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Cartelizing Taxes: Understanding the OECD’s Campaign Against 'Harmful Tax Competition'

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Lotta Moberg

William Blair

October 27, 2011

Columbia Journal of Tax Law, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013

Formed in 1961 to promote global economic and social well-being, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has become the collective voice of rich countries on international tax issues. After an initial focus on improving commerce through addressing double taxation issues, the organization shifted to a focus on restricting tax competition and increasing automatic exchanges of tax information. In this paper we analyze the reasons for this shift in policy focus. After describing the history of the OECD’s work on taxation, we examine the OECD's project against “harmful tax competition” as it has played out since its launch in the 1990s. We analyze the mechanisms behind the project from a public choice perspective. While typical economic models portray tax competition as a prisoner’s dilemma between governments, a more powerful perspective is of the incentives of politicians and bureaucrats. We conclude that the project against tax competition is an example of the interplay between the interests of politicians and international bureaucrats, which illustrates the role international organizations play in competition among interest groups.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: tax competition, OECD, international organizations, offshore finance

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Date posted: October 28, 2011 ; Last revised: July 16, 2013

Suggested Citation

Morriss, Andrew P. and Moberg, Lotta, Cartelizing Taxes: Understanding the OECD’s Campaign Against 'Harmful Tax Competition' (October 27, 2011). Columbia Journal of Tax Law, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1950627 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1950627

Contact Information

Andrew P. Morriss (Contact Author)
Texas A&M School of Law ( email )
1515 Commerce Street
Fort Worth, TX 76133
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center ( email )
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )
3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
Lotta Moberg
William Blair ( email )
Chicago, IL
United States
+13123645011 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://https://www.williamblairfunds.com/macro/
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