Luis Alejos is an economist in the Fiscal and Municipal Management Division at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. His past work experience includes positions as Country Economist for El Salvador at the Inter-American Development Bank, Director of Public Credit at the Ministry of Finance in Guatemala, Lecturer in International Trade and International Finance at Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala, as well as consulting for international organizations and think tanks. His current research agenda focuses on public finance issues in developing countries, such as income tax evasion in environments with low enforcement, tax avoidance through domestic profit shifting, the incidence of simplified tax regimes for micro and small enterprises, and the fiscal impact of extreme weather events. Luis received his BSc. in Economics (2004) and MSc. in Economics (2005) from University College London, England, and his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Economics (2018) from the University of Michigan.
University of Michigan doctoral students contribute importantly to the performance of OTPR’s mission. Consequently, OTPR offers annually a special fellowship designed to attract Michigan and support outstanding graduate students interested in pursuing public finance as a field. This fellowship is the Richard A. Musgrave Fellowship, named in honor of one of the leading figures of twentieth-century public finance, who wrote his most influential book while a professor at Michigan.
The fellowship supplements other support offered by the University and the economics department with a guaranteed research assistantship in the first and second summers of the Musgrave’s Fellow’s residence at Michigan. The goal is to enhance graduate training with early participation in research projects.
Richard A. Musgrave was born in 1910 in Königstein, Germany. He received a Diplom Volkswirt from Heidelberg University in 1933, an M.A. from Harvard University in 1936, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1937. He was an instructor and tutor at Harvard from 1936-1941. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he served as an Economist in the Research Division at the Federal Reserve Board from 1939-1948. In 1948-49 he was a lecturer at Swarthmore College, and in 1949 he moved to the University of Michigan, where he was a Professor of Economics.
Professor Musgrave taught at Michigan for nine years. During his Michigan years, he wrote his revolutionary The Theory of Public Finance, 1959, which changed the way future generations of public finance students conceptualize the key questions in this field. As the work proceeded, subsequent chapters were discussed in his seminar, encouraging his students to undertake future work in public finance. During his years at Michigan, Professor Musgrave also published scores of articles and Congressional testimonies. A study on tax incidence, published jointly with members of his seminar, was honored recently as the most widely cited article ever published in the National Tax Journal.
To be considered for the Musgrave Fellowship, the applicant must submit to OTPR, at the time of application to the economics Ph.D. program (deadline of December 15), the following materials:
• A copy of the Ph.D. program application
• A statement of research interests and request to be considered for the Musgrave Fellowship
• One recommendation letter