal is good economics—A Commentary by Zachary Liscow ’15 and Quentin Karpilow ’18

Zachary Liscow ’15 is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Quentin Karpilow is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2018.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Encouraging Technological Innovation in Environmental and Energy Law

An article in the Washington University Law Journal by Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 and Quentin Karpilow ’18 is reviewed.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Professor Liscow Studies Economic Impact of Immigration Status

Associate Professor Zachary Liscow has co-authored a paper titled Does Legal Status Affect Educational Attainment in Immigrant Families? In a Q&A, Liscow discusses the findings of his paper and why it is important to understand the economic impacts of immigration status.

Working Papers

“Why Is So Much Redistribution In-Kind and Not in Cash? Evidence from a Survey Experiment” (with Abigail Pershing) [pdf]

“Infrastructure Costs” (with Leah Brooks) [pdf]

“Inequality Snowballing” (with Daniel Giraldo) [pdf]

“Redistribution for Realists” [pdf]

Published and Forthcoming Papers

“Can America Reduce Highway Construction Costs? Evidence from the States,” in Economic Analysis and Infrastructure Investment, ed. Edward L. Glaeser & James Poterba (forthcoming) (with Leah Brooks) [pdf]

“A Case for Higher Corporate Tax Rates” (with Edward Fox), 167 Tax Notes Federal 2021 (2020) [pdf]

“Does Legal Status Matter for Educational Choices? Evidence from Immigrant Teenagers” (with William Gui Woolston), 20 American Law and Economics Review 318 (2018) [pdf]

“Is Efficiency Biased?” 85 University of Chicago Law Review 1649 (2018) [pdf]

“Beyond Head of Household: Rethinking the Taxation of Single Parents” (with Jacob Goldin), 71 Tax Law Review 367 (2018) [pdf]

“Are Court Orders Sticky? Evidence on Distributional Impacts from School Finance Litigation,” 15 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 4 (2018) [pdf] [online appendix]

“The Efficiency of Equity in Local Government Finance”, 92 N.Y.U. Law Review 1828 (2017) [pdf]

“Innovation Snowballing and Climate Law” (with Quentin Karpilow), 95 Washington University Law Review 385 (2017)  [pdf] [online mathematical appendix]

“Who’s In? Who’s Out? Policy to Address Job Rationing During Recessions” (with William Gui Woolston), 70 Tax Law Review 627 (2017) [pdf]

“Counter-Cyclical Bankruptcy Law: An Efficiency Argument for Employment-Preserving Bankruptcy Rules,” 116 Columbia Law Review 1461 (2016) [pdf] [editable calculator for value of preserving a job]

Note, “Reducing Inequality on the Cheap: When Legal Rule Design Should Incorporate Equity as Well as Efficiency,” 127 Yale Law Journal 2478 (2014) [pdf]

“Do Property Rights Promote Investment But Cause Deforestation? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Nicaragua,” 65 Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 241 (2013) [pdf]

“Endogeneity in the Environmental Kuznets Curve: An Instrumental Variables Approach” (with C.-Y. Cynthia Lin), 95 American Journal of Agricultural Economics 268 (2013)  [pdf] [online appendix A (tables)] [online appendix B (figures)]

“Does State Fiscal Relief During Recessions Increase Employment? Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (with Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, Laura Feiveson, and William Gui Woolston), 4 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 118 (2012) [pdf] [data and appendix]

“Why Oppose Secession? Evidence of Economic Motivations from the American Civil War,” 153 Public Choice 37 (2012) [pdf]