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Work in Progress

Presently I am working on following papers:

The Economics of the Digital Services Tax, May 2019

Abstract: The use of digital services is largely non-rival. This paper argues that vanishing marginal costs of supply change policy incentives. Small countries are incentivized to tax the import of digital services. In fact, various countries have already moved towards expanded source taxation of online business activities. If such practice spreads, the quality of digital services will be negatively affected. This paper argues that countries exporting digital services have reason to respond by promoting an international tax regime in which the profit earned on remote supplies of digital business services is split between the countries involved.

Education: Optimal Choice and Efficient Policy, jointly with Kerstin Schneider, Feb. 2019

Abstract: This paper argues that it suffices to assume distortionary wage taxation to prove the efficiency of effective subsidization of education. The paper does not rely on considerations of equity and market failure to justify subsidies. Instead, the optimal subsidy reduces the social cost of distortive wage taxation. The theoretical approach assumes a Mincer-type earnings function, analyzes corner solutions of optimal schooling choice, and derives the result of efficient subsidization in a Ramsey-type framework. Second-best policy is confronted with empirical evidence from OECD countries. The majority of countries are shown to subsidize tertiary education in effective terms.

Aligning Profit Taxation with Value Creation, Feb. 2019

Abstract: The OECD seeks to align transfer pricing and profit taxation with value creation but fails to provide a clear definition. This paper argues that value creation requires international cooperation and that the profit tax base should therefore be allocated according to standards commonly considered as equitable when distributing the surplus of cooperation. The claim that current rules of international profit taxation are aligned with value creation is rejected. If anything, the OECD’s objective suggests a tax system in which profits are split between the involved jurisdictions. This result triggers the question of possible implementation which is discussed in some depth.



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Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfram F. Richter
Tel.: 0231 755-3440