IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/pubcho/v162y2015i1p57-78.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tax structure and corruption: cross-country evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Yongzheng Liu
  • Haibo Feng

Abstract

One common feature of the current literature on corruption, especially the empirical contributions to it, is the emphasis on the exogenous determinants of corruption, which are generally beyond the direct control of governments. To date, little is known about how the design of government policy potentially affects the level of corruption in a country, even though there is growing recognition that the design and administration of tax and spending policies play important roles in promoting or discouraging corrupt practices. Using a large sample of countries over the 1995–2009 period, this paper fills the gap by conducting the first analysis in the literature to examine the significance of the tax structure, as measured by both tax mix and tax complexity, in determining corruption. Our results suggest the following: (1) countries relying more heavily on direct taxes tend to exhibit less corruption than countries that rely more heavily on indirect taxes, and (2) countries with more complex tax systems tend to be more corrupt than countries with less complex tax systems. These results are robust across alternative measures of corruption and tax structure and alternative estimations with and without correcting the potential endogeneity issue of the tax structure variables. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Yongzheng Liu & Haibo Feng, 2015. "Tax structure and corruption: cross-country evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 57-78, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:162:y:2015:i:1:p:57-78
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-014-0194-y
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-014-0194-y
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11127-014-0194-y?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    2. Sheetal K. Chand & Mr. Karl Ove Moene, 1997. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," IMF Working Papers 1997/100, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
    4. Chang, Eric C. C. & Golden, Miriam A., 2007. "Electoral Systems, District Magnitude and Corruption," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 115-137, January.
    5. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    6. Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 1-35, March.
    7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    8. John Thornton, 2008. "Corruption And The Composition Of Tax Revenue In Middle East And African Economies1," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(2), pages 316-320, June.
    9. Raul A. Barreto & James Alm, 2003. "Corruption, Optimal Taxation, and Growth," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(3), pages 207-240, May.
    10. Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A. & Naretta, Michael A., 2012. "The internet as an indicator of corruption awareness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 64-75.
    11. Miguel Braun & Rafael Di tella, 2004. "Inflation, Inflation Variability, and Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-100, March.
    12. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    13. Dollery, Brian & Worthington, Andrew, 1999. "Fiscal Illusion at the Local Level: An Empirical Test Using Australian Municipal Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 37-48, March.
    14. Rajeev Goel & Michael Nelson, 2011. "Government fragmentation versus fiscal decentralization and corruption," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 471-490, September.
    15. Richard Wagner, 1976. "Revenue structure, fiscal illusion, and budgetary choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 45-61, March.
    16. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    17. Eleanor Craig & A. Heins, 1980. "The effect of tax elasticity on government spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 267-275, January.
    18. Alesina, Alberto & Angeletos, George-Marios, 2005. "Corruption, inequality, and fairness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1227-1244, October.
    19. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    20. Tugrul Gurgur & Anwar Shah, 2014. "Localization and corruption: panacea or pandora's box?," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 109-136, May.
    21. Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 1-35, March.
    22. Werner W. Pommerehne & Friedrich Schneider*, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, And Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408, August.
    23. Kunicovã , Jana & Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 2005. "Electoral Rules and Constitutional Structures as Constraints on Corruption," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 573-606, October.
    24. Monica Escaleras & Shu Lin & Charles Register, 2010. "Freedom of information acts and public sector corruption," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 435-460, December.
    25. Lee, Young & Gordon, Roger H., 2005. "Tax structure and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 1027-1043, June.
    26. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Walter Misiolek & Harold Elder, 1988. "Tax structure and the size of government: An empirical analysis of the fiscal illusion and fiscal stress arguments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 233-245, June.
    28. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
    29. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
    30. Kotera, Go & Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2012. "Government size, democracy, and corruption: An empirical investigation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2340-2348.
    31. Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Does foreign aid corrupt?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 99-106, April.
    32. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    33. Dollery, Brian E & Worthington, Andrew C, 1996. "The Empirical Analysis of Fiscal Illusion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 261-297, September.
    34. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    35. Chand, Sheetal K. & Moene, Karl O., 1999. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1129-1140, July.
    36. Abdiweli M. Ali & Hoden Said Isse, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Corruption: A Cross-Country Comparison," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(3), pages 449-466, Winter.
    37. Anna Alon & Amy Hageman, 2013. "The Impact of Corruption on Firm Tax Compliance in Transition Economies: Whom Do You Trust?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(3), pages 479-494, September.
    38. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
    39. Richard Damania & Per Fredriksson & Muthukumara Mani, 2004. "The Persistence of Corruption and Regulatory Compliance Failures: Theory and Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 363-390, February.
    40. Marco Pani, 2011. "Hold your nose and vote: corruption and public decisions in a representative democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 163-196, July.
    41. Buchanan, James M. & Wagner, Richard E., 1978. "Dialogues concerning fiscal religion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 627-636, August.
    42. Brian Dollery & Andrew Worthington, 1999. "Fiscal Illusion at the Local Level: An Empirical Test Using Australian Municipal Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(1), pages 37-48, March.
    43. Stephen Knack & Omar Azfar, 2003. "Trade intensity, country size and corruption," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, April.
    44. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (V): On the Influence of Government," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 5, number mill1848-5.
    45. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    46. Goel, Rajeev K & Nelson, Michael A, 1998. "Corruption and Government Size: A Disaggregated Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 107-120, October.
    47. Heyndels, B & Smolders, C, 1995. "Tax Complexity and Fiscal Illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(1-2), pages 127-141, October.
    48. Samuel H. Baker, 1983. "The Determinants of Median Voter Tax Liability: an Empirical Test of the Fiscal Illusion Hypothesis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 11(1), pages 95-108, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Igor Kotlán & Daniel Němec & Eva Kotlánová & Petr Skalka & Rudolf Macek & Zuzana Machová, 2021. "European Green Deal: Environmental Taxation and Its Sustainability in Conditions of High Levels of Corruption," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-15, February.
    2. Kaisa Alavuotunki & Jukka Pirttilä, 2015. "The consequences of the value-added tax on inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2015-111, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Nguyen, Trang T.T. & Prior, Diego & Van Hemmen, Stefan, 2020. "Stochastic semi-nonparametric frontier approach for tax administration efficiency measure: Evidence from a cross-country study," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-153.
    4. Hoppe, Thomas & Schanz, Deborah & Sturm, Susann & Sureth, Caren, 2019. "Measuring tax complexity across countries: A survey study on MNCs," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 245, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Bing Ye & Xunyong Xiang, 2020. "Intergovernmental transfers and tax noncompliance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(2), pages 312-338, April.
    6. Ferdi ÇELİKAY, 2017. "Milli Gelirin Vergi Yükü Üzerindeki Etkileri: ARDL Sınır Testi Yaklaşımı ile Türkiye Üzerine Bir İnceleme (1924-2014)," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 25(32).
    7. Kaisa Alavuotunki & Jukka Pirttilä, 2015. "The consequences of the value-added tax on inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series 111, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Daniel Němec & Eva Kotlánová & Igor Kotlán & Zuzana Machová, 2021. "Corruption, Taxation and the Impact on the Shadow Economy," Economies, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rajul Awasthi & Nihal Bayraktar, 2015. "Can tax simplification help lower tax corruption?," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 297-330, December.
    2. Eugen Dimant & Guglielmo Tosato, 2018. "Causes And Effects Of Corruption: What Has Past Decade'S Empirical Research Taught Us? A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 335-356, April.
    3. Ghulam Shabbir & Mumtaz Anwar, 2007. "Determinants of Corruption in Developing Countries," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 751-764.
    4. Aisha Ismail & Kashif Rashid, 2014. "Time series analysis of the nexus among corruption, political instability and judicial inefficiency in Pakistan," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(5), pages 2757-2771, September.
    5. Awasthi, Rajul & Bayraktar, Nihal, 2014. "Can tax simplification help lower tax corruption ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6988, The World Bank.
    6. Gans-Morse, Jordan & Borges, Mariana & Makarin, Alexey & Mannah-Blankson, Theresa & Nickow, Andre & Zhang, Dong, 2018. "Reducing bureaucratic corruption: Interdisciplinary perspectives on what works," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 171-188.
    7. Héctor Bellido & Lorena Olmos & Juan A. Román-Aso, 2021. "The influence of government ideology on corruption: the impact of the Great Recession," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(2), pages 677-708, July.
    8. Kodila Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Empirical Survey on the Causes of the Corruption [Aperçu empirique sur les causes de la corruption]," MPRA Paper 41484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Olmos, Lorena & Bellido, Héctor & Román-Aso, Juan A., 2020. "The effects of mega-events on perceived corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    10. Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2005. "Consequences and causes of corruption: What do we know from a cross-section of countries?," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-34-05, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    11. Andris Zimelis, 2020. "Corruption research: A need for an integrated approach," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 288-306, September.
    12. Mukherjee, Deepraj, 2015. "Did pre-WTO agreements curb corruption?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-10.
    13. repec:pdn:wpaper:79 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Łukasz Goczek, 2007. "Przyczyny korupcji i skuteczność strategii antykorupcyjnych," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 4, pages 33-48.
    15. repec:pdn:wpaper:70 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Jayoti Das & Cassandra DiRienzo, 2009. "The Nonlinear Impact Of Globalization On Corruption," The International Journal of Business and Finance Research, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 3(2), pages 33-46.
    17. Dutta, Nabamita & Roy, Sanjukta, 2016. "The interactive impact of press freedom and media reach on corruption," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 227-236.
    18. Roberto Dell’Anno, 2020. "Corruption around the world: an analysis by partial least squares—structural equation modeling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 184(3), pages 327-350, September.
    19. Deepraj Mukherjee, 2018. "Corruption in International Business: Does Economic Globalization Help?," Global Business Review, International Management Institute, vol. 19(3), pages 623-634, June.
    20. Maria Rosaria Alfano & Anna Laura Baraldi & Erasmo Papagni, 2016. "Effect of the proportionality degree of electoral systems on corruption," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 34(8), pages 1895-1916, December.
    21. Nedra Baklouti & Younes Boujelbene, 2018. "Moderation of the Relationship Between Size of Government and Corruption by Democracy," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 9(4), pages 1210-1223, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax structure; Direct versus indirect taxes; Tax complexity; Corruption; D73; H20;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:162:y:2015:i:1:p:57-78. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.