Joel Slemrod is the David Bradford Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan and the Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He also serves as director of the Office of Tax Policy Research, an interdisciplinary research center housed at the Ross School of Business. He is a professor of law through a courtesy appointment at the University of Michigan Law School. 

Before coming to Michigan, he served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota from 1979 to 1987. During his time there, he spent a year as a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution (1983-1984) and served for one year as the senior economist for tax policy at the Council of Economic Advisers (1984-1985).

From 1992 to 1998, Slemrod was editor of the National Tax Journal and from 2006 to 2010 was co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics. In 2005–2006, he was president of the National Tax Association and, from 2015 to 2018, was president of the International Institute of Public Finance. 

He is co-author with Jon Bakija of Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen’s Guide to the Debate over Taxes (MIT Press, 1996, now in its fifth edition); with Len Burman of Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012, now in its second edition); and with Christian Gillitzer of Tax Systems (MIT Press, 2013). Most recently, he co-authored with Michael Keen Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages (Princeton University Press, 2021).

In 2012, the National Tax Association gave Slemrod its most prestigious award, the Daniel M. Holland Medal, for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study and practice of public finance.