Michael Devereux is Director of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, Professor of Business Taxation at Saïd Business School, and a Professorial Fellow at Oriel College.
Mike’s work concerns the impact of taxes on business behaviour, including investment, employment, location and financial behaviour, as well as the design of appropriate tax policies for business. A particular interest is the international side of corporation tax, including where companies do and should pay tax on profit, how differences in taxes affect real economic decisions such as where companies locate different economic activities, and how this affects the process of competition between countries.
Mike was elected President of the International Institute for Public Finance for a 3 year term in August 2011. He is Research Director of the European Tax Policy Forum, and a member of the Board of Academic Advisers of the International Tax Policy Forum. He is Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, CESifo and the Centre for Economic Policy Research CESifo. He is Assistant Editor (Economics) of the British Tax Review and sits on the Editorial Board of the World Tax Journal. He has previously been Editor in Chief of International Tax and Public Finance, and Managing Editor of Fiscal Studies.
Mike has made a significant contribution to the tax policy-making debate in the UK and internationally, especially through the EU commission where most recently he was a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy, the OECD, and the IMF. He is a member of the Government-Business Forum on Tax and Competitiveness, chaired by David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and acted as Specialist Adviser to the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords on their enquiry into corporation tax in 2013.
Prior to his appointment as the first director of the Centre for Business Taxation at Oxford, Mike obtained his PhD in Economics at University College London, and was Professor and Chair of the Economics departments at the Universities of Warwick and Keele.
Mike’s research interests are mainly concerned with the impact of different forms of taxation on the behaviour of business - for example, the impact of taxation on corporate investment and financial policy and the location decisions of multinationals –the impact of such behaviour on economic welfare, and the design of taxes on business. He has published widely in leading academic journals.
Recent research includes:
Taxation of multinational companies
The existing international system of taxing multinational companies has its roots in the League of Nations in the 1920s. Broadly, it seeks to tax active income at source (where it is generated) and passive income (such as royalties, interest, and dividends) in the place of residence of the recipient. Mike’s research has examined many features of this system, and analysed how it could be improved.
The design of the corporate tax base
More traditional analysis of the taxation of profit has focused on the base of the tax, and in particular the definition of profit. Mike’s research has analysed the merits of an allowance of corporate equity, and alternative ways of equalising the treatment of debt and equity.
The effects and incidence of corporation tax
Mike has undertaken a number of research projects on the impact of taxation (and other factors) on companies’ investment and location decisions. A recent example is a study on the effects of taxation on the location of international mergers and acquisitions. More generally, he has also investigated the more general issue of the elasticity of the corporate tax base with respect to the tax rate. He has also investigated the effective incidence of the tax – who ultimately bears the tax burden?
Mike's research has examined the extent to which competition between national and sub-national governments has constrained the choice of tax rates, and led to downwards pressure. Research has examined these issues in the context of international competition in corporation tax and state-level competition in excise duties.
Taxation of banks
In the wake of the financial crisis, governments have responded by imposing new taxes for banks and their operations, as well as introducing increased regulation. In the UK and other European countries, banks have been subject to a bank levy, alongside the on-going introduction of the Basel regulations on capital adequacy. Mike's research has investigated the implications of the introduction of such new taxes, particularly their interaction with existing regulations.
Identifying and comparing effective tax rates
In earlier work with Rachel Griffith, Mike developed a methodology for evaluating effective average and marginal tax rates on corporate profit. This methodology has been widely used, in academic research and by governments and the European Commission. Recently, Mike has applied this methodology to examine the extent to which the UK coalition government is meeting its aims to have the most competitive corporation tax regime in the G20.
Mike's CV can be read here.
Mike is a leading and highly-respected commentator and advisor on corporation tax within the EU and internationally.
Mike’s formal policy involvement includes being an external independent member of the government Business Forum on Tax and Competitiveness, chaired by David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. He also acted as Specialist Adviser to the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords on their enquiry into corporation tax in 2013.
Other examples of formal policy engagement include an impact assessment, with other researchers, of the European Commission’s proposals for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, and a joint project with the OECD and involving representatives of academia, business and NGOs which investigated the case for greater transparency in financial reporting tax by multinational companies. Both reports are available on the Centre for Business Taxation website.
He also plays an informal role in policy development through contacts with HRMC, HM Treasury, the OECD and the European Commission.
Mike’s teaching is currently limited to supervision of DPhil students.
Centre for Business Taxation,
Saïd Business School,
University of Oxford,
Park End Street,