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4 Colum. J. Tax L. 1 (2012-2013)

handle is hein.journals/colujoutl4 and id is 1 raw text is: ARTICLES
Cartelizing Taxes: Understanding the OECD's
Campaign against Harmful Tax Competition
Andrew P. Morriss*
Lotta Moberg*
Formed in 1961 to promote global economic and social well-being, the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has become the
collective voice of rich countries on international tax issues. After an initial focus on
improving commerce through addressing double taxation issues, the organization shifted
to a focus on restricting tax competition and increasing automatic exchanges of tax
information. In this paper we analyze the reasons for this shift in policy focus. After
describing the history of the OECD's work on taxation, we examine the OECD's project
against harmful tax competition as it has played out since its launch in the 1990s. We
analyze the mechanisms behind the project from a public choice perspective. While
typical economic models portray tax competition as a prisoner's dilemma between
governments, a more powerful perspective is of the incentives of politicians and
bureaucrats. We conclude that the project against tax competition is an example of the
interplay between the interests of politicians and international bureaucrats. The OECD
project illustrates the role that international organizations play in competition among
interest groups.
*D. Paul Jones, Jr. & Charlene A. Jones Chairholder in Law and Professor of Business, University
of Alabama; Research Scholar. Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University Senior Scholar at
the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Senior Fellow. Property & Environment Research
Center, Bozeman, Montana. A.B. Princeton University; J.D., M.Pub.Aff., University of Texas; Ph.D.
(Economics) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We thank James Bryce, Charlotte Ku, Richard Rahn,
and Timothy Ridley for helpful comments.
** B.A. (Economics), Lund University; Ph.D. student (Economics), George Mason University.

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