Zachary Liscow

Professor of Law

(on leave, 2022–2023)


Zachary Liscow is an economist and a lawyer. He is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His two main research interests are developing cost-effective policies to address inequality and understanding what drives the high costs of building U.S. infrastructure. 

FULL BIOGRAPHY
Zachary Liscow

Contact Information



Faculty Assistant


Ashley Polverari

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 economist and a lawyer. He is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His two main research interests are developing cost-effective policies to address inequality and understanding what drives the high costs of building U.S. infrastructure. He also works in a variety of other areas, including 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 with 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, August 24, 2022


Professor Liscow Appointed Chief Economist at White House Budget Office

Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 has joined the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as its Chief Economist, the White House announced on Aug. 18.

Monday, July 25, 2022


Why Your House Was So Expensive

Scholarship by Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 is cited in explaining why home construction and other kinds of construction are so costly in the U.S.

Sunday, July 24, 2022


Why Is U.S. Infrastructure So Costly—and What Can We Do About It?

Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 was interviewed about why American infrastructure projects are so costly.

Saturday, July 9, 2022


When Cash Giving Doesn’t Work

A study by Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 and Abigail Pershing ’20 is cited in this examination of the results of cash transfer programs in the U.S.

Thursday, March 31, 2022


Critics Rally Against Biden’s Capital Gains Tax Proposal

A study by Professor of Law Zachary D. Liscow ’15 and Edward G. Fox ’15 is cited in a news report about President Joe Biden’s capital gains tax proposal.

Monday, August 2, 2021


Why Does Infrastructure Cost So Much In America?

Associate Professor Zachary Liscow ’15 discusses why infrastructure is so expensive.

Friday, July 23, 2021


How Blue Cities Became So Outrageously Unaffordable

Papers by Professor of Law David Schleicher and Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 are discussed on the Ezra Klein Show.

Monday, June 28, 2021


Why Does it Cost so Much to Build Things in America?

Leah Brooks, an economist at George Washington University who co-authored a paper with Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15, discusses her research with Liscow on the cost of highway construction.

Saturday, June 19, 2021


The Tax Code’s Achilles Heel Is Surprisingly Popular — and That's a Problem for Taxing the Rich — A Commentary by Zachary Liscow ’15 and Edward Fox ’15

Zachary Liscow ’15 is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Edward Fox ’15 is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Key Democrats Want to Keep Most of Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut — and Slash More Taxes for the Rich

Associate Professor of Law Zachary Liscow ’15 is quoted in a Salon article about President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


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, March 29, 2021


Make the Infrastructure Bill Tell Us Cost of Each Bridge, Road, and Train — A Commentary by Zachary Liscow ’15 and Leah Brooks

Zachary Liscow is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Leah Brooks is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the George Washington University.

Thursday, January 21, 2021


A new way to increase economic opportunity for more Americans — A Commentary by Zachary Liscow ’15 and Abigail Pershing ’20

Zachary Liscow is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Abigail Pershing ’20 works with the European Court of Human Rights as a Robina Foundation fellow.

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, 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.

    Published and Forthcoming Papers

    The Psychology of Taxing Capital Income: Evidence from a Survey Experiment on the Realization Rule” Journal of Public Economics (forthcoming) (with Edward Fox)

    Infrastructure Costs” American Economic Journal: Applied (forthcoming) (with Leah Brooks)

    Why Is So Much Redistribution In-Kind and Not in Cash? Evidence from a Survey Experiment” 75 National Tax Journal 313 (2022) (with Abigail Pershing)

    Democratizing Behavioral Economics” 39 Yale Journal on Regulation __ (2022) (with Daniel Markovits)

    Redistribution for Realists” 107 Iowa Law Review 495 (2022)

    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)

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

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

    Is Efficiency Biased?” 85 University of Chicago Law Review 1649 (2018) 

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

    Are Court Orders Sticky? Evidence on Distributional Impacts from School Finance Litigation” 15 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 4 (2018) 

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

    “Innovation Snowballing and Climate Law” (with Quentin Karpilow), 95 Washington University Law Review 385 (2017) 

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

    Counter-Cyclical Bankruptcy Law: An Efficiency Argument for Employment-Preserving Bankruptcy Rules,” 116 Columbia Law Review 1461 (2016) 

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

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

    Endogeneity in the Environmental Kuznets Curve: An Instrumental Variables Approach” (with C.-Y. Cynthia Lin), 95 American Journal of Agricultural Economics 268 (2013)

    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) [data and appendix]

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

     

    Working Papers

    Inequality Snowballing” (with Daniel Giraldo) 

    “Procurement and Infrastructure Costs” (with Cailin Slattery and Will Nober)