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Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration

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  • Knud Jørgen Munk

    () (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

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 for optimal taxation and for desirable directions of tax-tariff reform in countries at different levels of economic development taking into account the costs of tax administration. The paper lends support to and clarifies the reasons for the criticism by Emran and Stiglitz (2003, 2005) of the IMF and the World Bank's recommendation to developing countries to adopt VAT to replace border taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Knud Jørgen Munk, 2005. "Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration," Economics Working Papers 2005-21, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2005-21
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    Cited by:

    1. Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: an evaluation of the Brazilian case," MPRA Paper 38858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Jenny Ligthart & Gerard C. van der Meijden, 2010. "Coordinated Tax-Tariff Reforms, Informality, and Welfare Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3107, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic & Yongzheng Liu, 2011. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory, and Economic Significance," Chapters,in: The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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. 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.
    8. Céline DE QUATREBARBES & Luc SAVARD & Dorothée BOCCANFUSO, 2011. "Can the removal of VAT Exemptions support the Poor? The Case of Niger," Working Papers 201106, CERDI.
    9. Květa Kubátová, 2009. "Optimal Taxation - Review of Theory," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(3), pages 24-36.
    10. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Schorn, Michael, 2009. "Tax compliance costs: a business administration perspective," Discussion Papers 2009/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    11. Manoj Atolia, 2003. "Public Investment, Tax Evasion and Welfare Effects of a Tariff Reform," Working Papers wp2003_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Oct 2008.
    12. Knud MUNK, "undated". "On the Use of Border Taxes in Developing Countries," EcoMod2008 23800093, EcoMod.
    13. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; optimal trade policy; VAT; tax-tariff reform; costs of tax administration; informal sector; developing countries;

    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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