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Current Publications

Tim Lohse, Sven A. Simon, Kai A. Konrad

Deception Under Time Pressure: Conscious Decision or a Problem of Awareness?

If you want an honest reaction, you should put your counterpart under time pressure. Those, who have to react spontaneously, are more likely to speak the truth. Tim Lohse, Sven A. Simon and Kai A. Konrad conducted an experimental study and found that time is crucial for deceptive behaviour. Dishonest activities not only involve coping with the trade-off between the associated costs and benefits. It also takes time to become aware of the cheating opportunity. And the latest is the decisive factor: Whereas reflection time increases the chance to become aware of the misreporting opportunity and thus increases deceptive behaviour, the study finds that any time beyond the awareness moment has no effect on the conscious decision of whether to cheat or not. 

Published: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, 146, 31-42.

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Kai A. Konrad and Vai-Lam Mui

The Prince or Better No Prince – The Strategic Value of Appointing a Successor

Whether in a company, an institution, a political party or even in a criminal organisation, appointing a successor (the “prince”) can be advantageous for the ruler (“the king”) but can also entail threats and disadvantages. In a recent publication Kai A. Konrad and Vai-Lam Mui analyse if and when the appointment of a prince is in the interest of the incumbent and stabilises his regime.

Published: Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2017, 61(10), 2158-2182.

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Carsten Hohmann

Beschränkung des subjektbezogenen Verlusttransfers im Kapitalgesellschaftsteuerrecht

In seiner Dissertation setzt sich Dr. Carsten Hohmann mit einem brandaktuellen Thema auseinander, der Vorschrift zur Beschränkung des sog. subjektbezogenen Verlusttransfers gemäß § 8c KStG. Erst kürzlich hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht entschieden, dass §8c (Abs. 1) Satz 1 KStG partiell mit dem Grundgesetz unvereinbar ist. In seiner unlängst erschienenen Arbeit vergleicht Carsten Hohmann die entsprechenden Regime in Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz, dem Vereinigten Königreich und den USA und entwickelt einen eigenen, alternativen Regelungsvorschlag für eine Reform in Deutschland.

Published: Duncker & Humblot, 2017, 1009 Seiten.

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Anne-Kathrin Bronsert, Amihai Glazer and Kai A. Konrad

Old Money, the Nouveaux Riches and Brunhilde's Marriage Strategy

Conspicuous spending in courtship may provide important information about a potential partner’s income – but it may also dissipate future family income. In a forthcoming publication, Kai Konrad, Amihai Glazer and Anne-Kathrin Bronsert show how conspicuous consumption may be induced but also curbed when it comes to marriage matching.

Published: Journal of Population Economics, 2017, 30(1), pp. 163-186.

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Alexander Hellgardt

Regulierung und Privatrecht

The balancing of private interests has hitherto been seen as the primary task of private law. Alexander Hellgardt shows in his post-doctoral dissertation, recently published by Mohr Siebeck, that private law is better conceived of as a tool which the legislator may use to regulate economy or society. Hellgardt illustrates the regulatory function of private law using sales law and property law as main examples. He examines regulation by means of private law in order to pursue public interest goals and presents conclusions for jurisprudence, legislation and legal practice.

Published: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, XXXIV, 848 pages.

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Kai A. Konrad and Tim B.M. Stolper

Coordination and the Fight against Tax Havens

Why would a country ever comply with international standards of transparency despite the sizeable returns in the tax haven business? In a recent publication, Kai A. Konrad and Tim Stolper highlight fundamental coordination problems in the fight against tax havens and what this implies for whether the fight will be successful or not.

Published: Journal of International Economics, 2016, 103, p. 96-107.

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Dr. Christine Osterloh-Konrad,
Dr. Caroline Heber, Dr. Tobias Beuchert

Anzeigepflichten für Steuergestaltungsmodelle in Deutschland

Das Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen legt ein Gutachten zum Thema „Anzeigepflichten für Steuergestaltungsmodelle in Deutschland – Hinweise für eine zulässige und zugleich effiziente Regelung“ vor. Auftraggeber ist das Bundeministerium der Finanzen. PDF-Download des Gutachtens.

Eine überarbeitete Fassung des Gutachtens ist im Springer-Verlag in der Reihe MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance erschienen.

Published: MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance.

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Thushyanthan Baskaran and Mariana Lopes da Fonseca

Electoral Thresholds and Political Representation

In a recent publication Thushyanthan Baskaran and Mariana Lopes da Fonseca study the effects of electoral thresholds on political representation, relying on a reform in the German federal state of Hesse that abolished a 5% threshold for local elections. Their results show that the reform had psychological effects that eventually improved the electoral prospects of (relatively small) local parties.

Published: Public Choice, 2016, 169(1), 117–136.

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May Elsayyad and Florian Morath

Technology Transfers for Climate Change

International climate agreements are extremely difficult to achieve. Uncertainty about the country-specific benefits of climate protection as well as the fact that the efforts are contributions to a public good and provide the possibility for non-contributors to free-ride, strengthen the incentives to wait and postpone own mitigation efforts. At the same time, the irreversibility of the damages makes early contributions desirable. A recent article by May Elsayyad and Florian Morath explains why technology sharing may be a way out of the dilemma.

Published: International Economic Review, 2016, 57(3), pp. 1057-1084.

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Caroline Heber and Christian Sternberg

Market Infrastructure Regulation and the Financial Transaction Tax

Based on the fragility of the European financial markets highlighted by the last financial crisis, the European Union is pushing for reforms of the existing regulatory framework and has also proposed a financial transaction tax. The article by Caroline Heber and Christian Sternberg analyses the interplay between the financial market regulation and the proposed financial transaction tax.

Published: World Tax Journal, 2016, Volume 8, No 1, 3-35.

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Erik Röder

Steuerliche Bedingungen von Kapitalbildung und Kapitalbeschaffung

The way in which capital is taxed influences business financing decisions. Whether a company funds a new project out of retained profits or whether it raises external equity or debt capital, is in turn relevant for its economic performance. In his article, Röder first observes that Germany does not have a coherent tax policy in place when it comes to the taxation of income from capital. He examines different options for reforming the taxation of income from capital and arrives at the conclusion that a dual income tax would be the best way to reduce distortions without causing major disruptions to the tax system.

Published: Sieker, S. (ed.), Steuerrecht und Wirtschaftspolitik (DStJG Volume 39). Köln, 2016, pp. 307-360.

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Aart Gerritsen

Optimal Taxation When People Do Not Maximize Well-Being

In this publication, Gerritsen shows how the income tax system could be adjusted to take into account suboptimal labor-supply decisions. To help correct individuals’ behavior, marginal taxes should be higher (lower) for individuals who work suboptimally much (little). Gerritsen analyzes British survey data on people’s subjective life satisfaction and finds that low-income individuals tend to work ‘too few’ hours while high-income individuals work ‘too many’ hours. This provides a motive for lower marginal tax rates at the bottom and higher marginal tax rates at the top of the U.K. income distribution.

Published: Journal of Public Economics, 2016, 144, pp. 122-139.

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Wolfgang Schön and Caroline Heber (eds.)

Grundfragen des Europäischen Steuerrechts

The new, fifth volume of the Institute’s book series “MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance” brings together the findings of the Institute’s lecture series on the Fundamentals of European Tax Law. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to current developments of European Union Law and their impact on the tax law system of every single member state.

Published: MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance, 2015, Volume 5, 164 pages

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Luisa Herbst, Kai A. Konrad, and Florian Morath

Endogenous Group Formation in Experimental Contests

Why would anyone refrain from joining an alliance in an upcoming conflict? Because “the strong man is the strongest when alone,” as William Tell in Friedrich Schiller’s eponymous book puts it. Is that true and who wants to form an alliance nonetheless, and why? In a recently published paper, economists from the Institute used an experimental approach to study alliance formation in contests or in conflict more generally.

Published: Endogenous Group Formation in Experimental Contests, European Economic Review, 2015, 74, pp. 163–189

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Erik Röder

Reformüberlegungen zum Recht der GbR

The question of whether or not the German general partnership may constitute a legal entity was for several decades the subject of an intense scholarly debate. In a landmark decision of 2001, the Federal Court of Justice settled the matter by ruling in favor of the entity status of the general partnership. Erik Röder argues that, as a result, it has become even more obvious that the uniform statutory framework of the general partnerships cannot properly accommodate the many different types of general partnerships that occur in practice.

Published: Archiv für die civilistische Praxis (AcP), Volume 215, No. 3/4, pp. 450-532 (83).

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Erik Hornung

Railroads and Growth in Prussia

Cities that gained railroad access in the early phase of railroad-network expansion in Prussia subsequently grew an additional 1.7 percentage points faster per year than their unconnected neighbours. This is the result of an empirical study by Erik Hornung.

Published: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2015, 13(4), pp. 699–736.

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Qiang Fu, Changxia Ke, and Fangfang Tan

"Success breeds success" or "Pride goes before a fall?": Teams and individuals in multi-contest tournaments

A recently published paper by Qiang Fu, Changxia Ke and Fangfang Tan offers first empirical evidence of the impact of progress feedback on player’s motivation, comparing team and individual tournaments, and contributing to new insights on team incentives.

Published: Games and Economic Behavoir, 2015, 94, p. 57-76

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Caroline Heber and Christian Sternberg

Legal Interpretation of Tax Law: Germany

„Legal Interpretation of Tax Law“ is the first book to deal comparatively with tax law interpretation in economies engaged in cross-border investment at a global level. In chapter 6 Caroline Heber and Christian Sternberg elaborate how tax law is interpreted and applied in Germany.

Published: Heber, C. / Sternberg, C.: Chapter 6: Germany. In: van Brederode, Robert F., Krever / Rick (eds.): Legal Interpretation of Tax Law. Alphen aan den Rijn, Kluwer Law International, 2014, pp. 163-189.

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Caroline Heber and Christian Sternberg

Over-the-Counter Derivative Markets in the Light of EMIR Clearing Obligations and the Financial Transaction Tax

In this prize-winning article the authors analyse the two main mechanisms for the financial market regulation, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and the financial transaction tax (FTT) and examine whether they are coordinated with each other in an efficient way.

Published: Derivatives & Financial Instruments, 2014, 16(3), pp. 107-116.

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Erik Röder

Co-ordination of Corporate Exit Taxation in the Internal Market and Beyond

Corporate exit taxation is an important obstacle to the deepening of economic integration within the internal market and beyond, as it distorts cross-border business activities of multinational enterprises and hinders cross-border business reorganisations. In a recent article in BTR Erik Röder argues that the problems related to corporate exit taxation can only be addressed in a satisfactory way through co-ordination.

Published: British Tax Review (BTR), 2014, No. 5, pp. 574-604.

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Erik Hornung

Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia

Economic arguments play a central role in immigration debates. However, some consequences of migration for the host country are not well studied. In order to assess the benefits from immigration, it is important to study the long-term effect of immigrants on technological progress in the receiving country. In a recent article published in the American Economic Review Erik Hornung analyzes the long-term effects of skilled worker immigration on productivity for the Huguenot migration to Prussia.

Published: American Economic Review, 2014, 104(1), pp. 84-122.

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Schön, Wolfgang / et.al.

Debt and Equity in Domestic and International Tax Law—A Comparative Policy Analysis

The demarcation between debt and equity is a long-standing core constituent of company and taxation law the world over. However, its sustainability for national and international taxation regimes is increasingly the subject of doubt. Domestic and international proposals for reform are directed towards either rendering the classification of financial instruments as equity or debt legally superfluous or robbing it of economic meaning.

Published: British Tax Review (BTR), 2014, No. 2, pp. 146-217.

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Wolfgang Schön et. al.

Special Issue on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting - Bulletin for International Taxation

This special issue on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting of the Bulletin for International Taxation consists of papers first presented at the interdisciplinary conference entitled „Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: A Roadmap for Reform”, which took place in January 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in Munich.

Published: Bulletin for International Taxation, 2014, Volume 68, No. 6/7.

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Kai A. Konrad / Holger Zschäpitz

Schulden ohne Sühne

European leaders tried to solve the European debt crisis by ever larger rescue packages and by a shift of fiscal decision making power and control from the national to the European level.

Published: dtv Press, 2013, ISBN 978-3-423-34733-4, 288 pages.

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Kai A. Konrad / Ronnie Schöb / Marcel Thum / Alfons Weichenrieder (Hrsg.)

Die Zukunft der Wohlfahrtsgesellschaft

Finanzmarktkrise, Staatsverschuldung, Inflationsrisiko, Demografie. Die Liste der für den Sozialstaat bedrohlichen Szenarien ist lang und lässt sich mühelos fortsetzen. Sie wirft die Frage auf, ob die Wohlfahrtsgesellschaft unter diesen Bedingungen noch eine Chance hat.

Published: Campus Verlag, 2013, 250 pages.

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Schön, Wolfgang / Richelle, I. / Traversa, E. (eds..)

Allocating Taxing Powers within the European Union

The jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has a significant impact on the tax systems of EU Member States. Although direct taxation falls within their competence, Member States are bound by the fundamental freedoms when it comes to cross-border situations. In “Allocating Taxing Powers within the European Union”, renowned experts in international tax law deal with the problems and tensions that arise when European law meets national tax sovereignty.

Published: MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance.

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Schön, Wolfgang (ed.)

Eigenkapital und Fremdkapital

Im Steuerrecht hat die Unterscheidung zwischen Eigen- und Fremdkapital eine lange Tradition. Eigenkapital- und Fremdkapitalfinanzierungen werden steuerlich ungleich behandelt. Allerdings greifen Unternehmen zunehmend auf so genannte hybride und mezzanine Finanzierungformen zurück. Der steuerrechtlichen Dichotomie steht auf zivilrechtlicher Seite ein Kontinuum von Finanzierungsinstrumenten gegenüber.

Published: Press Springer, 2013, 890 pages.

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Elliott, Steven /Häcker, B. / Mitchell, C. (eds.)

Restitution of Overpaid Tax

Since the decision of the House of Lords in Woolwich Equitable Building Society v Inland Revenue Commissioners [1993] AC 70, the law governing claims for restitution of overpaid tax has experienced rapid and profound evolution.

Published: Hart Publishing, 2013, 366 pages.

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Morath, Florian

Volunteering and the Strategic Value of Ignorance

Many public goods are provided by the effort of a single individual; examples include intervening in a fight, household chores, and mythical dragon-slaying. Such situations are often best described by a war of attrition: One volunteer is needed for a certain task, and everyone prefers someone else to volunteer first and bear the cost of provision of the public good. Typically, there is a disutility or waiting cost attached to the time until a volunteer is found.

Published: Social Choice and Welfare, 2013, 41(1), pp. 99-131.

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Wolfgang Schön, Kai A. Konrad (Hrsg.)

Fundamentals of International Transfer Pricing in Law and Economics

Taxation of multinational corporate groups is a complex undertaking that has become a major concern in the academic and political debate on the future of international taxation. At the centre of current debates lies the determination of transfer prices between related companies.

Published: MPI Studies in Tax Law and Public Finance.

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Konrad, Kai A.

Information Alliances in Contests with Budget Limits

We study the role of information exchange through alliances in a framework with contestants who have binding budget limits and know their own budget limit but are incompletely informed about other contestants’ budget limits.

Published: Public Choice, 2012, 151(3-4), pp. 679-693.

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Konrad, Kai A. / Geys, Benny / Qari, Salmai

Patriotism, taxation and international mobility

Patriotic citizens intrinsically prefer living in their native country compared to living in the Diaspora. In this paper, we analyze the consequences of such a "patriotic lock-in" in a world with international migration and redistributive taxation

Published: Public Choice, 2012, 151(3-4), pp. 695-717.

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Alexander Hellgardt

Fortentwicklung der Kapitalmarkthaftung

Der Bereich der Kapitalmarkthaftung entwickelt sich derzeit rasant – sowohl auf europäischer als auch auf nationaler Ebene. Alexander Hellgardt analysiert in drei gerade erschienenen Aufsätzen das aktuelle Geschehen und macht Vorschläge zur Fortentwicklung der Haftung.

Published: Die Aktiengesellschaft / Der Betrieb / Zeitschrift für Bankrecht und Bankwirtschaft / Max Planck Encyclopedia of European Private Law.

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Elsayyad, May / Konrad, Kai A.

Fighting multiple tax havens

This paper develops a competition theory framework that evaluates an important aspect of the OECD's Harmful Tax Practices Initiative against tax havens.

Published: Journal of International Economics, 2012, 86(2) pp. 295-305, doi: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.09.002

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Kai A. Konrad / Stergios Skaperdas

The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State

This paper examines a stark setting in which security or protection can be provided by self-governing groups or by for-profit entrepreneurs (kings, kleptocrats, or mafia dons). Though self-governance is best for the population, it faces problems of long-term viability.

Published: Economic Theory, 2012, 50(2), pp. 417-443.

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Wolfgang Schön

Gläubigerschutz in der geschlossenen Kapitalgesellschaft

The closed corporation is the most important economic form of business organization worldwide; however, it is often neglected in international academic legal discussions.

Published: ZGR, special issue 18, 2012, pp. 112-162.

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Dwenger, Nadja / Steiner, Viktor

Profit taxation and the elasticity of the corporate income tax base. Evidence from German corporate tax return data

This paper estimates the elasticity of corporate taxable income with respect to the average corporate tax rate.

Published: National Tax Journal, 2012, 65(1), pp. 117-150.

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Philipp Redeker

Beschaffenheitsbegriff und Beschaffenheitsvereinbarung beim Kauf

Der Anwendungsbereich des Gewährleistungsrechts und die Auslegung der Beschaffenheitsvereinbarung 

Published: Press C.H.Beck

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Dwenger, Nadja / Storck, Johanna / Wrohlich, Katharina

Do Tuition Fees Affect the Mobility of University Applicants? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Several German states recently introduced tuition fees for university education.

Published: Economics of Education Review, 2012, 31(1), pp. 155-167.

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Konrad, Kai A. / Qari, Salmai

The last refuge of a scoundrel? Patriotism and tax compliance

We study the effects of patriotism on tax compliance. In particular, we assume that individuals feel a (random draw of) warm glow from honestly paying their taxes. A higher expected warm glow reduces the government's optimal audit probability and yields higher tax compliance. Second, individuals with higher warm glow are less likely to evade taxes.

Published: Economica, 2012, 79(315), pp. 516-533.

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Konrad, Kai A. / Leininger, Wolfgang

Self-enforcing norms and efficient non-cooperative collective action in the provision of public goods

Leadership by a "big-man" has been observed as a successful governance structure in several historical contexts with small groups. We illustrate this by way of examples and analyse this framework in the context of non-cooperative games with narrowly selfish players.

Published: Public Choice, 2011, 146(3-4), pp. 501-520.

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Konrad, Kai A. / Feld, Lars P. / Thum, Marcel

Umdenken in der Klimapolitik nach dem Gipfel von Cancún!

Mit Cancún kann die globale Klimapolitik auf ein weiteres internationales Treffen zurückblicken, bei dem das Ziel einer effektiven internationalen Klimavereinbarung nicht erreicht wurde.

Published: Ifo-Schnelldienst, 2011, 64(5), pp. 8-11.

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Tan, Fangfang / Noussair, Charles

Voting on punishment systems within a heterogeneous group

We consider a voluntary contributions game, in which players may punish others after contributions are made and observed.

Published: Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2011, 13(5), pp. 661–693.

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Bayer, Ralph-C / Ke, Changxia

Are Consumers Fooled by Discounts? An Experimental Test in a Consumer Search Environment

In this paper we investigate experimentally if people search optimally and how price promotions influence search behavior.

Published: Economic Record, 2011, 87(279), pp. 575–586.

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Myck, Michal / Ochmann, Richard / Qari, Salmai

Dynamics in transitory and permanent variation of wages in Germany

We employ covariance structure models to decompose the cross-sectional variance of male wages in Germany into its permanent and transitory parts.

Published: Economics Letters, 2011, 113(2), pp. 143–146.

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Konrad, Kai A.

Search Costs and Corporate Income Tax Competition

This paper studies corporate tax competition if it is costly to learn some of the elements that determine the effective tax burden. Search cost may, but need not, eliminate the tax competition pressure. The outcome depends on the boundaries of tax rate and tax base choices. Search cost can explain the empirically observed tax cuts cum base broadening.

Published: Economics Letters, 2011, 112(2), pp. 213-215.

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Marta Castelon

International Taxation of Income from Services under Double Taxation Conventions

Dr. Marta Castelon’s book responds to the need for a comprehensive overview of the tax opportunities and risks relating to the provision of international services and offers the first in-depth analysis of the taxation of income from services vis-à-vis the multilateral instrument (MLI) resulting from the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative.

Published: Wolters Kluwer, 2018, 501 pages.

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