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The Home Page of David Wildasin


This page and its companions provide information about my professional activities and interests. Unfortunately, I have been remiss in keeping it up to date.  I will try to remedy that defect, gradually, in the coming months.

Current Activities

Presently, I am an emeritus faculty member at the University of Kentucky, having retired in 2017.  My research (and, previously, my teaching) interests have generally been in the areas of public and urban/regional/international economics.  I have an office in the Department of Economics at Kentucky, where I have been able (at least pre-COVID) to interact regularly with my colleagues there.

Someone once said that faculty don't retire, they just go on extended sabbaticals.  In that spirit, I have tried to build up some human capital, spending much time as an (informal) student sitting in classes in Mathematics, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and in Statistics.  I am most grateful to my colleagues (and fellow students) in these departments for welcoming me into their classes, from which I have learned a great deal. 

In the short term, my studies have taken me somewhat away from writing papers for publication.  I do, however, continue to pursue research questions in economics, for instance in a recent paper with David Agrawal on "Technology and Tax Systems".   In the longer term, I hope to follow up on some of my previous research projects and to initiate several new ones.

Past Employment

I have been affiliated with the University of Kentucky since 2000, with a primary appointment in the Martin School of Public Policy, where I held the Endowed Chair in Public Finance, and a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics.   Prior to retirement, I taught classes for graduate students in the M-School and also for students in the Ph.D. program in Economics.  I also served as a director and a research fellow of the Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.  IFIR working papers remain online for those who may wish to consult them.

Before coming to Kentucky, I 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 cv lists my work experience, publications, and other professional activities in considerable detail, although it is now rather in need of updating.  A brief cv (everything I could fit onto two pages) offers a more concise summary of my professional background.


Professional journals are the principal outlet for my academic research.  I have compiled a sample of published and forthcoming papers for those who might find them useful.  I expect to post some working papers in the near future.

I have also authored, co-authored, or edited several books.  These include Public Sector Economics (2nd. ed.) with Robin Boadway and Urban Public Finance (which was 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 policy making.

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 research unit that sponsors scholarly research and public policy analysis on the taxation of business.


I have served in an editorial capacity for many professional journals.  At present, I am on editorial boards for these journals:

CESifo Economic Studies

Of note: Special issue of CESifo Economic Studies on "New Directions in Fiscal Federalism," (2008).

International Tax and Public Finance

National Tax Journal

Regional Science and Urban Economics

Review of International Economics

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

Places in California

"Wildasin" is an uncommon name, at least in most regions of the US.  This can be a drawback when people struggle to pronounce it.  On the other hand, it's much better than "Smith" for ego-surfing.  While doing so, I found some (vanished or vanishing) places in California:

The Wildasin Hotel at Mammoth Mountain, CA.  Established in 1905, the hotel is now defunct.  Happily, though, the beautiful mountain is still there.

Wildasin, California (33 deg 59'20"N, 118 deg 17'57"W).  Situated in Los Angeles, near the intersection of W. Slauson Ave. and S. Normandie Ave.  According to a concise history, a farm was established there in 1884, from which the toponym derives. Until recently, there was a train station there, where one could admire not only the passing trains but some vibrant murals on the nearby warehouses.  It now seems that new development happening along Slauson is wiping out the train line, the warehouses along it, and, of course, the accompanying art

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.)

Contact Information: 

David E. Wildasin
Department of Economics
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0027

Tel.:  +1 859 257 2456

Please note: I am transitioning my email away from my old address, which was once posted here for all to see.  To contact me by email, please use my University of Kentucky address, which I would like to represent in a manner that is not easily harvested by a bot.  I'll try it this way: