David Merriman

David Merriman

Primary Affiliation : Co-Lead, Fiscal and Economic Policy Working Group; Equity, Justice, and Human Flourishing Working Group; COVID-19 Task Force

College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs | University of Illinois Chicago

Skill Highlights

Researches Fiscal and Economic Policy

Advises Lawmakers

Mentors Next Generation Scholars on Evidence-based Policy Research

Revenue Forecasting

Featured Work


Member Mayor-elect Lightfoot transition committee on Business, Neighborhood, and Economic Development
Appointed Commissioner, Cook County Independent Revenue Forecasting Commission
Appointed to the Illinois' Governor's Council of Economic Advisors
Co-founded the Fiscal Futures project with eventual financial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and other funders
Study of 7% Assessment Cap in Cook County funded by the Illinois Department of Revenue



David F. Merriman is the leader of IGPA’s Fiscal and Economic Policy Working Group and is the James J. Stukel Presidential Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His major area of study is state and local public finance. Professor Merriman directs The Fiscal Futures Project, which created and maintains of a comprehensive and consistently defined measure of the Illinois state budget. He has published extensively about the effect of tax increment finance policy on local economic growth and the determinants of tobacco tax avoidance. He has also studied Walmart’s impact on urban economic development. His most recent research concerns state and local business taxation.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA. 

Visting Fellow, 2014 – 2018.

Illinois Tax Foundation.

Member on the Technical Advisory Board, 2009 – 2015.

Economic Development Quarterly. 

Associate Editor, 2015 to present. 

Journal of Urban Affairs. 

Editorial Board, 2015 to present. 

Public Finance Review. 

Editorial Board, 2006 to present. 


University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; M.S., 1980; Ph.D., 1983. 

American University, Washington D.C.; B.S., 1976.


World Bank Report

“Impact of Smuggling on Worldwide Consumption” - Chapter 12 of Tobacco Control Policies in Developing Countries: A World Bank Report (with Luk Joossens and Ayda Yurekli) presented at the Economists Technical Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, Nov. 22-24, 1998.

Federal Reserve Bank

Discussion of “The Local Effects of New Market-Rate Housing in Low-Income Areas” with Brian J. Asquith, Evan Mast, Davin Reed at Federal Reserve Bank/ W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research invited conference titled The Impact of Housing Affordability on Economic Development and Regional Labor Markets. February 27, 2020. Miami, Florida.

Federation of Tax Administrators

“Effectiveness of Tax Credits/Incentives” - Presentation to 2013 FTA (Federation of Tax Administrators) Revenue Estimating Conference in Springfield, Illinois session on Effectiveness of Tax Credits/Incentives, October 8, 2013

COVID Economics

“Coronavirus Economics and Fiscal Effects, Disparities and Silver Linings” - UIC Alumni Exchange, September 9, 2020. A panel of experts from the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs addressed how governments — local, state and national — can respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent Publications

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Outstanding Paper Award of 2019, Public Finance Review
Stukel Presidential Professor, Department of Public Administration, The University of Illinois at Chicago, August 2017 to present
Loyola University Chicago, School of Business Administration, "Researcher of the Year" 2002-2003.
National Tax Association Tax Institute of America. First Prize for the outstanding doctoral dissertation in government spending and taxation 1983