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Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration

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  • Knud Jørgen Munk

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Abstract

As is broadly recognized, the straightforward application of the Diamond-Mirrlees (1971) production efficiency theorem implies that when lump-sum taxation is not available, then it is optimal for the government in a small open economy to rely on taxes on the net demand of households rather than on border taxes to finance its resource requirements. However, the theorem does not hold when taxation is associated with administrative costs. The present paper explores the implications for optimal taxation and for desirable directions of tax-tariff reform in countries at different levels of economic development taking into account the costs of tax administration. The paper lends support to and clarifies the reasons for the criticism by Emran and Stiglitz (2003, 2005) of the IMF and the World Bank's recommendation to developing countries to adopt VAT to replace border taxes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2005-21.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 15 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2005-21

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

Related research

Keywords: Optimal taxation; optimal trade policy; VAT; tax-tariff reform; costs of tax administration; informal sector; developing countries;

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References

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  1. M. Shahe Emran & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "On Selective Indirect Tax Reform in Developing Countries," International Trade 0210003, EconWPA.
  2. Michael Keen & Johanna Elisabeth Ligthart, 1999. "Coordinating Tariff Reduction and Domestic Tax Reform," IMF Working Papers 99/93, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature. The Sad Result of 40 Years of Research," Economics Working Papers 2005-15, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "Aid Effectiveness on Growth. A Meta Study," Economics Working Papers 2005-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  6. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Knud Jørgen Munk & Bo Sandemann Rasmussen, 2005. "On the Determinants of Optimal Border Taxes for a Small Open Economy," Economics Working Papers 2005-22, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  8. Baunsgaard, Thomas & Keen, Michael, 2010. "Tax revenue and (or?) trade liberalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 563-577, October.
  9. Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Puzzling Tax Structures in Developing Countries: A Comparison of Two Alternative Explanations," NBER Working Papers 11661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Munk, Knud Jorgen, 1980. "Optimal Taxation with Some Non-Taxable Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 755-65, July.
  18. Dixit, Avinash, 1985. "Tax policy in open economies," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 313-374 Elsevier.
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  20. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  21. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Recommendation for a Better Tariff Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1859-69, November.
  22. Knud Jørgen Munk, 2006. "Welfare Effects of Tax and Price Changes and the CES-UT Utility Function," Economics Working Papers 2006-15, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  23. Knud Jørgen Munk, 2006. "On the Rationale for the Use of Border Taxes in Developing Countries," Economics Working Papers 2006-12, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  24. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  25. Diamond, P. A. & McFadden, D. L., 1974. "Some uses of the expenditure function in public finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 3-21, February.
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  27. Diewert, W E & Turunen-Red, A H & Woodland, A D, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Schorn, Michael, 2009. "Tax compliance costs: a business administration perspective," Discussion Papers 2009/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  2. Jenny Ligthart & Gerard C. van der Meijden, 2010. "Coordinated Tax-Tariff Reforms, Informality, and Welfare Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3107, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The effect of trade liberalization on payroll tax evasion and labor informality," MPRA Paper 39545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Manoj Atolia, 2003. "Public Investment, Tax Evasion and Welfare Effects of a Tariff Reform," Working Papers wp2003_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Oct 2008.
  5. Květa Kubátová, 2009. "Optimal Taxation – Review of Theory," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(3), pages 24-36.
  6. Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT, Tariffs, and Withholding: Border Taxes and Informality in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 07/174, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: A theoretical and empirical evaluation of the Brazilian case," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 330-348.
  8. Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT Attacks!," IMF Working Papers 07/142, International Monetary Fund.

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