Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The international tax system as a complex system

Complex systems can be characterized as systems in which multiple components interact with each other, often in non-linear ways. The main goal of this research will be to investigate if and how the international tax system can be defined and modelled as a complex system. Approaching the international tax system from this perspective aims to gain new insights on all layers, e.g., 1) on the effect of new and modified tax treaties; 2) on the interaction between jurisdictions; and 3) on the behaviour of business strategies over time. In addition, the project will address questions related to the existence of, e.g., tax gaps, legislative patterns, and tax havens and how these are reflected in observational data. The project takes an innovative approach that combines data science with system modelling on data sources including tax treaties and financial information of businesses. By applying, e.g., network modelling and pattern discovery, the researchers aim to understand the behaviour of the international tax system as a complex system.

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