Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer
Studies in Fiscal Federalism and State–local Finance series
Edited by Amy Ellen Schwartz
Chapter 1: Introduction
Amy Ellen Schwartz In 1952, Dick Netzer was awarded the PhD from Harvard University with a dissertation titled ‘Pricing the Transportation Services of State and Local Governments’. That same year, his ﬁrst academic article, ‘Toll Roads and the Crisis in Highway Finance’, was published in the National Tax Journal. It was to be the ﬁrst of many articles, chapters and books on a wide range of topics in public ﬁnance, urban economics and, later, the economics of the arts and not-for-proﬁt organizations. The hallmark of this work is the application of microeconomics to real world problems and the careful and thoughtful use of economic data and statistical analysis. Dick is, undoubtedly, best known among academics for his work on the property tax. The Economics of the Property Tax, published in 1966, provided a comprehensive analysis of property taxation, discussing incidence, distribution and the economic eﬀects on housing and cities. Dozens of articles and papers followed, exploring and addressing questions and problems regarding property taxation and state and local public ﬁnance more generally. The Economics of the Property Tax has become a classic, still found on the shelves of public ﬁnance economists and on course syllabi more than 35 years later. His article, ‘The Incidence of the Property Tax: Revisited’, published in 1973, earned him a spot in the National Tax Journal’s Hall of Fame in 1997,1 which included the top ten most cited articles published in that journal. Of course, Dick is also well known for his...