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What Do (and Don't) We Know about the Value Added Tax? A Review of Richard M. Bird and Pierre-Pascal Gendron's The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries

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  • Michael Keen

Abstract

The VAT has taken the tax world by storm over the last fifty years, but left little trace in the academic literature. Bird and Gendron provide an impressively informed and informative account of the VAT experience in lower income countries, largely vindicating the tax and standard advice for its design. But they rightly stress too that dominant "expert opinion" on the VAT remains troublingly uninformed by serious analysis and evidence. This article focuses on some of these gaps and recent attempts to start filling them.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keen, 2009. "What Do (and Don't) We Know about the Value Added Tax? A Review of Richard M. Bird and Pierre-Pascal Gendron's The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 159-170, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:47:y:2009:i:1:p:159-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.47.1.159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2009. "Optimal Tax Design and Enforcement with an Informal Sector," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, February.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. Knud MUNK, 2008. "On the Use of Border Taxes in Developing Countries," EcoMod2008 23800093, EcoMod.
    4. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.
    5. Bird,Richard & Gendron,Pierre-Pascal, 2011. "The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107401440, April.
    6. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    7. Keen, Michael, 2008. "VAT, tariffs, and withholding: Border taxes and informality in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1892-1906, October.
    8. Brett, Craig & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Political uncertainty and the earmarking of environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 315-340, March.
    9. Chun-Yan Kuo & Hatice Jenkins & Glenn Jenkins, 2006. "Is The Value Added Tax Naturally Progressive?," Working Paper 1059, Economics Department, Queen's University.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Chapman, Jonathan, 2018. "Democratic Reform and Opposition to Government Expenditure: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century Britain," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 13(4), pages 363-404, October.
    3. Buettner, Thiess & Madzharova, Boryana, 2018. "WTO membership and the shift to consumption taxes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 197-218.
    4. Christian EBEKE & Hélène EHRHART, 2011. "Does VAT reduce the instability of tax revenues?," Working Papers 201124, CERDI.
    5. Sijbren Cnossen, 2014. "Mobilizing VAT Revenues in African Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 5102, CESifo.
    6. Paukkeri, Tuuli, 2018. "Essays on public economics," Research Reports P72, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Antonio Gómez Gómez-Plana & Pedro Pascual Arzoz, 2011. "Fraude fiscal e IVA en España: incidencia en un modelo de equilibrio general," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 199(4), pages 9-52, December.
    8. Bhattarai, Keshab, 2017. "Impacts of GST reforms on efficiency, growth and redistribution of income in India: A Dynamic CGE Analysis," MPRA Paper 92139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. L A Latif, 2017. "A Comparative Study to Evaluate the Serum Lipid Profile in Pre and Postmenopausal Woman in Sulaymaniyah City _ Iraq," Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, Biomedical Research Network+, LLC, vol. 1(3), pages 826-830, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

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