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Mark Skidmore

Mark Skidmore, CESifo guest in June 2014

The Detroit Malaise

Recently, Detroit became the largest city in America to declare bankruptcy, not least because of the critical property-tax situation in the city Mark Skidmore is conducting an evaluation of the relationship between the very high rate of tax delinquency among property owners (ca. 50%) and the growing number of parcels that are now held by public entities, such as the city government. He hopes to shed light on how best to manage the growing number of properties in a non-taxable status. A second related project evaluates the long-run determinants of the growth of local government in the United States. One aspect of this research focuses on continued local government growth in places like Detroit where there has been population decline. While visiting CESifo, he hopes to learn more about the fiscal conditions in many struggling cities within the former German Democratic Republic, and compare and contrast the US experience with that of Germany.

Mark Skidmore’s research has focused on public economics and urban/regional economics. Current research interests include state and local government tax policy, intergovernmental relations, the interrelationship between public sector decisions and economic activity as well as the economics of natural disasters. His work has been funded by the Fulbright Program, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the National Science Foundation, the Urban Institute and USAID. His articles have in appeared in journals such as Economic Inquiry, Economics Letters, Journal of Urban Economics, Kyklos, Land Economics, National Tax Journal, Public Choice, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. His research also has been cited in prominent news outlets such as the BBC, China Post, Economist, Europe Intelligence Wire, Forbes, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Business Journal, MSNBC, Newsweek, The New Yorker, New York Times and PBS News Hour.

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University, where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy, with joint appointments in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics and the Department of Economics. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado in 1994, and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington in 1987. He serves as coeditor of the Journal of Urban Affairs