Cynthia L. Rogers

Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma; Appointed to the Incentive Evaluation Commission of Oklahoma
Areas of Expertise:
  • State & Local Government
  • Economic Growth & Innovation
  • Public Budgets & Taxes

Connect with Cynthia

About Cynthia

Rogers does research that focuses on state and local public finance and economic development, with a special focus on methodological issues about the relationship between state tax policy and economic growth. She also uses Oklahoma data to analyze multi-tier, multijurisdictional taxation of retail sales. A common thread in her research is the development of estimation techniques to understand and evaluate the impact of public policies. She frequently shares her research in public forums about economic and tax issues in Oklahoma. 



"A Game Changer for the Political Economy of Economic Development Incentives" (with Stephen Ellis and Grant Hayden). Arizona Law Review 56, no. 4 (2014): 953-976.

Considers whether the duty of care standard used in corporate governance should be applied to the public decision-making context regarding economic development incentives.

"Leaders, Followers, and Asymmetric Local Tax Policy Diffusion" (with Gregory Burge). Journal of Regional Science 56, no. 2 (2016).

Constructs a policy leadership index to classify jurisdictions as leaders or followers. Shows how asymmetric leader-follower dynamics characterize horizontal tax competition over the three decades that follow by using models that control for vertical tax competition effects.

"One Size Does Not Fit All: Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Policies across US States" (with C. Wu). Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy (forthcoming).
"Income Inequality and Economic Development Incentives in US States: Robin Hood in Reverse?" (with Jia Wang and Stephen E. Ellis). The Review of Regional Studies 48, no. 1 (2018): 93-117.

Explores the relationship between the rising use of economic development incentives (EDI) and rising income inequality within U.S. states. Provides a normative argument for reducing inequality as a policy goal, an issue commonly ignored in empirical applications of inequality. Discusses the channels through which EDI policy can influence equality outcomes in a regional context. Estimates panel data models for 41 states from 2000 to 2009 using direct measures of EDI and three common measures of income inequality.

"Is Another Penny Too Much? New Study Evaluates the Impact on Municipalities of an Additional 1% State Sales Tax," (with Gregory Burge), October 12, 2016.
"Do State Sales Taxes Crowd-Out Local Option Sales Taxes," (with Gregory Burge), revised January 2018, under review.

Investigates the impact of an increase in the state sales tax rate on the tax rates of local communities in an environment where both state and local governments impose sales taxes. Suggests that rural communities are negatively impacted by having a longer period between tax rate increases after a state sales tax increase. The larger, regional centers do not respond the same.

"Do Tax Havens Really Flourish?" (with Luisa R. Blanco). Global Economy Journal 12, no. 3 (2012).
Argues that the standard tax haven variable is endogenous to the error term in a typical growth regression.
"New Quasi-Experimental Control Group Methods for Estimating Policy Impacts" (with W. Robert Reed). Regional Science and Urban Economics 33, no. 3 (2003): 3-25.
Discusses how “quasi-experimental control group analysis,” used to analyze a broad range of public policies including taxes and public infrastructure investments, attempts to replicate traditional experimental design by comparing places in which a policy has been implemented with carefully matched places in which it has not been implemented. This article establishes conditions under which this approach can outperform conventional regression analysis.
"Tax Burden and the Mismeasurement of State Tax Policy" (with W. Robert Reed). Public Finance Review 34, no. 4 (2006): 404-426.
Shows how, due to measurement errors, using the concept of “tax burden” (defined as the ratio of total tax revenues over personal income) is likely to produce misleading conclusions about the influence of tax policy.
"Estimating Marginal Tax Rates for U.S. States" (with W. Robert Reed and Mark Skidmore). National Tax Journal 64, no. 1 (2011): 59-84.
Presents a simple and generalizable procedure for estimating state-level marginal tax rates and provides estimates for all fifty states for the years 1977 to 2004. Fiscal policy-makers generally believe that marginal tax rates are influential drivers of economic activity.
"Local Option Sales Taxes and Consumer Spending Patterns: Fiscal Interdependence Under Multi-tiered Local Taxation" (with Gregory Burge). Regional Science and Urban Economics 41 (2011): 46-58.
Uses Oklahoma data from 1993 to 2006 to find that the ability of municipal governments to control sales tax revenues is affected by spillover effects both from other municipalities and from counties.
"State Taxes and Economics Growth," 2012 Town Hall Resource Book, The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Oklahoma City, 2012.
Discusses what the economics literature shows, theoretically and empirically, about the impact of state tax policy on economic growth.
"Employment by Foreign Firms in the U.S.: Do State Incentives Matter?" (with Chen Wu). Regional Science and Urban Economics 42, no. 12 (2012): 664-680.
Investigates the relationship between employment growth and state-level policies aimed at attracting investments from foreign firms. Finds a positive relationship, using data from 50 states between 1999 and 2008, find a positive relationship.

In the News

"Efforts to Aid Potential Amazon Center Create Frustrations, Dilemma," Cynthia L. Rogers, Interview with Brian Brus, The Journal Record, April 27, 2018.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on local Amazon center bid in Brian Brus, "Efforts to Aid Potential Amazon Center Create Frustrations, Dilemma" The Journal Record, April 27, 2018.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on inequality in personal income tax returns in Randy Krehbiel, "Teacher Walkout Q&A: School Funding Bills, the Lottery, School Consolidation and More" Tulsa World, April 9, 2018.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted in Trevor Brown, "High-Earners’ Tax Break Could be Key to Ending Teacher Walkout" Oklahoma Watch, April 4, 2018.
"Professor: End the Oklahoma Capital Gains Tax Deduction," Cynthia L. Rogers, The Oklahoman, March 30, 2018.
"Capital Gains Deduction is an Expensive Loophole Benefiting a Small Number of Oklahomans," Cynthia L. Rogers, Oklahoma Policy Institute, February 26, 2018.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on keeping Oklahoma's capital gains tax exemption in Justin Wingerter, "State Board Votes to Keep a Capital Gains Tax Break but Drop Ethanol Incentive" News Oklahoma, November 18, 2017.
Guest to discuss sales tax in Oklahoma on National Public Radio KOSU, Cynthia L. Rogers (with Gregory S. Burge), October 12, 2016.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on earned income credit refunds in Warren Vieth and Mark Lash, "Oklahoma Sending Cash to Companies That Pay No Income Tax" News On 6, May 31, 2016.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on Revenue Stabilization Fund (RSF) in Grant Hermes, "Gov. Fallin Creates Oil and Gas Savings Fund for State" News 9 , June 2, 2016.
Guest to discuss sales taxes as a source of revenue on KGOU NPR: Despite Strong Support, Citizens Concerned Ahead of ‘Norman Forward’ Sales Tax Vote, Cynthia L. Rogers, October 15, 2015.
Cynthia L. Rogers quoted on income tax cuts in Dylan Matthews, "Paul Ryan Wants to Cut Income Taxes. Bobby Jindal Wants to Kill Them Dead." The Washington Post, March 20, 2013.
"Indecent Proposal to Put a Loophole in the HD Ordinance?," Cynthia L. Rogers, The Norman Transcript, June 9, 2013.
Guest to discuss the effects of cutting income taxes on OETA: The Oklahoma Network, Cynthia L. Rogers, April 16, 2012.
Guest to discuss the potential negative impact of cutting or abolishing income taxes on KFOR-TV, Cynthia L. Rogers, April 25, 2012.
"Hard Questions Unasked, Unanswered," Cynthia L. Rogers, Norman Transcript, February 3, 2013.