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The Home Page of David Wildasin


This page and its companions provide information about my professional activities and interests. 

Current and Past Employment

Presently, I am a faculty member in the Martin School of Public Policy at the University of Kentucky, where I hold the Endowed Chair in Public Finance. I also have a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics at UK.

Previously, I have taught in economics departments at Vanderbilt University (1993--2000), Indiana University (1979--1993) and at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1976--1979, my first job out of graduate school). I have spent one-year visits at the Department of Economics at Queen's University in Canada, at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, and at the World Bank. In addition, I have visited and lectured at a number of other universities and research institutes for shorter periods of time. My research and teaching interests lie generally in the areas of public and urban/regional/international economics. My cv (.pdf format) lists my work experience, publications, and other professional activities in considerable detail. A brief cv (everything I could fit onto two pages) offers a more concise summary of my professional background.


I have taught a variety of courses over the years, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. At the Martin School, these courses have included master's-level and Ph.D. courses in microeconomics and its policy applications as well as more specialized MPA/Ph.D. courses in public finance, tax policy, and international policy. During the Fall semester of 2012, I am teaching PA665, Public Policy and Political Economy in an International Context, and PA750, Introduction to Economics for Public Policy.


Professional journals are the principal outlet for my academic research. I have also authored, co-authored, or edited several books as well. Links to a sample of this work appear below.

In Progress:

I usually have a half-dozen or so papers that represent work in progress. You may wish to browse on-line versions of a few of these working papers, generally in .pdf format.

Previously-published and forthcoming work:

I've also compiled versions of a number of published and forthcoming papers.


I've worked on several different book projects over the years, including Public Sector Economics (2nd. ed.) with Robin Boadway and Urban Public Finance (which has been republished as part of an encyclopedia on Regional and Urban Economics edited by Richard Arnott).   Fiscal Aspects of Evolving Federations  (1997), for which I served as editor, contains the proceedings of a conference on that theme. It includes several papers (some in significantly revised form) that previously appeared in a special issue of International Tax and Public Finance as well as several new essays not published elsewhere.

Research Affiliations

I am a research fellow at the following institutions:

CESifo in Munich, Germany. CESifo sponsors many academic research activities in economics, including publications, conferences, and lecture series, and is also very active in bringing academic economics into contact with the world of policymaking.

IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labor (in German, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit), in Bonn. The IZA web site is an excellent source for information about current research in labor economics, including, in particular, studies of European labor markets, international migration, and related policy issues.

The Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, a recently-established research unit that sponsors scholarly research and public policy analysis on the taxation of business.

IFIR -- The Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

For some years, I served as a director and as a research fellow of IFIR, which supported faculty and student research, workshops and conferences, publications, and other activities on matters relating to intergovernmental relations. See, for example, the conference on "New Directions in Fiscal Federalism", co-sponsored with CESifo (see above). A selection of conference papers appeared in special issues of CESifo Economic Studies and the Journal of Public Economics.

Unfortunately, IFIR funding has been exhausted and its activities have ceased. The IFIR web site remains up and running for the time being, and IFIR working papers, in particular, will remain online for the foreseeable future for those who may wish to consult them.


I presently serve in an editorial capacity for the following professional journals:

CESifo Economic Studies

  Of note: Special issue of CESifo Economic Studies on "New Directions in Fiscal Federalism," published 2007.


International Tax and Public Finance

Journal of Public Economics

National Tax Journal

Review of International Economics

I highly recommend these journals to readers and to prospective authors!


Economics Humor

Many have heard the old line about economists being people who work with numbers but who don't have the personality to be accountants. (Although the accountants might not appreciate it, that's actually a joke.) Lest the world form the mistaken impression that economists are dull folk, I have compiled a little collection of economics humor, some of which, to my knowledge, can be found nowhere else in the world! (That's putting a positive spin on it.)

Policy Humor

During all those years that I was in Economics departments, it seemed especially important to try to enliven the environment with some economics humor. But now I'm in a policy school. Is there such a thing as policy humor? Perhaps it's all a matter of perspective: as Will Rogers said, "I don't tell jokes, I just look at government and report the facts." Let's face it, when there's an entire Yahoo category on Government > U.S. Government > Politics > Humor -- well, this goes far above our poor power to add or detract.

About this web site

Formerly, I ran my email and web site from a Linux-equipped pc sitting in my office, where I still host course web pages. That server is named, and if you don't know what "tanstaafl" means, you may want to go take a look. Explaining the meaning of this term is usually among the first lessons I try to teach in my classes.

Some years ago, however, I switched to an off-campus web and email host because on-campus network connectivity was pretty poor, especially in Patterson Office Tower. (Network operations was in the habit of shutting down the hub in the fourth-floor wiring closet. Somebody would then have to inspect all of the computers on the floor before bringing the net back up. Ugh!) I racked my brain for a domain name until I came up with which, to my astonishment, was not already occupied, not even by a name-squatter so, I didn't have to pay an extortionate price to get it. Talk about your minor miracles! :-)

Since then, connectivity on the fourth floor has much improved, but once you switch domains, it's a pain to switch back. And my inclination to do so wasn't much enhanced by the great fourth-floor flood of 2011. Yes, I can administer my own web server and email service, and would love to do so. But being a good sysadmin doesn't help much when the office has a couple of inches of water in it and the wiring conduits under the floor are water-filled! I might switch back to my own in-office email when the Martin School gets some decent space somewhere -- I'd like to say that this will happen RSN, but, although I have no immediate retirement plans, space allocations at universities change in near-geologic time, so we're talking decades at a minimum here.

Speaking of network connectivity, how's the internet doing, anyway? Your internet today (click on the graphic to get a continent-by-continent breakdown of global packet loss):

The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around
the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher
values indicate faster and more reliable connections.

Didn't Find What You Want?

Some Places in California

Perhaps you were looking for Wildasin, California (33 deg 59'20"N, 118 deg 17'57"W). That's actually part of Los Angeles County now, at the intersection of W. Slauson Ave. and S. Normandie Ave. I've never been there, although it appears to be readily train-accessible. Notice the attractive murals on the warehouses in the background of the picture.

Or perhaps you were looking for the Wildasin Hotel at Mammoth Mountain, CA. If it were still there, I'd want to be among the first to welcome you to this particular Hotel California! Alas, the Wildasin Hotel, established in 1905, seems to be defunct -- but I'm happy to say that the beautiful mountain is still there.

The Odd Useful Thing: Some Resources Available on the Web

You might possibly be interested in a modest collection of links to resources that can be useful to researchers and students -- software, information about economics, and the like.

Still Looking?

If you still haven't found what you want, allow me to show you the door. Off you go, and thanks for visiting!

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This page is under construction. Expect changes.
Last updated: 07/04/2008 15:09:28

Contact Information:

David E. Wildasin /

Martin School of Public Policy
   and Department of Economics
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0027

Tel.:  +1 859 257 2456
Fax.: +1 859 323 1937