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Taxation of Financial Assets in Developing Countries


  • Chamley, Christophe


In developing countries most of the financial assets are deposits at commercial banks. This article focuses on the implicit taxation of financial assets through seigniorage, reserve requirements, lending targets, and interest ceilings combined with inflation. The impact of taxation on financial deepening increases significantly with the tax rate, as shown by cross-sectional and time series data for selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The problem of measuring revenue is examined, and the efficiency cost of taxation is analyzed in a Harberger framework. Although taxes on financial assets have a low administrative cost, the excess burden caused by the misallocation of resources is probably a much higher fraction of revenues than that of other taxes. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Chamley, Christophe, 1991. "Taxation of Financial Assets in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 513-533, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:5:y:1991:i:3:p:513-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahyarara, Godius & Teal, Francis, 2008. "The Returns to Vocational Training and Academic Education: Evidence from Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2223-2242, November.
    2. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    3. David Newhouse & Kathleen Beegle, 2006. "The Effect of School Type on Academic Achievement: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
    4. Michael Lechner, 2000. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 347-375.
    5. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2008. "General Education vs. Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," NBER Working Papers 14155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    7. Francis Teal & Godius Kahyarara, 2008. "The returns to vocational training and academic education: Evidence from Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Neuman, Shoshana & Ziderman, Adrian, 1991. "Vocational schooling, occupational matching, and labor market earnings in Israel," Policy Research Working Paper Series 683, The World Bank.
    9. Moenjak, Thammarak & Worswick, Christopher, 2003. "Vocational education in Thailand: a study of choice and returns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 99-107, February.
    10. Tobias, J.L., 2000. "Are Return to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationship," Papers 00-01-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    11. Paul Bennell, 1996. "General versus vocational secondary education in developing countries: A review of the rates of return evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 230-247.
    12. Shoshana Neuman & Adrian Ziderman, 1991. "Vocational Schooling, Occupational Matching, and Labor Market Earnings in Israel," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 256-281.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niloy Bose & Jill A. Holman & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2007. "The Optimal Public Expenditure Financing Policy: Does The Level Of Economic Development Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 433-452, July.
    2. Gollin, Douglas, 1995. "Do Taxes on Large Firms Impede Growth? Evidence from Ghana," Bulletins 7488, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    3. Andres Erosa, 2001. "Financial Intermediation and Occupational Choice in Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 303-334, April.
    4. Patrick Honohan, 1994. "The Fiscal Approach to Financial Intermediation Policy," Papers WP049, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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