George F. Break

Faculty profiles

Members of the Economics Department

George Break

Professor (In Memoriam)

Fields
Public Economics, local government policy
Current Status
Emeritus
Research Interests
Federal, state, local revenue systems in the 1990's

About George Break

Professor Break served as Chairman of the Berkeley Economics Department from 1969 to 1973. During the 1980s, he was President of the National Tax Association, which later honored him with its Holland Medal, and was appointed by California Governor George Deukmejian to the Governor's Tax Reform Advisory Commission. His advising activities extended well beyond California's borders, including work evaluating the tax systems of Greece and Jamaica.

A native of Canada who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, Break held a Berkeley Ph.D. and had been a member of the Department since his first appointment as an Assistant Professor in 1951. During his time in Berkeley he became a leader in the field of Public Finance and made many important contributions to this field, including early and influential empirical research efforts on the effects of income taxation on work incentives and several books and published papers on intergovernmental relations and various aspects of tax reform in the United States and Canada. Among his best known books are Public Finance (with Earl Rolph), Federal Tax Reform: The Impossible Dream (with Joseph Pechman), and Financing Government in a Federal System. Among his many students at Berkeley was Michael Boskin, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George H.W. Bush.