Taxation Without Coordination
Posted: 15 Mar 2002
Traditional conceptions of the nation-state have been challenged by the growth of the global economy. Increasingly, one hears calls for the "harmonization" of divergent national laws. Yet, actual movement in the direction of such harmonization has been painfully slow. It may be that the benefits of harmonization are less that they appear to its proponents. Alternatively, this continuing diversity may be an example of special interest groups prospering at the expense of the general public. The article looks at one context in which the case for international coordination has been pressed by academics, the definition of income for income tax purposes, as a case study in the general problem of public choice influences on the harmonization process. It identifies potential winners and losers, explicates their roles in the political process, and suggests methods for possibly ameliorating the undue influence of potential losers.
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