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Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration

Listed author(s):
  • Knud Munk

    ()

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 of taking into account the costs of tax administration for optimal taxation and for desirable directions of tax-tariff reform in countries at different levels of economic development. The paper clarifies the reasons for, and lends support to, the criticism by Stiglitz (2003) of the IMF and the World Bank's recommendation to developing countries to adopt VAT to replace border taxes.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-007-9042-z
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Article provided by Springer & International Institute of Public Finance in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 647-667

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:6:p:647-667
DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9042-z
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