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Tax competition in the European Union

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  • Dehejia, Vivek H.
  • Genschel, Philipp

Abstract

Tax competition poses two problems for international cooperation: defection and distributive conflict. Multilateral cooperation to stop tax competition may fail because states face incentives to renege on their promises or because they face adverse distributional consequences, either of which makes cooperation an unattractive option for them. Conventional wisdom in international relations concentrates on the first problem, highlighting that the problem of tax competition resembles a Prisoner's dilemma. We argue instead that it is the peculiar distributional consequences of tax competition which explain why all attempts to regulate it cooperatively have failed. Combining theoretical analysis with empirical research on the European Union's unsuccessful record of tax cooperation, we show how distributive, within-group conflict amongst potential cooperators interacts with the constraints imposed by a non-cooperating outside world to make multilateral tax cooperation an especially elusive goal for international collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Dehejia, Vivek H. & Genschel, Philipp, 1998. "Tax competition in the European Union," MPIfG Discussion Paper 98/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:p0046
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphane Guimbert, 2002. "Réformes de la fiscalité du capital en Europe," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 16(4), pages 113-169.
    2. Genschel, Philipp, 2004. "Globalisation and the welfare state: A retrospective," TranState Working Papers 3, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    3. Oeffner, Marc, 2005. "Die Duale Einkommensteuer des Sachverständigenrates in der Diskussion," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 59, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    4. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2001. "What have we learned? Problem-solving capacity of the multilevel European polity," MPIfG Working Paper 01/4, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    5. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2000. "Notes toward a theory of multilevel governing in Europe," MPIfG Discussion Paper 00/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. Lukas Hakelberg, 2014. "The Power Politics of International Tax Cooperation. Why Luxembourg and Austria accepted automatic exchange of information on foreign account holders’ interest income," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers p0375, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    7. 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.
    8. Rixen, Thomas & Rohlfing, Ingo, 2005. "The political economy of bilateralism and multilateralism: Institutional choice in international trade and taxation," TranState Working Papers 31, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    9. Katharina Holzinger, 2003. "Tax Competition and Tax Co-operation in the EU: The Case of Savings Taxation," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 7, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    10. Delsen, Lei, 2003. "Are European welfare states sustainable?," Research Report 03C28, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    11. Genschel, Philipp, 2000. "Der Wohlfahrtsstaat im Steuerwettbewerb," MPIfG Working Paper 00/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    12. Genschel, Philipp, 2005. "Globalisation and the transformation of the tax state," TranState Working Papers 10, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    13. Vega, Alberto, 2012. "International governance through soft law: The case of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines," TranState Working Papers 163, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    14. Rixen, Thomas & Rohlfing, Ingo, 2005. "The Political Economy of Bilateralism and Multilateralism: Institutional Choice in Trade and Taxation," MPRA Paper 325, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
    15. Höpner, Martin & Schäfer, Armin, 2012. "Integration among unequals: How the heterogeneity of European varieties of capitalism shapes the social and democratic potential of the EU," MPIfG Discussion Paper 12/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    16. Philipp Genschel & Achim Kemmerling & Eric Seils, 2011. "Accelerating Downhill: How the EU Shapes Corporate Tax Competition in the Single Market," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 585-606, May.
    17. Rixen, Thomas, 2005. "Internationale Kooperation im asymmetrischen Gefangenendilemma: Das OECD Projekt gegen schädlichen Steuerwettbewerb," MPRA Paper 329, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.

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