Deconstructing Offshore Finance

Economic Geography, Vol. 91, Issue 3, pp. 237-249, 2015

20 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016

See all articles by Gordon L. Clark

Gordon L. Clark

Oxford University - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Karen Lai

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Geography

Dariusz Wojcik

University of Oxford, St. Peter's College

Date Written: March 20, 2015

Abstract

Recent scandals involving large corporations including Amazon, Apple, Google, Starbucks and HSBC have highlighted the problems of tax avoidance, evasion and offshore financial activities. Considering their significance to growing inequality and financial instability, renewed media and public attention is well justified, and new research on these topics urgent. At the same time, however, there is confusion in the very use of the term offshore finance. Some apply it interchangeably with tax havens, others go as far as to use it as a synonym of international finance. We argue that offshore finance needs a precise definition, and careful positioning in a broader economic geographical framework. We suggest a definition based on the legal and accounting in addition to financial aspects of offshore, and propose the concept of Global Financial Networks to situate offshore jurisdictions and offshore finance in the firm-territory nexus, and in relation to Global Production Networks. This sets the stage for three research papers presented in this issue, which map offshore financial networks at global and regional scales, and investigate its causes and mechanisms.

Keywords: Offshore Finance, Tax Havens, Financial Centres, Globalisation

Suggested Citation

Clark, Gordon L. and Lai, Karen and Wojcik, Dariusz, Deconstructing Offshore Finance (March 20, 2015). Economic Geography, Vol. 91, Issue 3, pp. 237-249, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2871021

Gordon L. Clark

Oxford University - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment ( email )

South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QY
United Kingdom
+44 1865 285197 (Phone)
+44 1865 285073 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/glclark.html

Karen Lai (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Geography ( email )

1 Arts Link
Singapore, 117570
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.karenlai.wordpress.com

Dariusz Wojcik

University of Oxford, St. Peter's College ( email )

New Inn Hall Street
Oxford, OX1 2DL
United Kingdom

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