Stefanie Stantcheva (born in Bulgaria) is a French economist who is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. She is a member of the French Council of Economic Analysis. Her research focuses on public finance—in particular questions of optimal taxation. In 2018, she was selected by The Economist as one of the 8 best young economists of the decade.
Stantcheva's interest in economics had its roots in the economic turmoil of her homeland Bulgaria after it turned away from Communism in the 1990s. After completing her secondary education in France, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from University of Cambridge in 2007, a MS in economics and finance from École Polytechnique in 2008, and a MS in economics from ENSAE and Paris School of Economics in 2009. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2014.
Since 2014, Stantcheva has been employed at Harvard University. From 2014 to 2016 she was a Junior Fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows. She was an Assistant Professor 2016–17, an Associate Professor 2017–18 and was promoted to a full Professor in May 2018.
Stantcheva is a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow, a 2017 Harvard University Furer Fellow, and an NSF CAREER Award Recipient. She was part of the 2014 Review of Economic Studies' Tour.
Stantcheva currently teaches a Macroeconomics Reading Seminar (EC2906) at Harvard University and has taught other Economics and Policy courses in the past.
Stantcheva is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Political Economy (from May 2017), of the Quarterly Journal of Economics (from August 2018), and of the American Economic Review (from August 2018). In 2016 and 2017, she received the Excellence in Refereeing Award from the American Economic Review. In 2018 she was appointed as a member of the French Council of Economic Analysis (Conseil d'Analyse Economique), a non-partisan advisory body to the French Prime Minister.
Stantcheva's research concerns public finance—in particular, the question of how tax and transfer systems can better simultaneously raise revenues, reduce inequality, and foster the productivity of firms and individuals. She focuses on three aspects of optimal taxation: 1) the dynamic effects of taxation, 2) the corrective role of taxation in the presence of asymmetric information and other market failures, and 3) social preferences and perceptions to understand the determinants of tax policy. She combines theory and empirical work.
Together with Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, she has presented a model of optimal labor income taxation for top incomes, taking into account standard labor supply responses as well as tax avoidance and compensation bargaining. In another project together with Emmanuel Saez she has characterized optimal taxation of capital income.
Stantcheva has studied the interplay between taxation and innovation, examining the effects of personal and corporate income taxation on innovation and thinking about how to better design the tax system and R&D policies to foster innovation. In "Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century" she analyzes the impacts of individual and corporate income taxes on individual inventors, firms that do R&D, and on innovation at the state level in the U.S. throughout the 20th century. She has also shown that top personal tax rates affect the international location choices of superstar inventors.
She has developed the use of large-scale, cross-country online surveys and experiments to study how people form their views about policies and their social attitudes. She has more particularly focused on the perceptions of intergenerational mobility, immigration, and inequality and their link to support for redistribution.
Stantcheva has made numerous appearances in the media both as an author and a speaker. Stantcheva has written articles and appeared in video essays by Vox. Most recently Stantcheva spoke in a Vox video entitled "Where does Innovation come from?". Stantcheva has also given lectures for the Federal Reserve Board and the Kennedy School.
- Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities. (with T. Piketty & E. Saez). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 230–271, February 2014.
- How elastic are preferences for redistribution? Evidence from randomized survey experiments. (with I. Kuziemko, M. Norton, and E. Saez). American Economic Review. Vol. 105, No. 4, pp. 1478–1508, April 2015.
- Generalized social marginal welfare weights for optimal tax theory. (with E. Saez). American Economic Review 2016, Vol. 106, No.1, pp. 24–45. January 2016.
- Optimal Taxation and Human Capital Policies over the Life Cycle. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 125, No. 6, pp-1931-1990, 2017.
- Immigration and redistribution. (with A. Alesina & A. Miano) National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 24733, June 2018.
- Intergenerational mobility and preferences for redistribution. (with A. Alesina & E. Teso). American Economic Review. Vol. 108, No. 2, pp. 521–54, February 2018.