Michelle Hanlon

Howard W. Johnson Professor
Professor of Accounting


Michelle Hanlon Hanlon specializes in empirical research at the intersection of taxation and financial accounting. Her recent work examines the capital market and financial accounting effects of book-tax conformity; measures, causes, and consequences of corporate tax avoidance; tax and accounting effects on foreign investment and repatriation of foreign earnings; and an examination of firms that report their financial accounting fraudulently. She has recently completed a review of the tax literature as part of a series of invited papers by the Journal of Accounting and Economics. Hanlon’s research has been published in The Accounting Review, The Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, The Journal of Public Economics, among other journals. She is currently an editor of The Journal of Accounting and Economics and has served on several other journals’ editorial boards.

She is both a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has given numerous talks about her research at various universities and policy forums. She has provided staff briefings for both senior Treasury personnel in the Office of Tax Policy and the Senate Finance Committee as well as to Congressional staff members. She has been a speaker at several doctoral consortiums, New Faculty Consortiums, and has represented the JAE on editor panels. Most recently she was part of the American delegation of the Young Leaders Conference in Basel, Switzerland organized by the American Swiss Foundation. Prior to entering academia, she worked for KPMG.

Faculty Media

  • The Newest Tax Haven for the Wealthy Could be Right Here in the U.S.

    “Wherever there is more secrecy afforded to the tax evader, that is where they will want to be,” said Michelle Hanlon, an accounting professor at MIT’s business school who specializes in offshore...

  • Tax Rates and Corporate Decision Making

    It has long been suspected that managers use short-cuts (e.g., heuristics) to make many decisions and that their decisions are affected by behavioral biases such as a tendency to overly rely on ‘...

  • The Lose-Lose Tax Policy Driving Away U.S. Business

    MIT Sloan's Michelle Hanlon discusses the real-world implications of global tax policies.

  • U.S. Corporate Taxes: A Strong Incentive to Move Overseas

    When a U.S. company owns a subsidiary overseas, it has a big decision to make when it comes to the earnings of that subsidiary. Does it send the money back to the parent company in the U.S. and pay...

  • The Taxman Cometh: Does Tax Uncertainty Affect Corporate Cash Holdings?

    Because of grey areas in the tax law and aggressive tax avoidance, the total amount of tax that a firm will pay is uncertain at the time it files its returns.

  • Accounting and Taxes: Real-Life Learning in Professor Michelle Hanlon's Classroom

    When Michelle Hanlon, Howard W. Johnson Professor and Professor of Accounting, joined the faculty of MIT Sloan in 2009, she wasn't sure what to expect. But after spending time on campus, she had a...

  • Two MIT Sloan Faculty Earn Esteemed Awards

    The coveted Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching was given to Catherine Tucker and Michelle Hanlon. Funded by MIT Alumnus J. Burgess Jamieson, SB 52, and his wife, Libby J. Burgess, the prize...

  • Executive Influence on Tax Avoidance

    The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations recently released a report claiming that Caterpillar, the maker of industrial equipment, “avoided or deferred $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes over a...

  • Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes

    Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues....

  • Can You Guess Which Country’s Businesses Face the Highest Taxes?

    American corporations face the highest statutory tax rate in the world. But the US could become one of the most appealing tax havens on Earth if some lawmakers have their way.


Contact Information

Office: E62-668
Phone: 617-253-9849
Fax: 617-253-0603
Email: mhanlon@mit.edu
Support Staff
Name: Cassie Reddick
Phone: 617-715-4178