Tax Policy Center

Experts

Robert McClelland

Senior Fellow

I was raised to believe that our first allegiance must be to the truth. In the past I’ve been fortunate to work for federal agencies that present facts and data in a nonpartisan fashion. I’m now excited to work at the Urban Institute, where I can similarly apply an evidence-based approach to important policy questions.

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Research report

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed into law on a dramatically accelerated schedule. That speed and the enormous scope of the TJCA and its individual elements suggests that alternatives may have been overlooked. The consequences of a proposed change in tax law are usually estimated with a...

March 26, 2019
Robert McClellandDaniel BergerAlyssa HarrisChenxi LuKyle Ueyama
Research report

In this report, we use a panel of anonymized data derived from income tax returns filed between 1999 and 2010 and Social Security benefits data to study how the labor force participation of retirement-age couples responds to taxation. We examine the responses of primary and secondary earners of...

February 21, 2019
Robert McClellandJohn IselinKevin PiercePhilip Stallworth
Research report

Despite its relatively small role in the federal taxation system—accounting for less than 1 percent of revenues—the estate and gift tax is controversial. This paper surveys evidence on the effect of estate and inheritance taxes on entrepreneurship and presents some new evidence. We use the...

March 5, 2018
Leonard E. BurmanRobert McClellandChenxi Lu
Brief

Despite its relatively small role in the federal taxation system—accounting for less than 1 percent of revenues—the estate and gift tax is controversial. This brief surveys research on the effect of estate and inheritance taxes on entrepreneurship and presents new evidence. We find that...

March 5, 2018
Leonard E. BurmanRobert McClellandChenxi Lu
Brief

In our research, we examine two alcohol excise tax increases enacted by Illinois in 1999 and in 2009. Using the synthetic control method, we find no evidence that either tax increase reduces fatal alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes for the whole of Illinois, although we do find evidence of a...

November 27, 2017
Robert McClellandJohn Iselin
Research report

This study examines the effect of alcohol excise taxes on alcohol- related fatal traffic crashes. In 2015, 29.3 percent of the 35,092 traffic fatalities in the United States involved someone driving under the influence of alcohol. Raising federal or state excise taxes on alcoholic beverages...

October 5, 2017
Robert McClellandJohn Iselin
Brief

This fact sheet explains how to use the synthetic control method for evaluating state policy.

May 9, 2017
Robert McClellandSarah Gault
Research report

The synthetic control method is an increasingly popular method for state policy evaluation. It provides quantitative support for case studies by creating a synthetic control region that simulates what the outcome path of a region would be if it did not undergo a particular policy intervention....

March 29, 2017
Robert McClellandSarah Gault
Research report

We model taxpayer decisions to realize or delay their capital gains and losses. We use a unique data set of capital asset sales to examine the shifting of gains across time periods with different tax rates, but eliminates the effect of the large pool of accrued gains that enlarge previous...

February 7, 2017
Timothy DowdRobert McClelland

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