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How Globalization Affects Tax Design

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23

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  • James R. Hines Jr.
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

The economic changes associated with globalization tighten financial pressures on governments of high-income countries by increasing the demand for government spending while making it more costly to raise tax revenue. Greater international mobility of economic activity, and associated responsiveness of the tax base to tax rates, increases the economic distortions created by taxation. Countries with small open economies have relatively mobile tax bases; as a result, they rely much less heavily on corporate and personal income taxes than do other countries. The evidence indicates that a ten percent smaller population in 1999 is associated with a one percent smaller ratio of personal and corporate income tax collections to total tax revenues. Governments of small countries instead rely on consumption-type taxes, including taxes on sales of goods and services and import tariffs, much more heavily than do larger countries. Since the rapid pace of globalization implies that all countries are becoming small open economies, this evidence suggests that the use of expenditure taxes is likely to increase, posing challenges to governments concerned about recent changes in income distribution.
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Suggested Citation

  • James R. Hines Jr. & Lawrence H. Summers, 2009. "How Globalization Affects Tax Design," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, pages 123-157 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10573
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    Cited by:

    1. -, 2013. "Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013: tax reform and renewal of the fiscal covenant," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 3101 edited by Eclac, April.
    2. Mark Dincecco & Mauricio Prado, 2012. "Warfare, fiscal capacity, and performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 171-203, September.
    3. Stephanie Meinhard & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "The Globalization–Welfare State Nexus Reconsidered," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 271-287, May.
    4. Nihal Bayraktar & Tuan Minh Le & Blanca Moreno-Dodson, 2012. "Tax Capacity and Tax Effort: Extended Cross-Country Analysis from 1994 to 2009," EcoMod2012 3858, EcoMod.
    5. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "Globalization and Political Trust," Papers 285, World Trade Institute.
    6. Manmohan S. Kumar & Dennis P. Quinn, 2012. "Globalization and Corporate Taxation," IMF Working Papers 12/252, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2012. "Public education spending in a globalized world:," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(5), pages 677-707, October.
    8. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Hessami, Zohal, 2010. "Globalization and the Composition of Public Education Expenditures: A Dynamic Panel Analysis," MPRA Paper 25750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2012. "Globalization, Tax Distortions, and Public-Sector Retrenchment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 409-439, June.
    10. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic & Yongzheng Liu, 2011. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory, and Economic Significance," Chapters,in: The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Patrick Imam, 2012. "Exchange Rate Choices of Microstates," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 50(3), pages 207-235, September.
    12. Gómez Sabaini, Juan Carlos & Morán, Dalmiro, 2014. "Tax policy in Latin America: Assessment and guidelines for a second generation of reforms," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 133, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    13. Davide Furceri & Georgios Karras, 2011. "Tax Design in the OECD: A Test of the Hines-Summers Hypothesis," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 239-247.
    14. Egger, Peter Hannes & Nigai, Sergey & Strecker, Nora M., 2016. "The Taxing Deed of Globalization," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145953, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Stevan Luković, 2015. "The Impact Of Globalization On The Characteristics Of Tax Systems Of The European Countries," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 60(206), pages 117-140, July - Se.
    16. Le, Tuan Minh & Moreno-Dodson, Blanca & Bayraktar, Nihal, 2012. "Tax capacity and tax effort : extended cross-country analysis from 1994 to 2009," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6252, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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