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Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration

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  • Knud Munk

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Knud Munk, 2008. "Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(6), pages 647-667, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:6:p:647-667
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9042-z
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    Cited by:

    1. Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: A theoretical and empirical evaluation of the Brazilian case," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 330-348.
    2. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic & Yongzheng Liu, 2011. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory, and Economic Significance," Chapters, in: Emilio Albi & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (ed.), The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ligthart, J.E. & van der Meijden, G.C., 2010. "Coordinated Tax-Tariff Reforms, Informality, and Welfare Distribution," Discussion Paper 2010-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Manoj Atolia, 2010. "Public Investment, Tax Evasion, And The Welfare Effects Of A Tariff Reform," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(2), pages 219-239, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Michael Keen, 2007. "VAT attacks!," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 365-381, August.
    7. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Céline de Quatrebarbes & Luc Savard, 2011. "Can the removal of VAT Exemptions support the Poor? The Case of Niger," Cahiers de recherche 11-04, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke, revised 05 Dec 2015.
    8. Knud J., MUNK, 2008. "On the Use of Border Taxes in Developing Countries," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008005, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques, revised 29 Jul 2011.
    9. 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.
    10. Květa Kubátová, 2009. "Optimal Taxation - Review of Theory [Optimální zdanění - přehled dosavadní teorie]," Český finanční a účetní časopis, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2009(3), pages 24-36.
    11. Celine de Quatrebarbes & Bertrand Laporte & Stéphane Calipel, 2021. "Fighting the soaring prices of agricultural food products. VAT versus Trade tariffs exemptions in a context of imperfect competition in Niger : CGE and micro-simulation approach," Working Papers hal-03138369, HAL.
    12. Céline de Quatrebarbes & Bertrand Laporte & Stéphane Calipel, 2021. "Fighting the soaring prices of agricultural food products -VAT versus Trade tariffs exemptions. A case study in Niger," Working Papers hal-03164636, HAL.
    13. Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The effect of trade liberalization on payroll tax evasion and labor informality," MPRA Paper 39545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Schorn, Michael, 2009. "Tax compliance costs: a business administration perspective," Discussion Papers 2009/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; Optimal trade policy; VAT; Tax-tariff reform; Costs of tax administration; Informal sector; Developing; F11; F13; H21;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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