David R. Agrawal

David R. Agrawal is an Assistant Professor in the Martin School of Public Policy & Administration and the Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky and an affiliate member in the CESifo Network.

He completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan (2012) after completing his M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley (2007) and his undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut (2005).

David’s primary field of research is public finance – with an emphasis on taxation and fiscal federalism.

David’s research agenda focuses on theoretical and empirical ways of incorporating spatial relationships into models of tax competition. His most recent work studies how variation in Internet penetration affects municipal sales tax rates. David is also researching whether local taxes fall or rise as a function of distance to the nearest state border. Additional work analyzes how the strategic reaction to vertical externalities varies within a federation if the federal government has multiple horizontal competitors. He has also studied the optimality of preferential tax zones near state and international borders.

Content by David R. Agrawal
  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Production responses and tax evasion with limited state capacity

    In India, indirect taxes represent 85% of state tax revenue. Historically, its highly decentralised system of commodity taxation has led to production inefficiencies. Our research is on the effect of India switching from a sales tax to a value added tax (VAT) in the 2000s. We focus on two margins of response: Output and tax evasion near registration thresholds. We...

    11 Oct 2019 | David R. Agrawal, Laura Zimmermann

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Production and evasion responses with limited state capacity: Evidence from major tax reforms in India

    16 Jul 2019 | David R. Agrawal, Laura Zimmermann

  • Blog post

    India's commodity tax system leads to low compliance

    Data on tax rates in India for the past fifteen years reveals how rates vary by state and product. This heterogeneity and volatility results in high compliance costs, inter-state distortions, and households substituting toward lower-tax products. Tax in India India’s commodity tax system is complex, with large variation across states, products and time. We document the...

    27 Nov 2017 | David R. Agrawal, Laura Zimmermann

  • Project

    Production responses and tax evasion with limited state capacity: Evidence from major reform in India

    Historically, India’s highly decentralised system of indirect taxation has led to production inefficiencies because it relied on a retail sales tax that resulted in substantial cascading (double taxation). During the 2000s, states replaced this archaic retail sales tax system with Value Added Taxes (VAT) with state-specific rate schedules, exemptions for firms, and tax...

    31 Aug 2016 | Laura Zimmermann, David R. Agrawal