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Tax challenges facing developing countries

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  • Bird, Richard M.

    (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)

Abstract

Taxes matter. We all know we need them to pay for public services. But most of us complain about them -- exercise our "voice" -- and often try to dodge them -- to "exit" -- when we can. Those who design and implement tax systems, like those who try to escape them, for the most part consider themselves to be eminently ‘practical’ people responding to the world around them as they see it. As John Maynard Keynes (1936, 384-85) once said, however, “practical men, who believe themselves to be quite free from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist…..soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.” While true to some extent, at least when it comes to taxes this dictum both unduly flatters economists and puts too little weight on interests and other factors. Tax policy everywhere is shaped not only by ideas and vested interests but also by changing economic conditions, administrative constraints and technological possibilities, and, especially, the political institutions within which these factors are at play.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in its series Working Papers with number 08/als1.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:npf:wpaper:08/als1

Note: Annual Public Lecture Series of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
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Web page: http://www.nipfp.org.in

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References

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  1. Richard Bird & Eric Zolt, 2007. "Tax Policy in Emerging Countries," International Tax Program Papers 0707, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521622912 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow Economies Around the World: What Do We Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  5. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Evaluating Public Expenditures: Does It Matter How They are Financed?," International Tax Program Papers 0506, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  6. Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT Attacks!," IMF Working Papers 07/142, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2003. "Fairness and Redistribution: U.S. versus Europe," NBER Working Papers 9502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Is It Really so Hard to Tax the Hard-to-Tax? The Context and Role of Presumptive Taxes," International Tax Program Papers 0307, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  9. Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Tax Structure in Developing Countries: Many Puzzles and a Possible Explanation," NBER Working Papers 11267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Eduardo Lora & Mauricio Cardenas, 2006. "La reforma de las instituciones fiscales en América Latina," Research Department Publications 4458, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. Toye, John, 2000. "Fiscal Crisis and Fiscal Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 21-44, January.
  12. M. Shahe Emran & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "On Selective Indirect Tax Reform in Developing Countries," International Trade 0210003, EconWPA.
  13. Bird,Richard & Gendron,Pierre-Pascal, 2007. "The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521877657, October.
  14. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-21, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  15. Tridimas, George & Winer, Stanley L., 2005. "The political economy of government size," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 643-666, September.
  16. Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Taxation Policy in Low-Income Countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  17. Cnossen, Sijbren (ed.), 2005. "Theory and Practice of Excise Taxation: Smoking, Drinking, Gambling, Polluting, and Driving," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278596.
  18. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2007. "The Vanishing Bequest Tax: The Comparative Evolution of Bequest Taxation in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 6115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Peter Lindert, 2003. "Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?," Working Papers 26, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  20. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2004. "Taxation Base in Developing Countries," IDEI Working Papers 292, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  21. Jack A. Goldstone, 2007. "Jack Goldstone on Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 8(3), pages 207-225, July.
  22. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 6-16, July.
  23. Richard M. Bird, 2014. "Administrative Dimensions of Tax Reform," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 963-992, November.
  24. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 2005. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021807, October.
  25. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 535-52, September.
  26. Morisset, Jacques & Izquierdo, Alejandro, 1993. "Effects of tax reform on Argentina's revenues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1192, The World Bank.
  27. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    [A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  28. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2001. "Mexico: An Evaluation of the Main Features of the Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0112, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  29. Warlters, Michael & Auriol, Emmanuelle, 2005. "The marginal cost of public funds in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3679, The World Bank.
  30. Richard M. Bird, 2006. "Taxing Land and Property in Emerging Economies: Raising Revenue...and More?," International Tax Program Papers 0605, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ahmed, Vaqar & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "Redistributive effect of personal income taxation in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 16700, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge, 2013. "Taxation and development: A review of donor support to strengthen tax systems in developing countries," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Richard M. Bird, 2008. "The BBLR Approach to tax Reform in Emerging Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0804, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Joachim Ahrens & Rainer Schweickert & Juliane Zenker, 2011. "Varieties of Capitalism, Governance and Government Spending – A Cross-Section Analysis," Kiel Working Papers 1726, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Georgia Kaplanoglou & Vassilis T. Rapanos, 2011. "The Greek fiscal crisis and the role of fiscal governance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36432, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Georgia Kaplanoglou & Vassilis T. Rapanos, 2013. "Fiscal Deficits and the Role of Fiscal Governance: The case of Greece," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 43(1), pages 5-30, March.

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