UC Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez just won the John Bates Clark Medal, which has been given by the American Economic Association every two years to the top American economist under 40. From now it will be given out every year, which will of course totally ruin it.
Anyway, Saez is mainly known outside economics for his work with Thomas Piketty on income inequality. But the Bates Medal citation (available here) says his biggest influence has been on tax research:
Through a collection of interrelated papers, he has brought the theory of taxation closer to practical policy making, and has helped to lead a resurgence of academic interest in taxation.
A timely resurgence, don’t you think?