Why Law Enforcement Is Weak in China? The Mindset of the Frontline Tax Officials

Huina, Xiao

This article examines the decision-making process of the frontline tax bureaus in China. It suggests that the pressures of the revenue target, political and social networks, and a flawed tax legal system have shaped the frontline tax bureaucrats’ calculations on costs and benefits. Drawing on the cost-benefit analysis, this study finds four types of decisions in these situations: symbolic enforcement, creative enforcement, weak enforcement, and negotiated enforcement. The study suggests that to discipline frontline tax officials is never easy since most are constrained in a vicious circle. Only when the institutional environment is changed can the outcome of law enforcement be substantially enhanced. The typology is shown to be more applicable and comprehensive to understand the problems of law enforcement in developed and developing countries.

Geographic Areas


Also Published In

Columbia Journal of Asian Law

More About This Work

Published Here
August 17, 2022