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The response of both developed and developing countries to global developments has been first, to shift the tax burden from (mobile) capital to (less mobile) labour, and second, when further increased taxation of labour becomes politically and economically difficult, to cut government services. Thus, globalization and tax competition lead to a fiscal crisis for countries that wish to continue to provide those government services to their citizens, at the same time that demographic factors and increased income inequality, job insecurity and income volatility that result from globalization render such services more necessary. This chapter argues that if government service programs are to be maintained in the face of globalization, and if developing countries are to raise the funds needed to achieve the SDGs, it is necessary to cut the intermediate link by limiting tax competition. However, from both practical and normative considerations, any limits set to tax competition should be congruent with maintaining the ability of democratic states to determine the desirable size of their government.


This material has been published in The Cambridge Companion to Business and Human Rights Law, edited by Ilias Bantekas and Michael Ashley Stein DOI: This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press.