Thursday, December 06, 2007

Incentives Work

As a self-employed software engineer, Thomas Sorensen broadcasts his qualifications to potential employers across Europe and the Middle East. But to the ones in his native Denmark, he is simply unavailable.

Settled in Frankfurt, where he handles computer security for a major Swiss corporation, Sorensen, 34, has no plans to return to the days of paying sky-high Danish taxes. Still, an unknowing headhunter does occasionally pass his name to Danish companies.

Born and trained at Denmark's expense, but working - and paying lower taxes - elsewhere in Europe, Sorensen is the stuff of nightmares for Danish companies and politicians searching for solutions to an increasingly desperate labor shortage.

In a world where labor and captial are mobile, incentives such as tax rates matter. Tax too much and capital or labor will go elsewhere.

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