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Why Kill The Golden Goose? A Political-Economy Model Of Export Taxation

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  • Margaret McMillan

Abstract

Why do governments tax exports at rates that are ultimately self-defeating? An answer may lie in the time-inconsistent nature of a low-tax policy. Using a dynamic model of export taxation, I show that the sustainability of a low-tax policy depends on three variables: the ratio of sunk costs to total costs, how heavily future export revenue is discounted, and expected future export earnings. Using data on taxation, leadership duration, and profitability, I test this theory for 32 countries and six crops from Sub-Saharan Africa. These three variables are statistically and economically relevant predictors of tax regime. © 2000 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/003465301750160135
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 170-184

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:1:p:170-184

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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Cited by:
  1. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," LICOS Discussion Papers 32312, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  2. Floribert Ngaruko, 2003. "Agricultural Export Performance in Africa: Elements of comparison with Asia," Working Papers 03-09, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  3. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000. "Africa's growth trap: a political-economy model of taxation, R&D and investment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Chih Ming Tan, 2005. "No One True Path: Uncovering the Interplay between Geography, Institutions, and Fractionalization in Economic Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0512, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  5. Foellmi, Reto & Oechslin, Manuel, 2010. "Market imperfections, wealth inequality, and the distribution of trade gains," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 15-25, May.
  6. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Dutoit, Laure, 2006. "The Elimination of Madagascar's Vanilla Marketing Board, Ten Years On," CEPR Discussion Papers 5548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Olga Solleder, 2013. "Panel Export Taxes (PET) Dataset: New Data on Export Tax Rates," IHEID Working Papers 07-2013, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 04 Apr 2013.
  8. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters & Harounan Kazianga, 2014. "Demographic Pressure and Institutional Change: Village-Level Response to Rural Population Growth in Burkina Faso," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Health and Gender National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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