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The Globalization of Tax Policy: What German Politicians Believe


  • Heinemann, Friedrich
  • Janeba, Eckhard


The process of globalization has an important impact on national tax policies. Most of the literature on taxation of capital in open economies does not focus directly on the political decision making process and assumes that the desired tax policy is responding to objective underlying tradeoffs. Based on an original survey of members of German national parliament (Bundestag) in 2006/7 we document a strong ideological bias among policy makers with respect to the perceived mobility of international tax bases (mobility of real capital and shifting of paper profits). Ideology via party affiliation influences also directly and indirectly the perceived national autonomy in tax setting and preferences for a EU minimum tax for companies. There seems little consensus as to what the efficiency cost of capital taxation in open economies are, even though our survey falls in period of extensive debate about and actual adoption of a company tax reform bill in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard, 2007. "The Globalization of Tax Policy: What German Politicians Believe," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-057, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:6654

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    2. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    3. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    4. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Krupnikov, Yanna & Levine, Adam Seth & Lupia, Arthur & Prior, Markus, 2006. "Public Ignorance and Estate Tax Repeal: The Effect of Partisan Differences and Survey Incentives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(3), pages 425-437, September.
    6. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 435-439, May.
    7. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    8. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "The political economy of corporate tax harmonization — Why do European politicians (dis)like minimum tax rates?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 18-37.
    2. Friedrich Heinemann & Philipp Mohl & Steffen Osterloh, 2009. "Who’s afraid of an EU tax and why?—revenue system preferences in the European Parliament," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 73-99, March.
    3. Friedrich Heinemann & Michael Förg & Eva Jonas & Eva Traut-Mattausch, 2008. "Psychologische Restriktionen wirtschaftspolitischer Reformen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(4), pages 383-404, November.
    4. Libman, Alexander & Ushkalova, Daria, 2009. "Post-Soviet countries in global and regional institutional competition: The case of Kazakhstan," MPRA Paper 12595, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Globalization; business taxation; tax competition; beliefs; member of parliament;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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