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Distribution and Poverty Impacts of Tax Structure Reform in Developing Countries: How Little We Know

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  • Norman Gemmell
  • Oliver Morrissey

Abstract

The past two decades have witnessed widespread reforms of tax structures in developing countries. This article reviews available evidence on the effects of various taxes, and hence of tax structure reform, on distribution and the poor. Taxes on exports and goods consumed especially by the poor (e.g. kerosene) are the most consistently found to be regressive, whereas taxes on 'luxury' items such as cars, beverages and alcohol are the most likely to be progressive. Sales taxes are slightly more progressive, or less regressive, than taxes on imports. The reforms implemented are therefore unlikely to have worsened the effects of the tax structure on the poor. Copyright Overseas Development Institute, 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Overseas Development Institute in its journal Development Policy Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (03)
Pages: 131-144

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Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:23:y:2005:i:2:p:131-144

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Cited by:
  1. James Boyce, 2007. "Public Finance, Aid and Post-Conflict Recovery," Working Papers wp140, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  2. Behrman, Jere R., 2009. "Analyzing the Distributional Impact of Reforms, Volume Two: A Practitioner's Guide to Pension, Health, Labor Market, Public Sector Downsizing, Taxation, Decentralization, and Macroeconomic Modeling. A," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 396-397, July.
  3. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Mick Moore, 2007. "Taxation and State Building: Poor Countries in a Globalised World," CMI Working Papers 11, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  4. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2005. "From Cholera Outbreaks to Pandemics: The Role of Poverty and Inequality," Working Papers 05003, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, revised Feb 2006.
  5. Essama-Nssah, B., 2005. "The poverty and distributional impact of macroeconomic shocks and policies : a review of modeling approaches," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3682, The World Bank.
  6. Vincent Leyaro & Oliver Morrissey & Trudy Owens, 2010. "Food prices, tax reforms and consumer Welfare in Tanzania 1991–2007," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 430-450, August.
  7. Aline Coudouel & Stefano Paternostro, 2006. "Analyzing the Distributional Impact of Reforms : A Practitioner’s Guide to Pension, Health, Labor Markets, Public Sector Downsizing, Taxation, Decentralization, and Macroeconomic Modeling, Volume 2," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7041, October.
  8. James Boyce, 2008. "Post-Conflict Recovery: Resource Mobilization and Peacebuilding," Working Papers wp159, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  9. Nisha Arunatilake & Priyanka Jayawardena & Anushka Wijesinha, 2012. "Tax Reforms in Sri Lanka: will a Tax on Public Servants Improve Progressivity?," Working Papers PMMA 2012-13, PEP-PMMA.
  10. Teguh Dartanto, 2012. "The 2008 Corporate Income Tax Reform and Its Contribution to Poverty Reduction in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Business 201203, Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, revised Apr 2012.
  11. Martin Ravallion, 2011. "Do Poorer Countries Have Less Capacity for Redistribution?," One Pager Chinese 97, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2007. "Budget Policy and Income Distribution," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0707, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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