Why didn’t you ask Oxford?

Posted on

I have been blogging rather a lot about the new Oxford paper on tax avoidance and tax evasion in developing countries today, but issues keep jumping out at me.

Take this one:

TJN (2009) claims that 60% of all global trade is routed through tax havens. The origin of this number is unclear, though.

If they’d just picked up the phone or sent an email (it’s not hard to do) the answer could have been given. For the record, it’s here, the OECD Observer for January 2002, written by a member of OECD staff:

Once you take on board the fact that more than 60% of world trade takes place within multinational enterprises, the importance of transfer pricing becomes clear.

So why be so impolite; after all the source quoted is not an academic paper – it is a web page – and a link to an OECD related story implying its source was provided? In addition in other documents where we have used this data we have noted the source – some of which they also include in their bibliography.

One can’t help thinking that a certain lack of effort was expended in trying to find some things out when preparing this piece of work and that demeaning asides were adopted as an alternative.

Why was that, I wonder?