Biography

Merle Erickson studies the effect of taxes on the pricing and structuring of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; and the use of accounting information in valuation and contracting. He also studies, among other things, various aspects of accounting fraud. He teaches “Taxes and Business Strategy” at Booth and has taught the course for the last twenty five years.

In addition to numerous articles published in a variety of top academic journals, Erickson is a coauthor of the widely used Taxes and Business Strategy textbook (currently in its 6th edition) and is the author/editor of the casebook, Cases in Tax Strategy. From 2005-2011, he served as a co-editor of the Journal of Accounting Research.

Over the course of his career, Erickson has consulted on complex GAAP and tax accounting issues (e.g., debt versus equity, various ASC 740 related issues, intercompany accounting and consolidation, employee stock option accounting, accounting for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures (e.g., spin-offs, leverage partnerships, reverse Morris Trust transactions), restated financial statements, etc.) in a variety of contexts (e.g., bankruptcy, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, inversions, structured finance, investment planning, cross border and intercompany financing, partnership and LLC arrangements, tax sharing agreements, shareholder disputes, and various types of tax advantaged transactions). His clients have included, among others, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, Fortune 500 companies in various industries, international financial institutions, law firms, accounting firms, and individual taxpayers. He has also assisted corporations with SEC, IRS and whistleblower investigations. Erickson brings these real world experiences to his “Taxes Business Strategy” and executive education courses at Booth.

Prior to entering academia, he assisted the U.S. Government in its prosecution of the Lincoln Saving & Loan case. He subsequently published an academic article and teaching case relating to the audit failure associated with the Lincoln Saving & Loan case. That teaching case has been used by the Big 4 to train junior auditors. 

He has been given several awards from the American Taxation Association for his research and teaching. He has received the Outstanding Manuscript Award (twice) as well as an award for teaching innovation. In addition to teaching graduate students at Chicago Booth, Erickson has taught courses to Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, General Electric Capital Corporation, Baker McKenzie, Andersen Consulting, Accenture, CareerBuilder, and the IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association) among others. He also was been named one of BusinessWeek's Outstanding Faculty at the University of Chicago.

Erickson earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Rockhurst College in 1987, an MBA in 1989 from Arizona State University, and a PhD in accounting from the University of Arizona in 1996. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1996.

In addition to his scholarly activities, Erickson is an avid fisherman. His angling pursuits have taken him from the pristine wilderness lakes of northern Canada to some of the remotest stretches of the Great Barrier Reef. He received the Angler Award from the Billfish Foundation in 2003 for releasing the most striped marlin worldwide that year.

Research Interests

The effect of taxes on business decisions; the use of accounting information in valuation and contracting; mergers and acquisitions; employee stock options; accounting fraud.

Academic Areas

  • Accounting

Selected Publications

2021 - 2022 Course Schedule

Number Course Title Quarter
30118 Taxes and Business Strategy 2021 (Autumn)

2022 - 2023 Course Schedule

Number Course Title Quarter
30118 Taxes and Business Strategy 2022 (Autumn)

2022 Executive Education Schedule

  Program Title  
  Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) Certification Learn More
  Mergers and Acquisitions Learn More