«THE (IN)SECURITY OF INTERNATIONAL FINANCE Valpy FitzGerald [Originally delivered as the first of the Wolfson College Lectures 1999 series on the ...»
This leads to downward fiscal competition between developing countries and a lower average tax rate. Second, by arranging their international transactions appropriately, companies can accrue profits in the lowest tax jurisdictions - which are often ‘tax havens’ - and thus further reduce the tax burden on capital. In both cases there is a clear loss in global welfare to the extent that the tax revenue would have been used for social infrastructure investment or effective poverty relief.
41. The case for such a tax is set out in Haq, M.U., Kaul, I. and Grunberg, I. eds (1996) The Tobin Tax: coping with financial volatility Oxford: Oxford University Press. The reasons why it would not in fact reduce volatility are set out in Arestis, P. and M. Sawyer (1998) ‘What role for the Tobin tax in global governance’ [mimeo] University of East London and University of Leeds. The other apparent attraction of the Tobin tax is to provide resources for international development assistance in general and for the UN in particular. However, aside from the fact that there are easier forms of raising international taxation (such as a tax on international airline tickets) the major barrier is clearly political - the unwillingness of national legislatures to devote more funds to aid, or a fortiori to the United Nations.
42. This contrasts with advances in international public law, though even here the ‘right to development’
established by the UN is not effective - see Brownlie, I (1990) Public International Law, 4th edn (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1990) and also his lecture in this series ‘The Peaceful Settlement of Disputes between States and the Problem of Globalisation’.
43. Frequently the New York courts, which are reputedly collapsing under the strain.
44. See FitzGerald, Cubero and Lehmannl, op cit. Interestingly, the MAI draft also includes a proposal that the senior executives of foreign firms should be granted exemption from migration controls.
45. UNRISD (1995) States of Disarray: the social effects of globalization Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development.
46. The reasons, of course, are largely political. None the less, it is striking how few (if any) libertarian advocates of an unregulated global economy are willing to mention (let alone propose) the free movement of labour. See also the lecture by Robin Cohen in this series ‘Labour in an Age of Global Insecurity’.
47. For a formal model of this notion of ‘the asset value of citizenship’ and a preliminary approximation of its financial valuation, see FitzGerald, E.V.K. and Cuesta-Leiva, J. (1998) ‘The Asset Value of a Passport: a model of citizenship and income determination in a global economy’ Working Papers Series QEHWPSxx on http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk
48. Indeed many Latin American mothers - both rich and poor - strive to give birth in the USA for just this reason.
49. This argument is developed in FitzGerald, E.V.K.(1997) ‘Rethinking Development Assistance: the implications of social citizenship in a global economy’ Geneva: UN Research Institute for Social Development [also as Working Papers Series QEHWPS01 on http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk]
50. Schreiber, N. (1997) Sovereignty over Natural Resources: balancing rights and duties Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
51. Stewart, F. ‘The Governance and Mandates of the International Financial Institutions’ IDS Bulletin vol 26.4, 1995: 28-34
52. To reach the target agreed by OECD members of halving the proportion of developing country population living in poverty by 2020 would require a doubling of per capita incomes over the next 20 years, and thus a sustained GDP growth rate of over 5 percent per annum (DAC Development Assistance Report 1998...). This is far beyond the track record of poor countries and similar to that of East Asia between 1970 and 1990. In contrast, since the poor receive only 1 percent of world income, a transfer of 1 percent of the income of industrial countries