Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2000
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Associate Professor/Director, Center for Comparative Politics, University of Colorado / Boulder
The New Political Economy of Taxation

Over the past 15 years, virtually every country in the advanced world has reformed its tax system. In every single case, "tax reform" has meant lowering marginal tax rates on corporations and the rich, broadening the tax base and (generally) shifting the tax burden from mobile to less mobile revenue sources. The effects of these reforms have almost always been regressive. The most obvious explanation for this world wide trend is that these countries are responding to the forces of "globalization." Still, it is far from obvious that all countries will or must respond in exactly the same ways - even if the pressures of the "New Political Economy" are quite common across countries. This comparative case study of Germany, Sweden. the United States and Japan seeks to better understand both what different countries have done with their tax systems in response to the new global economic environment and why? The project thus contributes to our understanding of both the forces of 'globalization' and our understanding of what might be called "varieties of capitalism." I believe this project fits well under the Abe research agenda "Problems common to Advanced Industrial Societies."