Doctoral Student

Benjamin B Lockwood

Benjamin Lockwood is a PhD Candidate in Business Economics at Harvard University and Harvard Business School. He is interested in public economics, behavioral economics, and normative economics. His current research explores how policy should be designed when individuals are not perfectly rational.

For more information, please visit Benjamin Lockwood's website.  

Working Papers

  1. De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in Preferences and Optimal Redistribution

    Benjamin B Lockwood and Matthew Weinzierl

    The prominent but unproven intuition that preference heterogeneity reduces redistribution in a standard optimal tax model is shown to hold under the plausible condition that the distribution of preferences for consumption relative to leisure rises, in terms of first-order stochastic dominance, with income. Given familiar functional form assumptions on utility and the distributions of ability and preferences, a simple statistic for the effect of preference heterogeneity on marginal tax rates is derived. Numerical simulations and suggestive empirical evidence demonstrate the link between this potentially measurable statistic and the quantitative implications of preference heterogeneity for policy.

    Keywords: Spending; Policy; Taxation; Theory; United States;


    Lockwood, Benjamin B., and Matthew Weinzierl. "De Gustibus non est Taxandum: Heterogeneity in Preferences and Optimal Redistribution." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-063, January 2012. (Updated September 2014. NBER Working Paper Series, No. 17784. Published in Journal of Public Economics.) View Details