Optimal export taxes – the case of cocoa in Cote d'Ivoire
Export taxes can provide additional welfare to large exporters, an argument for interventions in many primary commodity exporting countries. We investigate the benefits of export taxation for Côte d'Ivoire, the dominant exporter of cocoa. Where many applications treat the formula for optimal export taxes incorrectly as a prescription, we take the endogeneity of the exporter’s share into account. We also distinguish between short-term and long-term effects, relevant for a tree crop like cocoa and we allow for a normal commercial margin between export and farm gate prices. Results are calculated via simulations in a model, in which the age-compositions of the tree stocks of major producing countries are distinguished. Simulations over a period of 15 years show that higher levels of export taxation do not change overall revenues of Côte d'Ivoire on a longer term, but lead to strong redistribution from farmers to the central authorities.
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