Elective courses

As trade obstacles are gradually removed as the global economy matures, more businesses are expanding internationally. While both tax and non-tax factors affect investment activities, and consequently the economic dynamics across countries, taxation and tax policy is largely considered as a crucial driver of international cross-border activities. The seminar is concepted as a deliberation about international taxation issues. In an interactive discussion of empirical and theoretical
research studies, it aims to give an interdisciplinary grounding in taxation with topics in the background context of public economics, international economics, development economics, political economy, and international tax law.

The seminar focuses on tax policy and international taxation issues, with an emphasis on MNEs’ activities and the tax implications of these activities. It addresses numerous themes in between, with a variety of topics ranging from the discussion of corporate taxation to tax challenges occurring as a result of the digitalization of the economy. The seminar addresses several questions:

  • Is there a casual relation between tax policy and investments?
  • What are the implications of international profit shifting?
  • Do tax incentives attract more income or more innovation?
  • Are the anti-avoidance rules effective in tackling international tax avoidance?
  • Do governments behave strategically when setting corporate tax rate and tax bases in the light of tax competition?
  • What drives individuals and businesses’ tax compliance?
  • Do different tax burdens across EU countries raise doubts about the integrated EU market?
  • Why do countries sign tax treaties and what are the expectations in terms of FDI?
  • Is tax policy effective in tackling income inequality?
  • Is there a relation between the political system and tax behavior of individuals and firms?
  • How to address from a taxation point of view the challenges of digital economy?

Using both mandatory and suggested scientific literature, which has been decided upon for each topic's discussion, will help to address each of the international taxation questions. The literature resembles a mix of theoretical and empirical research effort, which the participants will analyze in a critical and analytical approach.

The participants' ability to think analytically is the ultimate goal, even though learning about the most significant issues and themes in international taxes remains the primary objective. To accomplish this primary objective, each session will be preceded by a 30-minute lecture on the subject, with the goal of giving an instructive backdrop. The participants must not only be able to understand and discuss the topics, but also to write about and debate each subject critically.
The final purpose of the seminar is to spark new scientific inquiry and identify areas that require further research contribution in international (business) taxation.

For detailed topics of the seminar please refer to the syllabus

The seminar includes 12 sessions distributed between November 17, 2023 and February 17, 2024. Each of the 12 sessions lasts 180 minutes and will be divided into 2 sub-sessions with 90 minutes each and with a 15-minute break in between.

In addition, an introductory online session explaining the structure, the topics, and the assessment criteria, will be held on October 27, at 12 p.m. Please, join the introductory session using the meeting link in the syllabus.

Pranvera Shehaj

Mandatory literature will be made available on Blackboard to registered seminar participants before the start of the seminar and in a reasonable time for presentation preparation. Additional background/suggested literature will be introduced in the seminar and provided to seminar participants.

Time & venue:
Sessions: Fridays, 12:00-15:15; FU Berlin, Garystr. 21, room HS 108 
For further details see schedule.

Enrolment & Registration:
Interested BSE students are asked to register online by October 31, 2023.

Interested PhD students (other than BSE) should register via email to ls-schoeb@wiwiss.fu-berlin.de until October 31, 2023. The students will then be notified if they can participate in the course (first-come-first-serve basis).

Each candidate should choose the topic for presentation and consequently for the seminar paper (and research proposal) by November 6, 2023. Rule for topic choice: First come, first served. Registered participants will find an Excel sheet with all the topics where they can choose the topic, they are interested to work on by writing down: Name, Surname, Student ID, and Course of study, in the corresponding line.

1. Submission of the Seminar Paper and of the Research Proposal.

  • Each candidate should submit a single authored Seminar paper between 8 - 10 pages. The seminar draft has to be submitted two days prior to the presentation in electronic form and will be subject to review. After the presentation the paper can be improved based on comments and suggestions collected both in the revision and during the presentation.Final submission for all papers is February 26, 2024.
  • In addition, each candidate has to submit a Research Proposal which will not be the subject of presentation during the seminar sessions. A first draft of the research proposal should be submitted by February 16, 2024. Once revised, candidates can improve the research proposal and submit the final version by March 8, 2024.

2. Presentation of the seminar paper 
Each candidate will be assessed for the presentation of his/her seminar paper.
Time assigned for the presentation: 60 minutes.

3. Course participation
Active preparation and active participation are required, which requires regular

For details, please refer to the syllabus part about grading for PhD candidates.

Guest Lecturer(s)

Pranvera Shehaj

Lecture / Timetable: