David I. Walker

Professor of Law

Maurice Poch Faculty Research Scholar

BE summa cum laude, Vanderbilt University
JD magna cum laude, Harvard University

Areas of Interest
Corporate, Business & Transactional Law, Economics & Law, Tax Law

Professor David Walker is the recipient of BU Law’s Michael Melton Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence and Boston University’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.His research lies at the intersection of taxation and corporate governance, with a particular focus on executive compensation. Recent projects include “A Tax Response to the Executive Pay Problem,” published in the Boston University Law Review, and “Evolving Executive Equity Compensation and the Limits of Optimal Contracting,” published in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Professor Walker is a 1998 graduate of Harvard Law School and a recipient of Harvard’s John M. Olin Prize in Law and Economics. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Karen Nelson Moore of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, returned to Harvard Law School for a year as an Olin Fellow, and worked as an associate in the tax department at Ropes & Gray, where he had a general tax practice with an emphasis on executive compensation.

Prior to law school, Professor Walker enjoyed an interesting and varied career in the oil industry that included roles as a chemical engineer, crude oil trader, and assistant to the president of BP Oil Company, the US arm of British Petroleum. His undergraduate degree in chemical engineering is from Vanderbilt University.

  1. David Walker, "Reconsidering Realization-Based Accounting for Equity Compensation," 13 NYU Journal of Law & Business 535 (2017).
    SSRN | Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  2. David Walker, "End (Finally) the BOLI and COLI Tax Subsidy," 157 Tax Notes 367 (2017).
  3. David Walker, "Another (Critical) Look at the Inversion Excise Tax," 151 Tax Notes 947 (2016).
  4. David Walker & Brian D. Galle, "Donor Reaction to Salient Disclosures of Nonprofit Executive Pay: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," 45 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 787 (2016).
  5. David Walker, "The Way We Pay Now: Understanding and Evaluating Performance-Based Executive Pay," 1 Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting 395 (2016).
    Publisher | SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  6. David Walker & Brian D. Galle, "Nonprofit Executive Pay as an Agency Problem: Evidence from U.S. Colleges and Universities," Boston University Law Review 1881 (2014).
    SSRN | Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  7. David Walker, "A Tax Response to the Executive Pay Problem," 92 Boston University Law Review 325 (2013).
  8. David Walker, "The Impact of Public Disclosure on Equity Dispositions by Corporate Managers," 112 Columbia Law Review Sidebar 171 (2012).
    Publisher | SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  9. David Walker, "The Law and Economics of Executive Compensation: Theory and Evidence," in Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporation Law 232, Claire A. Hill & B. H. McDonnell, eds., Edward Elgar (2012). SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  10. David Walker, "Who Bears the Cost of Excessive Executive Compensation (and Other Corporate Agency Costs)?" 57 Villanova Law Review 653 (2012).
  11. David Walker, "Evolving Executive Equity Compensation and the Limits of Optimal Contracting," 64 Vanderbilt Law Review 611 (2011).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  12. David Walker, "Executive Pay Lessons from Private Equity," in Symposium The Role of Fiduciary Law and Trust in the Twenty-First Century: A Conference Inspired by the Work of Tamar Frankel, 91 Boston University Law Review 1209 (2011).
  13. David Walker, "Suitable for Framing: Business Deductions in a Net Income Tax System," 52 William and Mary Law Review 2862 (2011).
  14. David Walker, "The Challenge of Improving the Long-Term Focus of Executive Pay," 51 Boston College Law Review 435 (2010).
  15. David Walker & Victor Fleischer, "Book/Tax Conformity and Equity Compensation," 62 Tax Law Review 399 (2009).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  16. David Walker, "The Non-Option: Understanding the Dearth of Discounted Employee Stock Options," 89 Boston University Law Review 2355 (2009).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  17. David Walker, "Financial Accounting and Corporate Behavior," 64 Washington & Lee Law Review 927 (2007).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  18. David Walker, "Unpacking Backdating: Economic Analysis and Observations on the Stock Option Scandal," 87 Boston University Law Review 561 (2007).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  19. David Walker, "The Manager's Share," 47 William and Mary Law Review 587 (2005).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  20. David Walker, "Is Equity Compensation Tax Advantaged?" 84 Boston University Law Review 695 (2004).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  21. David Walker, "The Social Insurance Crisis and the Problem of Collective Savings: A Commentary on Shaviro's 'Reckless Disregard’," in Symposium The State of Federal Income Taxation: Rates, Progressivity, and Budget Processes, 45 Boston College Law Review 1347 (2004).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  22. David Walker, "Stock Options for Tax Exempt Organization Managers?" 100 Tax Notes 1581 (2003).
  23. David Walker, Lucian A. Bebchuk & J. Fried, "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," 69 University of Chicago Law Review 751 (2002).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  24. David Walker, "Tax Incentives Will Not Close Stock Option Accounting Gap," 96 Tax Notes 851 (2002).
  25. David Walker & Lucian A. Bebchuk, "The Overlooked Corporate Finance Problems of a Microsoft Breakup," 56 Business Lawyer 459 (2001).
  26. David Walker, Lucian A. Bebchuk & J. Fried, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," Financial Times 13 (Oct. 4, 2000).
  27. David Walker & Lucian A. Bebchuk, "A Hard Division," Legal Times 31 (Nov. 20, 2000).
  28. David Walker, "Rethinking Rights of First Refusal," 5 Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance 1 (1999).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
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