Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Hemel’s research focuses on taxation, innovation, and administrative law. His current projects examine the effect of tax expenditures on inequality, the distributional consequences of international intellectual property rules, and the investment strategies of nonprofit organizations. Before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School, he was a law clerk to Associate Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court and served as visiting counsel at the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Examines distributional consequences of Supreme Court federalism doctrines. Argues that Rehnquist and Roberts Court decisions strengthening states’ rights also shift revenue-raising responsibility away from regressive state tax systems, with the result that upper-income households bear a larger share of the aggregate tax burden than they otherwise would.
Shows how repeal of the mortgage interest deduction and other tax expenditures would affect after-tax income inequality. Finds that repealing the mortgage interest deduction and using the revenue to finance across-the-board tax cuts would likely increase after-tax income inequality, even though the benefits of the deduction flow primarily to upper-income households.
Argues that executive branch has broad authority to implement revenue-raising tax reforms through regulatory action. Presents game-theoretic account of executive-legislative interactions to explain why successive presidents declined to exercise their power to tax.
Examines effects of international intellectual property regime on innovation and distribution. Shows how nation-states can adopt alternatives to patent law within constraints of existing international IP treaties.