Showing 1 - 12 of 18 publications

Developing influence: the power of ‘the rest’ in global tax governance

by Martin Hearson, Rasmus Corlin Christensen & Tovony Randriamanalina

As Western-led institutions of global governance adapt to global power shifts, the question of which countries dominate, and how, increasingly animates scholarship. Yet while attention has shifted from ‘Great’ to ‘Rising’ Powers, the underlying focus on market power has changed little. In this article, we shift the focus to alternative forms of power that developing…

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January 2022

The Rise of China and Contestation in Global Tax Governance

by Martin Hearson & Rasmus Corlin Christensen

This paper examines the relationship between China’s changing economy and its global business tax diplomacy. Three trends dominate: China is becoming a net capital exporter, emerging as a major consumer market, and is home to digital giant firms including Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. The resulting drive to promote both ‘going out’ and ‘bringing in’ foreign…

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December 2021

The Politics of Taxing Multinational Firms in a Digital Age

by Martin Hearson & Margarita Gelepithis

Taxing multinationals is politically difficult because of the structural power of mobile firms within the global economy, and this structural power is expected to increase in the digital age. Recently however there has been a breakdown in the international corporate tax consensus that structured tax competition over the past century. A new norm of international…

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September 2021

The Politics and History of Global Tax Governance

by Martin Hearson & Thomas Rixen

We discuss the history, political determinants and current challenges of global tax governance. We divide the last century into three eras: foundation, during which states built a regime to prevent double taxation using bilateral treaties and soft multilateral coordination; stability, during which this regime failed to adapt to the growth in volume and complexity of…

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Using New Data to Support Tax Treaty Negotiation

by Martin Hearson, Marco Carreras & Anna Custers

This paper introduces the new Tax Treaties Explorer dataset, developed with support from the World Bank and the G-24, and illustrates its use for research by tax treaty negotiators, policy makers, and researchers. The new dataset provides a rich source of data to reexamine existing tax treaty policy, inform negotiation positions, and assess treaty networks….

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Tax Treaties of G-24 Countries: Analysis Using a New Dataset

by Martin Hearson

Between them, the G-24 countries have over 800 bilateral tax treaties in force. Each treaty limits states’ ability to tax income earned within their borders by investors and service providers from the treaty partner. As well as constraining states’ ‘taxing rights’, they are also vulnerable to abuse through ‘treaty shopping’. A new dataset of developing…

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“An Unacceptable Surrender of Fiscal Sovereignty:” The Neoliberal Turn to International Tax Arbitration

by Martin Hearson & Todd Tucker

This article examines the growth of inequality over the past half century, which is closely connected to the rise of neoliberal policies and institutions and the latter of which shield capital from state actions that might limit wealth accumulation. Economic nationalism since the global financial crisis has slowed or even reversed this, yet this same…

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May 2021

Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics

by Martin Hearson

In Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics, ICTD Research Fellow Martin Hearson shifts the focus of political rhetoric regarding international tax rules from tax havens and the Global North to the damaging impact of this regime on the Global South. Even when not exploited by tax dodgers, international tax standards place severe limits…

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December 2020

At the Table, Off the Menu? Assessing the Participation of Lower-Income Countries in Global Tax Negotiations

by Rasmus Corlin Christensen, Martin Hearson & Tovony Randriamanalina

For half a century, the most influential international rules and standards for taxing multinational corporations have been formulated by a select group of developed countries, the OECD, with lower-income countries on the outside. Since 2013, this has changed: decision making at the OECD has moved to the ‘Inclusive Framework’ (IF), which today encompasses 137 jurisdictions….

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December 2020

At the Table, Off the Menu? Assessing the Participation of Lower-Income Countries in Global Tax Negotiations

by Rasmus Corlin Christensen, Martin Hearson & Tovony Randriamanalina

Since 2013, the formal structure of global corporate tax policymaking at the OECD has changed. Decisions are no longer made by 37 OECD members, but by 137 countries from all regions and levels of development through the ‘Inclusive Framework’ (IF). Official documentation emphasises that all countries participate on an ‘equal footing’, but some participants and…

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December 2020

The Political Science of Global Tax Governance

by Martin Hearson & Thomas Rixen

This chapter provides a review of the political science literature on the international tax regime. First, we distinguish between (1) interest- and (2) power-based, as well as (3) institutionalist and (4) ideational accounts. We show how all four theoretical perspectives contribute to explaining the institutional design, development over time and policy outcomes of global tax…

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The Appropriateness of International Tax Norms to Developing Country Contexts

by Martin Hearson, Joy W. Ndubai & Tovony Randriamanalina

This FACTI Background Paper considers six sets of international tax norms: tax treaties (often known as double taxation agreements), transfer pricing rules, mutual assistance agreements between states, state-state and investor-state tax dispute resolution mechanisms, coercive mechanisms that oblige states to adopt international tax norms or face sanctions from powerful states, and finally the embryonic framework…

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