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Ideas and the OECD: Creating synergy and organizing diffusion of bilateral tax treaty


Ideas and the OECD: Creating synergy and organizing diffusion of bilateral tax treaty

Latulippe, Lyne (2011) Ideas and the OECD: Creating synergy and organizing diffusion of bilateral tax treaty. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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The intensive spread of bilateral tax treaty (“BTT”) based on a standard form developed for OECD member countries in non-OECD member countries (“non-members”) in the 1990s leads to the overarching questions “What are the conditions allowing an idea to influence policy adoption in diverse national settings, how are these conditions created and by whom?” The main theoretical argument is that an approach which gives ideas a fundamental role but considers also actors and mechanisms of idea diffusion appropriately explains policy adoption. The empirical analysis strongly demonstrates that the OECD has been central in creating the necessary conditions for the idea of BTT to influence non-members in the 1990s.

The theoretical framework is mostly informed by constructivist arguments. However, in order to provide a complete explanation, the dissertation recognizes the complementarity of findings from a wider range of approaches dealing with ideas and from diffusion literature. The framework offers an innovative and comprehensive way of addressing the necessary conditions for ideas to be influential. First, the harmonious combination or compatibility (“synergy”) existing or created between a policy, a paradigm, a problem and a public sentiment can explain why an idea is more influential than another. Second, the proactive and purposeful promotion of an idea and its synergy through direct and indirect means (“strategic diffusion”) is essential to explain a policy adoption.

To enhance the comprehension of the phenomenon, the dissertation provides an exclusive descriptive analysis of BTT focusing on what is spreading, to which non-member countries, how and when. In addition, it is demonstrated that interests alone do not explain the puzzle and that the OECD is likely to have played an important role to explain the puzzle.

The dissertation uses mixed method to provide strong evidence verifying the hypothesis formulated based on the theoretical framework. First, to determine if and how the OECD was involved in the process of synergy and strategic diffusion, a case study addresses the activities of the OECD with regards to BTT and its promotion to non-members and confirms the hypothesis. Second, a quantitative analysis is done to further the evidence that the OECD’s involvement is related to this spread of BTTs. A correlation analysis establishes that the expansion of BTT networks in non-members in the 1990s is associated to contacts these countries had with the OECD. Furthermore, the results of an event-history analysis confirm that prior contacts with the organization increase the likelihood of signing a first BTT in subsequent years.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Latulippe, Lyne
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:14 January 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Marier, Patrik
ID Code:7043
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 15:10
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:29
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