WNPR

Nobel Laureate Urges Caution On Tax Cutting In Connecticut

Jun 19, 2017

Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller says Connecticut shouldn’t be cutting taxes in order to keep corporations in the state. 

Shiller, who is a professor of economics at Yale, spoke with WNPR’s John Dankosky last week at the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas. 

He said the expected loss of Aetna’s headquarters is a blow, but Connecticut has advantages because it offers a good quality of life, promoted by tax and regulation.

"People want to stay in these states because of something about the quality of business there," said Shiller. "Most people don't flee taxes, they're looking at the whole picture. The ambience of a state is enhanced by those taxes as they're used, and the regulation."

And he urged policymakers to take the long view.

"We might see Aetna leave Connecticut, but in the long run, we don't want to lose sight of our strengths, and I don't think we can lure people by low taxes," Schiller said.

Aetna has not yet said where it will move to, although there's speculation it may choose Manhattan.

The last big corporation to leave Connecticut, General Electric, moved from Fairfield to Boston in search of a more entrepreneurial culture.