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Title: The tax policy-making process in practice : a field study in Chile
Author: Ormeño Pérez, Rodrigo Andres
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 8142
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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The purpose of this research project is to examine the technical, political, social, organisational and cultural ‘practices’ of tax policy making in order to gain an in-depth understanding of certain tax rules in the Chilean context. Consistent with a qualitative interpretivist approach, this study is informed by documents and three phases of face-to-face interviews with a range of actors engaged in the process of (re)making tax regulation. Through the views of a wide spectrum of participants, including policy makers (broadly defined), tax administrators, academics, tax practitioners and taxpayers, theoretical concepts were inductively developed. These concepts were combined with related tax policy literature and Bourdieusian concepts to construct a theoretical/conceptual framework which was later applied in interpreting the findings. The findings reveal how an élite group of agents forms a social space connected with the field of power. In this space, these agents define tax policy, draft legislation and budget for economic effects. This thesis illustrates how these agents mobilise different forms of capital from their respective fields in order to reach and access this social space. Transfer pricing processes highlight the fluidity of these spaces, allowing the access and influence of external forces. The research also shows that other stages are more distant from the field of power. The findings suggest the importance of tax knowledge and information in the development of tax regulation. Tax knowledge and information become a capital at stake which agents struggle to acquire. Empirical data show that the amount of tax knowledge and information in the space relating to the field of power is connected with the content and robustness of the transfer pricing rules under analysis. This research also suggests a high concentration of transfer pricing tax knowledge in very few agents across the bureaucratic, professional services and corporate/business fields. This research also shows the influence of social capital in the tax policy-making field. The findings show that bureaucrats and politicians consult with those connected with them who are subjects of trust. In the particularities of transfer pricing, the findings illustrate the importance of social capital in defining the content of tax rules. Finally, the study also shows how domination and two forms of violence are present and exercised across the tax policy-making field. This is one of only a few studies that have examined the practice of tax policy making holistically, from the very early stages to the application of the rules in practice, broadly contributing in this respect to the tax policy strand of literature. In contrast to previous descriptive and partial studies, this study captures the views of actors responsible for making tax rules. It also contributes to theory development by translating Bourdieusian tools to analyse tax policy making.
Supervisor: Oats, Lynne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tax policy ; law- making ; implementation of tax rules ; power ; Bourdieu