Competition, Coordination and Diversity
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Competition, Coordination and Diversity

From the Firm to Economic Integration

Pascal Salin

Competition, or the freedom to enter into a market, contributes greatly to the differentiation of human activities and therefore to economic progress. This fascinating book highlights the similarities between human systems at both the micro and macro level, and demonstrates how competition can positively affect the economic workings of firms and countries.
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Chapter 7: International tax problems: between coordination and competition

Pascal Salin


As stressed in different chapters of the present book, the argument in favor of harmonization usually rests on a wrong definition of a common market and on confusion between competition – which allows market integration – and the harmonization of the conditions of production. A common market implies competition, it does not imply the harmonization of the conditions of production: When there is freedom of entry into a market, different producers can compete, although they are in different environments and produce under different conditions of production. In the present chapter, we apply these general ideas to the case of international tax problems. Why are there international tax problems? Simply because nations exist! A nation can be defined as a specific area in which a government benefits from a position of monopoly to use legal coercion, which allows it to raise taxes. Now, individuals want to move or to trade from one nation to the other. These individual wants may be impaired by the existence of national tax systems.

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