Eduardo Baistrocchi

Eduardo Baistrocchi

Administrative support: Lewina Coote
Room: New Academic Building 7.33

Eduardo Baistrocchi is an Associate Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining the LSE, he was Associate Professor of Law at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires. He studied law at the Universidad de Buenos Aires before obtaining an LLM at Harvard Law School and later, an LLM on Tax Law at LSE. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Chevening Scholar. He has also been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University and University of Toronto. His research and publications are focused on international taxation, with a particular emphasis on tax treaty disputes in the G20. He applies interdisciplinary approaches, such as game theory, to investigate the operation of the international tax regime. He has published in leading journals and publishing houses such as the British Tax Review, the Modern Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and Cambridge University Press.

See also Eduardo Baistrocchi's LSE Experts page

Research Interests

His research concerns international tax law, with particular emphasis on tax treaty interpretation in the emerging world and the resolution of transfer pricing disputes. He applied interdisciplinary approaches, such as game theory, to investigate the operation of the asymmetric tax treaty network. His book, Transfer Pricing Litigation: Theory and Practice, was published by Lexis Nexis in 2008.


E. Baistrocchi (ed.), A Global Analysis of Tax Treaty Disputes (London: Cambridge University Press, 2017) [FORTHCOMING]

This two-volume set offers an in-depth analysis of the leading tax treaty disputes in the G20 and beyond within the first century of international tax law. Including country-by country and thematic analyses, the study is structured around a novel global taxonomy of tax treaty disputes and includes an unprecedented dataset with over 1500 leading tax treaty cases. By adopting a contextual approach, the local expertise of the contributors allows for a thorough and transparent analysis. This set is an important reference tool for anyone implementing or studying international tax regulations and will facilitate the work of courts, tax administrations and practitioners around the world. It is designed to complement model conventions such as the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital. Together with Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes (2012), it is a comprehensive addition to current debate on the international tax law regime.

E. Baistrocchi and I. Roxan (eds.), Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes: A Global Analysis (London: Cambridge University Press. 2012

Via a global analysis of more than 180 transfer pricing cases from 20 representative jurisdictions, Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes explains how the law on transfer pricing operates in practice and examines how disputes between taxpayers and tax administrations are dealt with around the world. It has been designed to be an essential complement to the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations, which focus on transfer pricing issues but do not refer to specific transfer pricing disputes. All of the transfer pricing cases discussed in the book are linked to the relevant paragraphs of the OECD Guidelines by means of a 'Golden Bridge', namely a table listing the cases according to the paragraphs of the Guidelines to which they refer. It therefore provides examples of the application of the Arm's Length Principle in many settings on all continents.

Transfer Pricing Litigation: Theory and Practice, Lexis Nexis, 2008

Selected articles
and chapters in books

‘Patterns of Tax Treaty Disputes: A Global Taxonomy’ in E. Baistrocchi (ed), A Global Analysis of Tax Treaty Disputes (Cambridge University Press, 2017) [FORTHCOMING]

This chapter offers the first global taxonomy of treaty dispute patterns emerging in the almost first 100 years of the international tax regime. The time and space dimensions of the taxonomy are as follows. The time dimension covers the era which ran from 1923 — when four economists produced the League of Nations’ Report on Double Taxation proposing a legal technology that is now encapsulated in the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital (OECD MTC) — until 2015, when the G20 and the OECD published the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting 2015 Final Reports, which ‘represents the first substantial renovation of the international tax standards in almost a century’ (pre-BEPS Reports Era). The space dimension covers the G20 countries together with seven non-G20 countries: Cyprus, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and Uganda.

‘The International Tax Regime and the BRIC World: Elements for a Theory’  Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 2013

The global economy’s centre of gravity is shifting. Emerging and developing countries have been contributing over 50% of the global GDP since the onset of the 21st century, which is unprecedented since the Industrial Revolution. This article offers the first analysis of the creeping convergence of the BRIC world (i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China) with global legal standards in a key area of International Law: the International Tax Regime (ITR). The ITR is a legal technology fundamentally designed by the League of Nations in the 1920s, when the BRICs played no relevant role. This article proposes a theory that aims to illuminate the core driving forces of the on-going trend towards global convergence in this area of International Law from both the static and dynamic dimensions. It is grounded on the logic of two-sided platforms.

'Tax Disputes under Institutional Instability: Theory and Implications', Modern Law Review (2012), Volume 75, Issue 4, 547-577.

This article aims to offer the first structural analysis of tax disputes under institutional instability using a core element of the international tax regime as an example. It offers a theory grounded on Mancur Olson’s seminal contribution to group dynamics, the logic of collective action. It also suggests implications of this theory that might help to address key enforcement issues faced by the international tax regime in a frequent context worldwide: institutionally unstable countries.

'The Use and Interpretation of Tax Treaties in the Emerging World: Theory and Implications' (September 24, 2008). British Tax Review, No. 4, 2008

Certain parts of the international tax system are largely unexplored from a structural perspective. One prominent example is the asymmetric tax treaty network, i.e. the network that consists of bilateral tax treaties concluded between developed and emerging countries on the basis of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital (OECD model). The relative size of this network is substantial. For instance, the United Kingdom's asymmetric tax treaty network represents about 72 per cent of its entire tax treaty network. This article offers a structural analysis of the asymmetric tax treaty network. It answers two fundamental questions. First, it elaborates a theory for explaining why a representative emerging country is willing to conclude tax treaties with developed countries on the basis of the OECD model. Secondly, this article extends that theory to understanding the dynamics of tax treaty interpretation in the emerging world. This extension aims to illuminate the structure of incentives the courts of a representative emerging country normally have when construing OECD-based tax treaties in the foreign direct investment (FDI) area. Game theory is used as a theoretical framework for answering both questions.

'The Transfer Pricing Problem: A Global Proposal for Simplification' (Summer 2006). Tax Lawyer, Summer 2006

This Article focuses on the problem of transfer pricing from an international taxation perspective. It elaborates two major points using game theory as a theoretical framework. First, it argues that both developed and developing countries are facing the same fundamental problem in the transfer pricing arena; the meaning of the arm's length standard (ALS) is largely unknowable because of the absence of transfer pricing case law with public good features. Second, this Article proposes a solution to the transfer pricing problem within the ALS framework. The proposal consists of a procedural, rather than a substantive, system in which multilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) are used to produce a proxy for case law with public good features. The proposal is arguably superior to other options (such as formulary apportionment and consolidated base taxation approach elaborated by the European Commission) because it can be applied by both developed and developing countries and is consistent with the current structure of international taxation. The proposal has been written to facilitate its addition to Article 9 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital.

The Arm's Length Standard in the 21st Century: A Proposal for Both Developed and Developing Countries'  Tax Notes International, pp. 241-255, October 18, 2004

One recurring question concerning how legal commands should be formulated in a legal system involves whether commands should take the form of rules or standards. The policy option that is at the core of this question is whether the content of the law should be determined and announced in advance, in a rule, or left to an adjudicator, in a standard. This distinction is relevant in the transfer pricing area because the arm's length approach is a standard: its precise meaning can only be determined via adjudication. Thus, the arm's length standard is unworkable unless the legal system in which it operates is prepared to produce case law (or something functionally equivalent to case law) to give guidance to taxpayers on how they are expected to behave. The purpose of this article is two-fold. First, it attempts to provide an analysis of the dramatic problem faced by the arm's length standard when the legal system in which it works is unable to produce case law capable of showing taxpayers how they are expected to behave in the transfer pricing area (the Problem). The Problem is common to both developed and developing countries. On the one hand, developed countries face the Problem because a variety of reasons have made case law an infrequent element. Moreover, the limited case law available is not a public good: the holdings are too fact-specific to allow predicting the probable outcome of future court decisions. This scenario makes the meaning of the arm's length standard difficult to determine - especially when no comparables are available. On the other hand, developing countries also face the Problem but for an additional reason: their weak rule of law produces, inter alia, frequent violations of stare decisis making case law a negligible source for predicting court decisions. In sum, the meaning of the arm's length standard is largely uncertain in both the developed and developing worlds. This explains the worldwide arm's length standard crisis.  The second purpose of this article is to suggest a procedural method for inducing a legal system - be it from the developed or developing world - to produce a proxy of case law capable of determining precise meanings of the arm's length standard. The suggested procedure has been written in such a way as to facilitate its addition to article 9 of the OECD or UN Model Tax Conventions on Income and on Capital.