CEUR Working Paper No 1, September 2011

Achim Kemmerling

From Convergence to Diffusion: The EU’s Influence on National Tax Systems

In this article I investigate to what extent European Integration stimulates policy convergence and diffusion of various forms of tax policy. Using a mixed-methods design, I find that several causal mechanisms contribute to an EU-wide diffusion of tax policies: imposition, competition, harmonization and learning/communication. I show that these mechanisms have different effects on different forms of taxation. Even if the ultimate outcome of this influence only in few cases leads to unconditional convergence, the EU has markedly accelerated policy diffusion among its member states.