Matt Weinzierl completed his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 2008 and is an Associate Professor in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Prior to his doctoral studies, Professor Weinzierl worked in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, specializing in financial services. From 2003 to 2004, he served as the Staff Economist for Macroeconomics on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Professor Weinzierl has written on a range of topics in optimal taxation and optimal economic policy more generally. His most recent projects, associated with the idea of Positive Optimal Tax Theory, focus on identifying and formalizing the goals for tax policy that hold sway among the public, political and economic leaders, and leading tax thinkers, and then characterizing the implications of using those objectives in the analysis of optimal taxation. In other work, he has explored the potential value of age-dependent taxation, the dynamic feedback effects of tax changes, the use of fiscal policy to counteract recessions, the proper price-indexing of Social Security, and the impact of differences in beliefs and tastes across individuals on optimal tax design. His research has been published in Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Public Economics, American Economic Journals: Economic Policy, Journal of Monetary Economics, Economic Journal, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, National Tax Journal, and Journal of Economic Perspectives, and has been discussed in the Economist, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2008, he was selected to participate in the Review of Economic Studies tour. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Professor Weinzierl is also the creator of an elective course at HBS entitled "The Role of Government in Market Economies." For that course, he has written case studies on public education, national health insurance, welfare reform, immigration, and a variety of topics in taxation. He has recently launched a new set of research projects focused on the commercialization of the space sector and its implications for the provision of space-related public goods.
Professor Weinzierl is married to Coventry Edwards-Pitt, a wealth advisor. Their family lives in the western suburbs of Boston and spends its free time enjoying music, the outdoors, and ice cream.