The University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleThe Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy

Matt Murray, PhD


Matthew N. Murray, PhD
Director, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy  Associate Director, Center for Business & Economic Research



Public finance and public policy

State and local tax policy

Education finance

Tax compliance

Regional economic development


PhD, Economics, Syracuse University

MA, Syracuse University

BA, University of Northern Iowa



University of Tennessee Professor of Economics, Ball Corporation Professor of Business, Program Director for the Public Administration major in Economics


Contact Information:

T: 865.974.6098
F: 865.974.8777

Dr. Murray holds a joint appointment with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and the Department of Economics at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He is responsible for implementing the mission and vision of the Baker Center. He served as Department Head of Economics from 1997 to 2002 and Director of Graduate Studies from 2002 to 2007.  Dr. Murray is a member of the National Tax Association and the American Economic Association.

Dr. Murray’s work in CBER includes maintenance of the state econometric forecasting model that supports the annual Economic Report to the Governor and the quarterly Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook.  He also does short-term and long-term economic forecasting for the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Dr. Murray has worked closely with state and local governments on a wide range of public policy issues including economic development incentives, economic/fiscal impact analysis, tax policy analysis, education reform and outcomes assessment, and transportation infrastructure finance.

Selected Publications:

An Economic Report to the Governor of the State of Tennessee (short-term and long-term economic forecast), Project Director, 1996-present.

Tennessee Economic Overview.  Monthly economic indicator series for Tennessee and its metropolitan areas, Project Director, June 1994-present.

“Entity Taxation of the Business Enterprise” (with LeAnn Luna and Zhou Yang), Robert Ebel and John Peterson, eds., Handbook on State and Local Government Finance, Oxford University Press, 2012.

“The Effects of State Tax Structure on Business Organizational Form” (with LeAnn Luna).  National Tax Journal, LXIII (2010):995-1021.

“Can States and Localities Export Their Tax Burdens?”  State Tax Notes 51 No. 1 (January 5, 2009): 25-30.

“Interactions Between Welfare Caseloads and Local Labor Markets” (with Brian Hill).  Contemporary Economic Policy 26 (2008): 539-54.

“The SSTP and Technology:  Implications for the Future of the Sales Tax” (with Leann Luna and William F. Fox).  National Tax Journal LXI (2008): 823-842.

“What Factors Influence the Structure of the State Income Tax?” (with Jason Fletcher).  Public Finance Review 36 (2008): 475-96.

“State Business Tax Policy: More of the Same or Fundamental Change?” (with William F. Fox and Leann Luna).  State Tax Notes 44 No. 6 (May 7, 2007): 393-406.