Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Morey


It is the argument of this dissertation that states become tax havens as a conscious economic development strategy. These states – more properly referred to as "jurisdictions" because some lack the sovereignty of the traditional Westphalian state – do not have the natural resources or the population to pursue more traditional economic development strategies, but they do have the ability to write or implement laws that create a virtual resource: banking secrecy. These jurisdictions are able to carry out this strategy because they tend to be well-governed, stable, and relatively wealthy, making them attractive partners for the international banking, legal, and accounting firms that drive offshore finance, and then for their customers – both individual and corporate – as well. The qualities tax havens possess also enable them to calculate that the benefits they reap from pursuing this strategy outweigh any penalties assessed by anti-tax haven international collective action activities, such as the naming and shaming campaigns of 2000.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)