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This paper studies how national implementation shapes individual responses to global agreements by looking at the introduction of the multilateral standard for automatic information exchange on financial assets, i.e., the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). We utilize rich micro-level data on all bank transfers to Norway. This provides us with unparalleled detail on hidden ownership structures.
These data show a significant increase in cash repatriation from tax havens post-CRS implementation. Yet, we document substantial heterogeneity in responses down to a null result if CRS enforcement is weak. Relying on macroeconomic data on crossborder bank deposits, we employ model averaging techniques to establish the most important characteristics of the receiving countries that make the CRS more effective. Our results suggest that a highly digitized tax administration triggers twice the drop in tax haven deposits compared to a tax administration relying on paper tax returns. These results have implications for global policy initiatives more broadly.
Keywords: Global Tax Agreements, Tax Evasion, Financial Flows, Tax Enforcement.