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¿Cómo afecta la tributación a la calidad de la gobernación?

  • Moore, Mick

    (Universidad de Sussex)

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    This paper summarises the policy implications of a growing debate about the connections between taxation and the quality of governance in developing countries. Taxation – or the absence of tax – impacts on the quality of governance through two main channels. The first relates is the degree of dependence of governments on general taxation for their financial resources. Many governments do not need to make much tax effort because they have large non-tax incomes from oil, gas and mineral exports or from foreign aid. State elites are then financially independent of citizen-taxpayers. This changes the political incentives that they face, and the ways in which they seek to obtain, use and retain power. The long term consequences for governance are malign: state elites are less responsive and accountable to citizens; and, depending on the sources of non-tax revenue, may have less incentive to build up the political and organisational capacities of the state. States are likely to be simultaneously arbitrary and weak. All else being equal, the dependence of governments on general taxation has positive effects on the quality of governance. But that relationship is not automatic. How governments tax also matters. We cannot assume that, because they are fully dependent on taxation for revenues, governments will be capable, accountable, or responsive. They may levy taxes coercively, and thereby damage state-society relations and reinforce poor governance. Public authorities in contemporary poor countries face some incentives to tax coercively. Establishing more consensual taxation practices is an important practical route to improving governance. Aid donors could play a more constructive role.// Este artículo resume las consecuencias que tiene para la política económica el debate creciente acerca de las relaciones entre la tributación y la calidad de la gobernación en los países en desarrollo. La tributación –o su ausencia – afecta la calidad de la gobernación por dos canales principales. El primero es el grado de la dependencia de los gobiernos de la tributación general para obtener sus recursos financieros. Muchos gobiernos no necesitan hacer un gran esfuerzo fiscal porque disponen de grandes ingresos no fiscales provenientes de las exportaciones de petróleo, gas y minerales, o de la ayuda externa. Las élites estatales son entonces financieramente independientes de los contribuyentes ciudadanos. Esto cambia los incentivos políticos y los modos en que intentan obtener,usar y retener el poder. Las consecuencias de largo plazo para la gobernación son malignas: las élites estatales son menos sensibles y responsables ante los ciudadanos y, dependiendo de las fuentes de recaudación no tributarias, podrían tener incentivos menores para fortalecer las capacidades políticas y organizacionales del Estado. Los Estados tenderán a ser arbitrarios y débiles al mismo tiempo. En igualdad de todo lo demás, la dependencia de los gobiernos de la tributación general tiene efectos positivos en la calidad de la gobernación. Pero esa relación no es automática, es importante también la manera como los gobiernos graven. No podemos suponer que, porque dependen totalmente de la tributación para obtener sus recaudaciones, los gobiernos serán capaces, controlables o responsables. Podrían recaudar impuestos coercitivamente, dañar así las relaciones entre el Estado y la sociedad y reforzar la mala gobernación. Las autoridades públicas de los países pobres contemporáneos tienen ciertos incentivos para gravar coercitivamente. El establecimiento de prácticas de tributación más consensuales es una vía importante para mejorar la gobernación. Los donantes de ayuda podrían desempeñar un papel más constructivo.

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    Article provided by Fondo de Cultura Económica in its journal El Trimestre Económico.

    Volume (Year): LXXIV (2) (2007)
    Issue (Month): 294 (abril-junio)
    Pages: 281-325

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    Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:74:y:2007:i:294:p:281-325
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