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Christopher May

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Gerald Chan

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Kenneth Boutin

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Richard Eccleston and Ainsley Elbra

Economic liberalisation and the rise of MNCs in recent decades have been a double-edged sword. With the exception of the 2008 Financial Crisis and its aftermath, the rise of global capitalism has been a key driver of economic growth and technological innovation, but at the same time has undermined state sovereignty and exacerbated inequality (Mikler 2018). Nowhere has this dualism been more apparent than in the realm of corporate taxation, which has become a prime example of what Martin Wolf (2012) describes as a ‘contemporary tragedy of the global commons’. The ‘tragedy’ is such that MNC tax avoidance is now estimated to deny governments over a quarter of a trillion US dollars per year, and after years of ignoring the issue governments and firms are being forced to act (Clausing 2015; OECD 2015).

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Ainsley Elbra and Richard Eccleston

Blatant corporate tax avoidance has attracted the ire of politicians, citizens and consumers the world over in recent years. Since the financial crisis of 2008, international taxation has become a mainstream political issue championed by social justice campaigners and the progressive press the world over. Globally, governments and intergovernmental organisations have announced a range of reforms designed to ensure that MNCs pay their ‘fair share’ of tax, while some of the world’s most powerful and profitable firms have been subjected to multibillion-dollar fines.

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Selwyn J.V. Moons

The author reviews 32 studies published between 1985 and 2012 that report 963 economic diplomacy coefficients by means of a meta-analysis. The meta-analysis shows (and corrects for) the influence of empirical design choices, the dependent variable under investigation and instruments of diplomacy used, on reported economic diplomacy coefficients. The reported results show that study characteristics and the instrument of diplomacy used in primary studies influence the reported outcome significantly. The meta-analysis shows that economic diplomacy research on average judges critically on the sign and significance of the lower ranked diplomatic establishments (consulates and export promotion agencies) and individual activities organized with the diplomatic network (trade missions and state visits). These establishments and activities are significantly more likely to report negative coefficients and less likely to deliver positive significant coefficients.

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Marcio Cruz, Daniel Lederman and Laura Zoratto

The number of export promotion agencies (EPAs) has increased substantially over the past decades. The authors describe the characteristics of EPAs around the world, using a novel database from the World Bank, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre in Geneva, covering the 2005–10 period. Most agencies are public-private institutions and have focused on assisting exporters in understanding and finding markets for their products. Several went through at least one type of institutional change in the short period between 2005 and 2010. EPAs spend more on small and medium firms, on established exporters (instead of new/occasional exporters or non-exporters), and on the provision of marketing services (e.g., trade missions) and export support services (e.g., training, technical assistance). Reviewing the recent literature, they find evidence of positive contributions of EPAs around the world in raising exports, through both, intensive and extensive margins of trade.