Associate Professor

Jackman Law Building
Room J372
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5


Tel.: 416-978-6815

Emily Satterthwaite is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law.  Professor Satterthwaite’s specialty is the law of taxation, and her research sheds light on areas of the tax law in which tax choices and taxpayer compliance obligations may have unanticipated equity implications.  She uses experimental, qualitative, and quantitative empirical methods to study how the design of elective provisions in tax statutes and tax agency enforcement policies plays out “on the ground,” with a particular focus on entry-level entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals.  In 2020, she was awarded an SSHRC Insight Development Grant to fund her research on the gig economy and tax compliance challenges of paid domestic workers.

Professor Satterthwaite’s recent articles explore the impact of value-added tax registration thresholds on micro-entrepreneurs, the relationship of new firms’ legal and tax status choices to their chances for survival, and how audit policies can be presented to taxpayers to support their post-audit compliance choices.  Her research findings have been profiled in Forbes and were included in the literature review of the U.S. Taxpayer Advocate Service’s 2016 Report to Congress.  Professor Satterthwaite’s research has been published or is accepted for publication in leading U.S. and Canadian law journals, including Canadian Tax JournalColumbia Journal of Tax LawFlorida Tax Review, International Review of Law and EconomicsJournal of Empirical Legal StudiesMcGill Law Journal, Queen’s Law Journal, Pittsburgh Tax Review, and Tax Law Review, among others.  In addition to support from SSHRC, she has been awarded research funding from the Foundation for Legal Research, the Connaught Fund, and other grantors.

Professor Satterthwaite received a B.A. from Yale College, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an LL.M. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and an M.A. (economics) from the University of Toronto.  Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, she served as the Assistant Director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School, where she supervised students in their legal representation of early-stage businesses launched by lower-income entrepreneurs.  Professor Satterthwaite also worked for three years as a tax associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York and Chicago.  She is admitted to the bar in New York and Illinois. 

Download Professor Satterthwaite’s research from SSRN

M.A., Economics, University of Toronto (2014)
LL.M., University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2011)
J.D., Stanford Law School (2003)
B.A., Yale College (1997)
Academic appointments
Associate Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2019-present)
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2014-2019)
Research Associate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2010-2014)
Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School and Assistant Director, Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (2007-2010)
Selected publications

Journal Articles

Tax Signaling, accepted for publication, Tax Law Review (NYU faculty-edited)

Is a Fine Still a Price? Replication as Robustness in Empirical Legal Studies, co-authored with Cherie Metcalf, Shahar Dillbary & Brock Stoddard, 63 International Review of Law and Economics 1 (2020) (peer-reviewed)

Entrepreneurs’ Legal Status Choices and the C Corporation Survival Penalty 16:3 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 542 (2019) (peer-reviewed); reviewed by Professor Ariel Jurow Kleiman on TaxProf Blog

Electing into a Value-Added Tax: Evidence from Ontario Microentrepreneurs 66:4 Canadian Tax Journal 761 (2018) (peer-reviewed)

Rewarding Honest Taxpayers: An Experimental Assessment 22:1 Florida Tax Review 200 (2018) (UF faculty-edited) 

On the Threshold: Smallness and the Value-Added Tax 9 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 177 (2018); reviewed by Professor Erin Scharff on TaxProf Blog and by Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen on TaxProf Blog

Replication and Evaluation of Goolsbee, Lovenheim and Slemrod’s "Playing With Fire: Cigarettes, Taxes and Competition from the Internet" 46(5) Public Finance Review 879 (2018) (peer-reviewed)

Can Audits Encourage Tax Evasion? An Experimental Assessment 20 Florida Tax Review 1 (2016) (UF faculty-edited); profiled by Robert Wood in Forbes and included in the literature review of the U.S. Taxpayer Advocate Service’s 2016 Report to Congress

Tax Elections as Screens 42:1 Queen's Law Journal 63 (2016) (peer-reviewed); reviewed by Professor Leigh Osofsky in Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) and Professor Kim Brooks in Friday Library 

Taxing By Default 59:2 McGill Law Journal 337 (2013) (peer-reviewed)

Entry-Level Entrepreneurs and the Choice-of-Entity Challenge 10 Pittsburgh Tax Review 139 (2013) (Univ. of Pittsburgh faculty-edited)

Other Publications

A Do-Over for the Tax Unit, JOTWELL Tax: Journal of Things We Like, Lots (November 22, 2019), reviewing Margherita Borella, Mariacristina De Nardi, and Fang Yang, Are Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits Holding Back Female Labor Supply?, NBER Working Paper No. 26097 (July 23, 2019)

Research areas
Economic Analysis of Law
Tax Law