Martin Hearson

Martin Hearson

Research Fellow

Martin’s research focuses on the politics of international business taxation, and in particular the relationship between developed and developing countries.

Dr Martin Hearson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, where he is also the Lead of the International Tax Programme and Research Director for the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). He uses field interviews, archival documentation and novel datasets to study how international tax agreements are negotiated. Before joining ICTD, Martin was a fellow in international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and before that he spent a decade working in the charity sector. He is the author of “Imposing Standards: The North-South Dimension to Global Tax Politics,” published by Cornell University Press.

Pronouns: He/his/him

ICTD Publications

View all ICTD publications authored by Martin Hearson

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IDS China Centre

The IDS China Centre, part of the IDS International Initiatives, provides research focus on a country transforming global geopolitics due to its strategic importance, role in the global south and its commitment to development. It recognises that tackling universal challenges such as climate...


International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD)

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) provides research evidence that supports developing countries in raising domestic revenues equitably and sustainably, in a manner that is conducive to pro-poor economic growth and good governance.



Journal Article

The Politics of Taxing Multinational Firms in a Digital Age

Journal of European Public Policy; Volume 28, Issue 11

Taxing multinationals is politically difficult because of the structural power of mobile firms within the global economy, and this structural power is expected to increase in the digital age. Recently however there has been a breakdown in the international corporate tax consensus that...

Margarita Gelepithis

7 January 2022


Using New Data to Support Tax Treaty Negotiation

This paper introduces the new Tax Treaties Explorer dataset, developed with support from the World Bank and the G-24, and illustrates its use for research by tax treaty negotiators, policy makers, and researchers. The new dataset provides a rich source of data to reexamine existing tax treaty...

Martin Hearson
Martin Hearson & 2 others

9 July 2021

Martin Hearson’s recent work


Launch of the Tax Treaties Explorer: New data for better negotiation

The use of tax treaties by developing countries is controversial: Best case scenario? Tax treaties help attract foreign direct investment by reducing the risk of double taxation. Evidence for this is weak. Worst case scenario? They become a vehicle for multinational tax avoidance leading to huge...

8 December 2021