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Corruption, Optimal Taxation and Growth

  • Raul A. Barreto


    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • James Alm

    (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State Universit)

How does the presence of corruption affect the optimal mix between consumption and income taxation? In this paper we examine this issue using a simple neoclassical growth model, with a self-seeking and corrupt public sector. We find that the optimal tax mix in a corrupt economy is one that relies more heavily upon consumption taxes than on income taxes, relative to an economy without corruption. Our model also allows us to investigate the effect of corruption on the optimal size of government, and our results indicate that the optimal size of government balances the wishes of the corrupt public sector for a larger government, and so greater opportunities for corruption, with those in the private sector who prefer a smaller government. Not surprisingly, the optimal size of government is smaller in an economy with corruption than in one without corruption.

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Paper provided by University of Adelaide, School of Economics in its series School of Economics Working Papers with number 2001-03.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2001-03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Adelaide SA 5005
Phone: (618) 8303 5540
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  1. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  2. Pual Pecorino, 1992. "Rent Seeking and Growth: The Case of Growth through Human Capital Accumulation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 944-56, November.
  3. Devereux, Michael B & Mansoorian, Arman, 1992. "International Fiscal Policy Coordination and Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 249-68, May.
  4. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
  5. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 645-61, October.
  6. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Fiscal Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1243-59, November.
  7. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  8. Barreto, Raul A., 2000. "Endogenous corruption in a neoclassical growth model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 35-60, January.
  9. Hartwick, John M., 1992. "Endogenous growth with public education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 493-497, August.
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