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Speeding up, down the hill: how the EU shapes corporate tax competition in the single market

Philipp Genschel, Achim Kemmerling and Eric Seils

No 78, TranState Working Papers from University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State

Abstract: We show that tax competition in the EU is shaped by four interrelated institutional mechanisms: 1) Market integration, by reducing the transaction costs of cross-border tax arbitrage in the Single Market, 2) enlargement, by increasing the number and heterogeneity of states involved in intra-EU tax competition, 3) tax coordination, by restricting the range of competitive instruments at the disposal of governments, and 4) supranational judicial review by limiting the scope of unilateral defences against tax competition (judicialization). As a consequence, tax competition is significantly stronger in the EU, and the race to the bottom in corporate tax rates more pronounced than in the rest of the world.

Date: 2008
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