Professor Barker, who also has a standing appointment as visiting professor of law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is an expert on income taxation and is one of a small group of United States legal scholars who have made the study of international and comparative taxation a focus of research and writing. In 2003, Professor Barker received a Fulbright grant to research and teach in South Africa at the Universities of Cape Town, Free State and Witwatersrand. In 2005, he was awarded his second Fulbright grant to teach and consult in Latvia at the Riga Graduate School of Law, and in 2006 he received his third Fulbright grant to return to the Riga Graduate School of Law which is now part of the University of Latvia. In the summer of 2006, Professor Barker was awarded an ATAX Research Fellowship to visit the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia to support the research programs of one of the largest tax research centers in the world. See Dickinson Faculty News.
    His research reflects a strong normative approach to tax law that emphasizes the role of tax avoidance and important social values in the development of tax law in societies adopting free market, democratic systems in both the developed and emerging and transitional economies. He speaks on comparative and international tax matters with some authority since he has taught United Kingdom, South African and European Tax Law. Professor Barker has taught at Oxford University, Trinity College (University of Dublin), and the University of Vienna. Before coming to the law school, he was a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice and served as law clerk to the Honorable Marion Bennett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit where he was responsible for many international tax cases.

Research Interests

    Income Tax, International Tax Law, Comparative Tax Law, Tax Avoidance, and Democratic Values and Taxation.

Representative Publications

  • A Normative Approach to the Concept of Tax in The Concept of Tax. (B. Peeters ed., IBFD 2006).
  • The Three Faces of Equality: Constitutional Requirements in Taxation. Case Western Reserve Law Review (Fall 2006).
  • Expanding the Study of Comparative Tax Law to Promote Democratic Policy: The Example of the Move to Capital Gains Taxation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. 109 Penn State Law Review, 101 (2005).
  • The Concept of Tax, A Normative Approach. In The Concept of Tax (P. Bruno & K. van Raad, editors, IBFD 2005-6)
  • Statutory Interpretation, Comparative Law, and Economic Theory: Discovering the Grund of Income Taxation. 40 San Diego Law Review, No.3 (Summer 2003).
  • The Rationale for Tax Havens -- Optimal International Taxational and Tax Competition: Overcoming the Contradictions. In Foundations of International Taxation (ed. Michel J. Graetz 2003).
  • Optimal International Taxation and Tax Competition: Overcoming the Contradictions. 22 Northwestern J. of Int'l Law & Bus. 161 (2002).
    PDF of this Publication
  • A Comparative Approach to Income Tax Law in the United Kingdom and the United States. 46 Catholic Law Review 7 (1996).
  • Federal Income Taxation and Captive Insurance. 6 Virginia Tax Law Review 267 (1986).

Previous Academic Appointments

  • ATAX Research Fellow, Faculty of Law. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Summer 2006.  Research into the application of dynamic statutory interpretation to tax General Anti-Avoidance Provisions.
  • Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar. Riga Graduate School of Law, The University of Latvia. Spring 2006. Course: Comparative International Tax Law.
  • Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar. Riga Graduate School of Law, Latvia. Spring 2005. Course: Comparative International Tax Law.
  • Visiting Professor of Law and Fulbright Scholar Faculties of Law. The University of Cape Town, The University of the Witwatersrand, The University of the Free State. 2003. Courses: Taxations, Advanced Taxation
  • Senior Associate Research Fellow. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. 2001-2002.
  • Visiting Academic. Faculty of Law, Oxford University. Trinity Term. 1997. Course: Personal Taxation Seminar.
  • Visiting Professor. School of Law, Trinity College, University of Dublin. Fall 1996. Courses: European Tax Law, European Law.
  • Visiting Professor. Faculty of Law, University of Vienna, Institute of European Law. Spring 1996. Courses: European Tax Law.
  • Visiting Professor. Faculty of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science. Fall 1989. Courses: Taxation, International Tax Law.

Professional Activities

Contact Information


William B. Barker
Pennsylvania State University
The Dickinson School of Law
150 South College Street
Carlisle, PA 17013

Tel: 717-240-5263

William B. Barker
London School of Economics
and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, England

Fax: 020 7955 7366