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The Tax Man Cometh - But is he Efficient?


  • Finn R. Førsund

    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo and the Frisch Centre,

  • Sverre A.C. Kittelsen

    (The Frisch Centre)

  • Frode Lindseth

    (The Norwegian Directorate of Taxes)

  • Dag Fjeld Edvardsen

    (The Norwegian Building Research Institute)


The performance of local tax offices of Norway is studied over a three-year period applying Data Envelopment Efficiency analysis and a Malmquist productivity index. The estimates are bias-corrected using a bootstrap approach recently developed for DEA models. The results show that bias correction and the construction of confidence intervals give a quite different picture without bootstrapping. A set of best practice offices is identified for future work on finding explanations for good performance. The productivity development of individual offices is classified into the four categories: productivity improving cost increase, productivity improving cost savings, productivity decreasing cost savings and productivity decreasing cost increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Finn R. Førsund & Sverre A.C. Kittelsen & Frode Lindseth & Dag Fjeld Edvardsen, 2006. "The Tax Man Cometh - But is he Efficient?," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 197(1), pages 106-119, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:197:y:2006:i:1:p:106-119

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    Cited by:

    1. Jaime Vázquez-Caro & Richard M. Bird, 2011. "Benchmarking Tax Administrations in Developing Countries: A Systemic Approach," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1104, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Finn Førsund & Dag Edvardsen & Sverre Kittelsen, 2015. "Productivity of tax offices in Norway," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 269-279, June.
    3. Hanson, Torbjørn, 2016. "Efficiency and productivity in the operational units of the armed forces: A Norwegian example," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 12-23.
    4. José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Francisco Pedraja Chaparro & Javier Salinas Jiménez, 2009. "Efficiency measurement in the Spanish cadastral units through DEA," Working Papers 2009/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Edvardsen, Dag Fjeld & Førsund, Finn & Kittelsen, Sverre A. C, 2016. "Productivity Development of Norwegian Institutions of Higher Education 2004 – 2013," Memorandum 04/2016, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Luca Barbone & Richard Bird & Jaime Vázquez Caro, 2012. "The Costs of VAT: A Review of the Literature," CASE Network Reports 0106, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.


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