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Catching Capital


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The political philosophy of international taxation 2. A primer on taxation 3. What is at stake 4. Tax competition and the financial crisis 5. A short outline of the book PART I Chapter 1: Fiscal autonomy and tax competition 1. Framing the question as one of autonomy 2. Understanding tax competitionEL* 3. EL and its corrosive impact* 4. State incentives under tax competition 5. Conclusion Chapter 2: Regulating tax competition 1. Existing reform proposals and where they fall short 1.1. Capital controls 1.2. Unilateral measures to protect one's tax base 1.3. Redefining the corporate tax base 2. Two principles of global tax justice 2.1. The first principle: membership* 2.2. Transparency as a corollary of membership 2.3. The second principle: A constraint on the design of fiscal policy* 3. Implementation* 3.1. Institutionalizing the membership principle* 3.2. Institutionalizing the fiscal policy constraint* 3.3. Enforcement* 3.4. Comparison to the OECD and EU tax agendas and the question of feasibility* 4. Principles for global background justice* 5. Conclusion PART II Chapter 3: Efficiency of what? - Assessing efficiency arguments in the context of tax competition 1. The deadweight loss and its interpretation 2. Two concepts of efficiency 3. Efficiency as a placeholder 3.1. Efficiency as productive Pareto optimality 3.2. Efficiency as general Pareto optimality 3.3. Making sense of the models 3.4. Efficiency as economic growth 3.5. Taking stock 4. Efficiency as an optimal trade-off 5. Conclusion Chapter 4: Rethinking sovereignty in international fiscal policy 1. The many facets of sovereignty 2. Sovereignty with strings attached 3. Back to fiscal policy 4. The twofold conditional nature of sovereignty 5. What about non-democratic regimes? 6. Conclusion Chapter 5: Life with (or after) tax competition 1. Should the winners of tax competition compensate the losers? 1.1. What's the point of compensatory duties? 1.2. Calculating compensatory duties 2. Should low-income countries be allowed to compete on taxes? 3. Unwinding the system of tax havens 3.1. Additional duties towards low-income countries? 3.2. Corporate lobbies - the elephant in the room 4. Conclusion Conclusion Bibliography Index * These sections are largely based on Peter Dietsch & Thomas Rixen, "Tax Competition and Global Background Justice", The Journal of Political Philosophy 22/2 (2014), 150-77. I thank my co-author Thomas Rixen for his permission to use this material here.

About the Author

Peter Dietsch is Associate Professor at the Universite de Montreal. His research interests lie at the intersection of political philosophy and economics, with a particular focus on questions of income distribution as well as on the normative dimensions of economic policies.


"This is an excellent book suitable not just for tax academics but also for policy makers. In a very readable fashion, the author valiantly defends the regulation of tax competition, not just in the name of justice but also in the name of sound economic policy with lucid (for non-economists) and highly persuasive arguments. With this book, Peter Dietsch has made a very timely contribution to the global justice literature. His book is likely to become a classic." -- Christiana HJI Panayi, British Tax Review 2017 Publication "Dietsch's book sets forth a good overview of this troubling state of affairs and makes a carefully argued philosophical case for restoring fiscal autonomy to national governments." -- Foreign Affairs "Recommended." -- Choice "With this fine book on tax competition, Peter Dietsch makes a timely contribution to the global justice literature." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online "Overall, this is an exceptional book that is well worth reading." -- Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics

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