Levin College of Law

Neil H. Buchanan

James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar Chair in Taxation
Professor of Law
Director, Global Scholarly Initiatives


Professor Neil H. Buchanan is on sabbatical in 2023-24 and has announced that he will retire from UF Law at the end of the academic year. He is the James J. Freeland Eminent Scholar Chair in Taxation and UF’s Director of Global Scholarly Initiatives. During his sabbatical, he is visiting at the University of Toronto and at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (also in Toronto).

Professor Buchanan is internationally known for his groundbreaking work on intergenerational justice, retirement security, constitutional issues in government budgeting, and a fundamental critique of orthodox economic theory. He also writes frequently about whether the U.S. political system can survive as a functioning constitutional democracy. He is quoted often in the press, and he has published essays in The Boston Globe, The Hill, The New York Times, and elsewhere.


M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University, Economics
Ph.D, Monash University, Laws
J.D., University of Michigan
B.A., Vassar College, Economics

Teaching and Scholarship

Intergenerational Justice
Interaction of Economic Issues and Constitutional Law
Social Security
Federal Deficits and Debt


  • Deferred Compensation
  • Income Taxation


Legal and Economic Commentary


  • The Debt Ceiling Disasters: How the Republicans Created an Unnecessary Constitutional Crisis and How the Democrats Can Fight Back (2013).

Articles and Chapters in Books

  • A Tale of Two Formalisms: How Law and Economics Mirrors Originalism and Textualism, 106 Cornell L. Rev. 591 (2021) (with Michael C. Dorf).
  • Sustainable Tax Policy Through the Lens of Intergenerational Justice, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 499 (2020).
  • White Privilege: What It Is, What It Is Not, and How It Shapes American Discussions of Policing and Historical Iconography, 31 U. Fla. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 99 (2020).
  • Social Security Is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger Americans, 27 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 237 (2017).
  • Situational Ethics and Veganism, Boston U. L. Rev. Annex (Mar. 26, 2017), www.bu.edu/bulawreview/buchanan/.
  • (With Michael C. Dorf.)  Don’t End or Audit the Fed: Central Bank Independence in an Age of Austerity, 102 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (2016).
  • An Odd Remedy that Does Not Solve the Supposed Problem: Commentary on Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne et ux., Geo. Wash. L. Rev. On the Docket (May 23, 2015), http://www.gwlr.org/comptroller-of-the-treasury-of-maryland-v-wynne/.
  • (With Dorf, Michael C.) Borrowing by Any Other Name: Why Presidential ‘Spending Cuts’ Would Still Exceed the Debt Ceiling, 114 Colum.L. Rev. Sidebar 44 (Mar. 11, 2014), http://columbialawreview.org/content/borrowing-by-any-other-name-why-presidential-spending-cuts-would-still-exceed-the-debt-ceiling/.
  • Owaru Kotono Nai Saimu Jogen No Kiki (The Never-Ending Debt Ceiling Crisis), Sozei Kenkyu (Tax Studies), April 2014.
  • (With Dorf, Michael C.) Bargaining in the Shadow of the Debt Ceiling: When Negotiating Over Spending and Tax Laws, Congress and the President Should Consider the Debt Ceiling a Dead letter, 113 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 32 (Mar. 5, 2013),  http://columbialawreview.org/content/bargaining-in-the-shadow-of-the-debt-ceiling-when-negotiating-over-spending-and-tax-laws-congress-and-the-president-should-consider-the-debt-ceiling-a-dead-letter/.
  • The Role of Economics in Tax Scholarship, in Beyond Economic Efficiency in United States Tax Law 11 (David A. Brennen, Karen B. Brown and Darryll K. Jones eds., 2013).
  • (With Dorf, Michael C.) How to Choose the Least Unconstitutional Option: Lessons for the President (and Others) from the Debt Ceiling Standoff, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 1175 (2012).
  • (With Dorf, Michael C.) Nullifying the Debt Ceiling Threat Once and For All: Why the President Should Embrace the Least Unconstitutional Option, 112 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 237 (Dec. 21, 2012), https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2017&context=facpub.
  • Why We Should Never Pay Down the National Debt, 50 U. Louisville L. Rev. 683 (2012).
  • Good Deficits: Protecting the Public Interest from Deficit Hysteria, 31 Va. Tax Rev. 75 (2011).
  • What Kind of Environment Do We Owe Future Generations?, 15 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 339 (2011).
  • Medicare Meets Mephistopheles: Health Care, Government Spending, and Economic Prosperity,” 29 Miss. C. L. Rev. 319 (2010).
  • Four Out of Four Panelists Agree: U.S. Fiscal Policy Does Not Cheat Future Generations, 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1402 (2009).
  • ‘Generational Theft’? U.S. Fiscal Policy Does Not Cheat Future Generations, 52 Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs 44 (Sept.-Oct. 2009).
  • What Do We Owe Future Generations?, 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1237 (2009).
  • How Realistic Is the Supply/Demand Equilibrium Story: A Simple Demonstration of False Trading and Its Implications for Market Equilibrium, 31 J. Socio-Econ. 400 (2008).
  • Social Security and Government Deficits: When Should We Worry?, 92 Cornell L. Rev. 257 (2007).
  • Is It Sometimes Good to Run Budget Deficits? If So, Should We Admit It Out Loud?, 26 Va. Tax Rev. 325 (2006).
  • The Case Against Income Averaging, 25 Va. Tax Rev. 1151 (2006).
  • The JEC’s Estate Tax Report: Myths and Legends, 111 Tax Notes 1133 (June 5, 2006).
  • Playing with Fire: Feminist Legal Theorists and the Tools of Economicsin Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society 61 (Martha Fineman & Terence Dougherty eds., 2005).
  • Social Security, Generational Justice, and Long-Term Deficits, 58 Tax L. Rev. 275 (2005).
  • The Uses of the Concept of Efficiency in Tax Analysisin Proceedings National Tax Association, Tax Institute of America 441.
  • A User’s Guide to Proposals to Replace the U.S. Tax System and Strangle Fiscal Policy.” 31 J. Econ. Issues 505 (1999).
  • Taxes, Saving, and Macroeconomics,  31 J. Econ. Issues 59 (1999).
  • Comparing Alternative Methods of Adjusting U.S. Federal Fiscal Deficits for Cyclical and Price Effects.

Book Reviews

  • Shooting from the Hip, or Taking Careful Aim: How Should People Make Decisions?, FindLaw’s Writ (October 2005) (reviewing Malcolm Bladwell, Blink (2005), and Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics (2004)), http://writ.news.findlaw.com/books/reviews/20051007_buchanan.html.
  • Under the U.S. Tax System, Do the Rich Really Get Richer?, FindLaw’s Writ (June 11, 2004) (reviewing David Cay Johnston, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else (2005)), http://writ.news.findlaw.com/books/reviews/20040611_buchanan.html.
  • Proof through Repetition and the ‘Liberal Bias’ of the U.S. Media, FindLaw’s Writ (June 20, 2003) (reviewing Eric Alterman, What Liberal Media(2002)), http://writ.news.findlaw.com/books/reviews/20030620_buchanan.html.
  • Book review, 3 Theoretical Criminology 501 (November 1999) (reviewing David Cole, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (1999)).
  • Book review, 13 Contributions Pol’y Econ. 97 (1994) (reviewing Robert Eisner, The Misunderstood Economy: What Counts and How to Count It(1994)).
  • Book review, 10 Contributions Pol’y Econ. 82 (1991) (reviewing Todd G. Buccholz, New Ideas from Dead Economists:  An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought (1990)).
  • Book review, 10 Contributions Pol’y Econ. 90(1991) (reviewing Kevin Phillips, The Politics of Rich and Poor (1990)).91).