Tax Law Scholarship in Germany and the United States

21 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016

See all articles by Wolfgang Schoen

Wolfgang Schoen

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, Department of Business and Tax Law

Date Written: May 4, 2016

Abstract

This article presents a comparative analysis of the very different ways tax law scholarship is understood and performed in two major jurisdictions: the United States and Germany. While U.S. tax scholarship is dominated by "legal realism", interdisciplinary work and major contributions to theoretical or policy issues, German tax scholarship is largely devoted to "black letter law" and its "true" construction. The strength of U.S. academic writing seems to lie in its wide intellectual perspective, its willingness to start from "first principles" and to address fundamental questions of tax reform. The strength of German academic work lies in its close interaction with courts and legislators, its outreach into adjacent fields like corporate law, administrative law and constitutional law. Both U.S. scholars and German scholars might benefit from increased comparative work which has become a natural element of scholarship within the framework of the European Union but looks still rather exotic from the U.S. perspective.

Suggested Citation

Schön, Wolfgang, Tax Law Scholarship in Germany and the United States (May 4, 2016). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2016-7, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2775191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2775191

Wolfgang Schön (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, Department of Business and Tax Law ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

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