The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research




Motohiro Sato

Last updated : July 18, 2024

Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Applied Economics, and School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University Director, Research Center for Health Policy and Economics, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study (HIAS Health)

Areas of Expertise
  • Local public finance
  • Optimal taxation theory, tax reform
  • Social security, health economics

Born in 1969 in Akita Prefecture. Received his BA and MA in economics from Hitotsubashi University in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and PhD in economics from Queen’s University in 1998. Joined the faculty of Hitotsubashi University in 1999 and is now professor at the university’s Graduate School of Economics and director of the Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study’s Research Center for Health Policy and Economics. His areas of expertise include public finance and taxes, local public finance, and social security. Is an award-winning author or co-author of many books, including Chiho kofuzei no keizaigaku (Economics of the Local Allocation Tax) (winner of the Nikkei Prize for Excellent Books in Economic Science) and Chihozei kaikaku no keizaigaku (Economics of Local Tax Reform) (winner of the Mainichi Economist Prize). Has been a member of the Government Tax Commission, Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal System Council, and Cabinet Office’s Council for Promotion of Regulatory Reform. Is the recipient of the 2019 Japanese Economic Association’s Ishikawa Prize. Has actively promoted the synthesis between academic research and public policy.

Research Program
Plans for Sustainable and Politically Acceptable Fiscal Consolidation and Social Insurance Reform from the Perspectives of Behavioral Economics and Political Science(-2024)

Selected Publications

Optimal Income Taxation with Risky Earnings: A Synthesis, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Vol. 17(6), 2015, pp. 77380 (with Robin Boadway).
Empirical studies on strategic interaction among municipality governments over disaster waste after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake,Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Vol.44, 2017, pp. 26–38 (with Takeshi Miyazaki).
“Too big or too small? A synthetic view of the commitment problem of interregional transfers,” Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 64, Issue 3, November 2008, pp. 551–59 (with Nobuo Akai).
“Optimal Tax Design and Enforcement with an Informal Sector,” American Economic Journal. Economic Policy, Vol. 1, Issue 1, February 2009, pp. 1–27 (with Robin Boadway).

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