IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Adjusting national tax policy to economic internationalization: Strategies and outcomes


  • Ganghof, Steffen


Competitive pressures in corporate and personal income taxation have increased the marginal economic and political costs of taxation during the last 25 years. This contributed to the fact that since the mid-1980s, capital income and total tax revenues as well as public expenditures (all as percentage of GDP) of the 18 most advanced OECD countries have, on average, no longer shown a medium-term upward trend. However, contrary to widespread beliefs, the OECD-18 averages for these three variables do not show a downward trend, either. How can this medium-term stability of capital income tax revenues, total tax revenues and public expenditures be explained? On the basis of an investigation of the nature of adjustment pressures and strategies, the paper highlights two explanations. First, competitive pressures on the tax mix, the revenue mix, and the budget size have partly been offset by countervailing - domestic and international - pressures. Second, given strong budgetary constraints on general cuts in effective income tax rates, most governments have pursued three revenue-preserving adjustment strategies that take the precise nature of competitive pressures into account. Governments have pursued a policy of tax-cut-cum-base-broadening, differentiated their income tax treatment according to differences in competitive pressures, and combatted international tax avoidance and evasion with legal and administrative measures. These strategies have been successful in limiting revenue losses. However, increased (explicit) differentiation of income tax treatment does conflict with established principles of neutral and just taxation. Thus, competitive pressures have resulted, in part, in a changed and more controversial structure of taxation rather than large-scale revenue losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Ganghof, Steffen, 1999. "Adjusting national tax policy to economic internationalization: Strategies and outcomes," MPIfG Discussion Paper 99/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:996

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alfons Weichenrieder, 1996. "Fighting international tax avoidance," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 37-58, February.
    2. M. Bordignon & S. Giannini & P. Panteghini, 1998. "Corporate Taxation in Italy: an Analysis of the 1998 Reform," Working Papers 328, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. G√ľnther G. Schulze & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1999. "Globalisation of the Economy and the Nation State," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 295-352, May.
    4. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
    5. John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1992. "Canada-U.S. Tax Comparisons," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number shov92-1.
    6. Willi Leibfritz & John Thornton & Alexandra Bibbee, 1997. "Taxation and Economic Performance," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 176, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Troeger, Vera, 2012. "De Facto Capital Mobility, Equality, and Tax Policy in Open Economies," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 84, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Genschel, Philipp, 2001. "Globalization, tax competition, and the fiscal viability of the welfare state," MPIfG Working Paper 01/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:996. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.