Globalization, Tax Competition and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective
I first met David Rosenbloom in 1993. I had just been hired lo leach international tax at Harvard Law School, and was replacing David, who had taught there for many years. I felt a bit apprehensive approaching such a giant in the field, especially since I actually had little experience in international tax and none in lax treaties. But David was extraordinarily generous. Not only did he give me his materials (some of which made it into my casebook, now co-authored with Yariv Brauner and David's student Diane Ring) but he also agreed to come teach treaties as a guest without remuneration. In this and subsequent years I learned a tremendous amount from David, both when we agreed and especially when we disagreed. I know he will disagree with some of the following, but I also know he will be very nice about it. He has had a tremendous impact on our field, and has trained multitudes of tax academics and practitioners. The following is dedicated to him with all respect.
The thesis of "Globalization, Tax Competition and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State"~ ("Globalization") was that the rise of lax competition for both portfolio capital and for direct investment weakened the ability of both developed and developing countries to maintain an adequate social safety net for their citizens, and that to maintain that safety net it was essential to place limits on tax competition. The thesis of this chapter is that the financial crisis of 2008-9 led to further pressure on the safety net, and that in turn led lo the enactment of meaningful limits lo tax competition in OECD countries. In turn, such limits (and further limits that should be enacted) should make it possible to strengthen the safety net in the coming decade. The risk is that if this is not done, it will lead to a further rise in xenophobic nationalism, a retreat from globalization and potentially to war.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Avi-Yonah, Reuven S. "Globalization, Tax Competition and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State: A Twentieth Anniversary Retrospective." In Thinker, Teacher, Traveler: Reimagining International Tax, edited by Georg Kofler, Ruth Mason, and Alexander Rust, 39-50. Amsterdam: IBFD, 2021.
Available for download on Friday, March 31, 2023
Reproduced with permission. Copyright 2021 IBFD - All rights reserved.