Professor Neil Bruce, a specialist in public finance, will retire at the end of autumn quarter after teaching at the University of Washington for more than 25 years. Professor Bruce joined the faculty in September 1990 as a Visiting Professor of Economics, becoming a permanent faculty member at the rank of tenured Professor the following year. He was Chair of the department from 2001 – 2006.
Professor Bruce has published widely on taxation, public goods, social security and welfare in professional journals and books, frequently collaborating in his research with other department faculty members, including Stephen Turnovsky, Robert Halvorsen, and Kar-Yiu Wong. Professor Bruce has co-authored several papers with Turnovsky using computational demographic models of economic growth, most recently "Social Security, Growth, and Welfare in Overlapping Generations Economies with or without Annuities", Journal of Public Economics 101 (2013). Among his book and monograph publications are Public Finance and the American Economy (Boston: Addison-Wesley, 1998, 2002), which considers the government’s role in a market economy.
Among his professional associations and service, Professor Bruce has been a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Prosperity Partnership Steering Committee on Tax Reform, the Washington State Tax Structure Study Committee, and the American Economic Association National Tax Association. He has received grants to study the reform of the Canadian federal tax system, has acted as a consultant to various governments and businesses, and has been a reviewer or referee for a number of peer- reviewed journals in the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, he has served as chair or member on more than 25 thesis committees over the years.
Professor Bruce teaches courses primarily in public finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, focusing in recent years on Expenditure Policy and Tax Policy (ECON 450 and 451). Both courses apply microeconomic theory to the analysis of government expenditures and taxation. He has also taught courses in international monetary economics, international monetary theory, international trade theory, and monetary theory, among others. Apart from his long-standing interest in public finance and tax policy, his current research interests include the more specific demographic aspects of these issues, particularly social security, in which he is planning to continue an active interest in his retirement.
Prior to coming to UW, Prof. Bruce was Professor of Economics at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, where he taught for 15 years. He has also held faculty positions at the University of Colorado (Boulder), UCLA, and Stanford University. After completing his B.A. and M.A. in Canada, he earned his Ph.D. in Economics (1975) at the University of Chicago, where he studied Public Finance with Arnold Harberger, writing his thesis on “Three Essays on Taxation in Simple General Equilibrium Models”.