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Elections and the structure of taxation in developing countries

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  • Helene Ehrhart

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Abstract

This article analyses the impact of the electoral calendar on the composition of tax revenue (direct versus indirect taxes). It thus represents an extension of traditional political budget-cycle analyses assessing the impact of elections on overall revenue. We appeal to the opportunistic political budget model of Drazen and Eslava ( 2010 ) to predict the relationship between taxation structure and elections. Panel data from 56 developing countries over the 1980–2006 period reveals a clear pattern of electorally-related policy interventions. Taking the potential endogeneity of election timing into account, we find robust evidence of lower indirect taxes being applied by incumbent governments in the period just prior to an election. Indirect tax revenue in election years is estimated to be 0.3 GDP percentage points lower than in other years, corresponding to a fall of about 3.4% of the average figure in the sample countries, while there is no such relationship with direct tax revenue. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Helene Ehrhart, 2013. "Elections and the structure of taxation in developing countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 195-211, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:1:p:195-211
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9894-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. repec:taf:jdevst:v:52:y:2016:i:7:p:917-932 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christian H Ebeke & Dilan Ölcer, 2013. "Fiscal Policy over the Election Cycle in Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 13/153, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Hélène Ehrhart & Samuel Guerineau, 2012. "Commodity price volatility and Tax revenues: Evidence from developing countries," Working Papers halshs-00658210, HAL.
    5. Christian Ebeke & Helene Ehrhart, 2012. "Tax Revenue Instability in Sub-Saharan Africa: Consequences and Remedies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(1), pages 1-27, January.
    6. Atsuyoshi Morozumi & Francisco Jose Veiga & Linda Goncalves Veiga, 2014. "Electoral effects on the composition of public spending and revenue: evidence from a large panel of countries," Discussion Papers 2014/16, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    7. Foremny, Dirk & Riedel, Nadine, 2014. "Business taxes and the electoral cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 48-61.
    8. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2015. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation of Leaders or Bias from Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01238883, HAL.
    9. Antoine CAZALS & Pierre MANDON, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 201609, CERDI.
    10. Prichard, Wilson, 2016. "Electoral Competitiveness, Tax Bargaining and Political Incentives in Developing Countries: Evidence from Political Budget Cycles Affecting Taxation," Working Papers 13713, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    11. Prichard, Wilson, 2016. "Reassessing Tax and Development Research: A New Dataset, New Findings, and Lessons for Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 48-60.
    12. Antoine Cazals & Pierre Mandon, 2016. "Political Budget Cycles: Manipulation from Leaders or Manipulation from Researchers? Evidence from a Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers halshs-01320586, HAL.
    13. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2016. "Election cycles in natural resource rents: Empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 79-93.
    14. Pantelis Kammas & Vassilis Sarantides, 2016. "Fiscal redistribution around elections when democracy is not “the only game in town”," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 279-311, September.
    15. Paul Mosley, 2011. "RETRACTED ARTICLE: Trust and conditionality; Or, can the World Bank ‘Leopard’ change its spots?," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 483-483, September.
    16. Francisco Jose Veiga & Linda Goncalves Veiga & Atsuyoshi Morozumi, 2015. "Political budget cycles and media freedom," Discussion Papers 2015/14, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    17. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    18. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Paul Mosley & Blessing Chiripanhura, 2016. "The African Political Business Cycle: Varieties of Experience," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(7), pages 917-932, July.
    20. Bharatee Dash & Angara Raja, 2014. "Do political determinants affect revenue collection? Evidence from the Indian states," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 61(3), pages 253-278, September.
    21. Prichard, Wilson, 2015. "Reassessing Tax and Development Research: A New Dataset, New Findings, and Lessons for Research," Working Papers 13654, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    22. Mailu, S.K. & Mulinge, W., 2016. "Excise tax changes and their impact on Gadam sorghum demand in Kenya," 2016 Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246959, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political budget cycles; Elections; Taxation; Developing countries; D72; E62; O10;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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