Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda
AbstractOver the past two decades many developing countries have implemented comprehensive reforms of their tax administrations in order to increase revenue and curb corruption. This paper examines recent experiences in the fight against corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). It argues that the technocratic remedies supported by donors have underplayed the degree to which progress in tax administration depends upon a thorough 'cultural change' in the public service. The motives of individual actors are often inextricably tied to the interests of the social groups to which they belong. In the URA patronage runs through networks grounded on ties of kinship and community origin. As such, people recognize the benefits of large extended families and strong kinship ties, even as their social and economic aspirations may be indisputably modern. This implies that such social relations may undermine formal bureaucratic structures and positions. If these problems, which are rooted in social norms and patterns of behavior rather than administrative features, are overlooked, the result may be to distort incentives. As a consequence, the government's commitment to reforming the tax administration may also be undermined.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number WP 2005: 10.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Corruption Incentives Social norms Tax administration Tax evasion Uganda;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2006-03-05 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2006-03-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2006-03-05 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-03-05 (Public Economics)
- NEP-REG-2006-03-05 (Regulation)
- NEP-SOC-2006-03-05 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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