Allison Christians, “Global Trends and Constraints on Tax Policy in the Least Developed Countries”

Working Abstract

Through decades of tax reform and cross-border collaboration, the world’s wealthiest countries have developed a set of tax policy norms that meet their mutually beneficial interests. But these norms also introduce rigorous changes and create increasingly rigid parameters for tax policy in the world’s poorest countries. Much scholarly attention is paid to assessing the tax strategies that least developed countries could or should adopt, while relatively little attention is paid to the process by which norms are created and disseminated, and through which global trends emerge and constrain alternative policy choices. This article analyzes the global nature of tax reform in the least developed countries and argues that paying attention to how global tax trends arise could provide insights regarding ways to create greater policy flexibility for the world’s poorest countries to address their revenue collection needs.

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