Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Susan Randolph, Kathryn Libal, Thomas Hayes

Field of Study

International Studies


Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


Global tax abuse is one of the key obstacles to sustainable development. Each year more than USD one trillion are lost to cross border tax abuse and stored away in tax havens. We establish that tax abuse accumulates capital, makes tax systems more regressive and diminishes government revenues. Tax abuse consequently indirectly increases economic inequality and relative poverty and reduces social expenditure affecting both dimensions of economic and social rights fulfillment: the ability of people to claim their rights in the market place or through the provision of entitlements. We test our theory in a cross-sectional study and find empirical evidence for several of the factors in our theory.

Both revenue generation and expenditure of fiscal policy are subject to the obligations to progressively realize economic and social human rights by using the maximum of available resources. We confirm that Mozambique has respect, protect and fulfill obligations to refrain from granting extensive tax exemptions, prevent tax avoidance and prosecute tax evasion. State parties hosting and controlling multinational corporations committing tax abuse abroad have similar extraterritorial obligations. Tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions deliberately undermine the sovereignty of other states in domestic resource mobilization for rights fulfillment.

Major Advisor

Susan Randolph