Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Livingston: Tax And Culture

Michael A. Livingston (Rutgers), Tax and Culture: Convergence, Divergence, and the Future of Tax Law (Cambridge University Press 2020):

Livingston 3Tax scholars traditionally emphasize economics and assume that all tax systems can be evaluated in more or less the same way. By applying the insights of anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences, Michael A. Livingston demonstrates that tax systems frequently pursue different values and that the convergence of tax systems is frequently overstated. In Tax and Culture, he applies these insights to specific countries, such as China and India, and specific tax issues, including progressivity, tax avoidance, and the emerging area of environmental taxation. Livingston concludes that the concept of a global tax culture is, in many cases, merely a reflection of Western hegemony, and is unlikely to survive the changes implicit in the rise of non-Western nations and cultures.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction: Comparative Law and Its Relevance to the Tax Field
  2. Tax Anthropology: Attitudes, Behaviors, and the Role of Historical Contingencies
  3. Tax Sociology: The Significance of Tax Institutions
  4. Convergence, Divergence, and the Persistence of National Differences
  5. Case Studies I: The Tax Cultures of Selected Western and Non-Western Countries
  6. Case Studies II: Progressivity, Tax Avoidance, and Environmental Taxes
  7. Conclusion: The Limits of Globalization and the Continuing Importance of Culture

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