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Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries

  • Richard Bird

    ()

    (University of Toronto)

Taxes matter. We all know we need them to pay for public services. But most of us complain about them -- exercise our "voice" -- and often try to dodge them -- to "exit" -- when we can. Those who design and implement tax systems, like those who try to escape them, for the most part consider themselves to be eminently ‘practical’ people responding to the world around them as they see it. As John Maynard Keynes (1936, 384-85) once said, however, “practical men, who believe themselves to be quite free from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist…..soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.” While true to some extent, at least when it comes to taxes this dictum both unduly flatters economists and puts too little weight on interests and other factors. Tax policy everywhere is shaped not only by ideas and vested interests but also by changing economic conditions, administrative constraints and technological possibilities, and, especially, the political institutions within which these factors are at play.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0802.pdf
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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0802.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2008
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0802
Contact details of provider: Phone: 404-413-0235
Fax: 404-413-0244
Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html

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  4. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What Do We Know?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1167, CESifo Group Munich.
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  8. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," International Tax Program Papers 0411, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  9. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 2005. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021807, October.
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  11. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2003. "Fairness and Redistribution: U.S. versus Europe," NBER Working Papers 9502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard M Bird & Eric M Zolt, 2008. "Tax policy in emerging countries," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(1), pages 73-86, February.
  13. M. Shahe Emran & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "On Selective Indirect Tax Reform in Developing Countries," International Trade 0210003, EconWPA.
  14. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2001. "Mexico: An Evaluation of the Main Features of the Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0112, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  15. Toye, John, 2000. "Fiscal Crisis and Fiscal Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 2144-2144, January.
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  17. Warlters, Michael & Auriol, Emmanuelle, 2005. "The marginal cost of public funds in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3679, The World Bank.
  18. Tridimas, George & Winer, Stanley L., 2005. "The political economy of government size," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 643-666, September.
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  20. Richard M. Bird & Enid Slack (ed.), 2004. "International Handbook of Land and Property Taxation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3304.
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  22. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 6-16, July.
  23. Eduardo Lora & Mauricio Cardenas, 2006. "La reforma de las instituciones fiscales en América Latina," Research Department Publications 4458, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  24. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Evaluating Public Expenditures: Does It Matter How They are Financed?," International Tax Program Papers 0506, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  25. Jack A. Goldstone, 2007. "Jack Goldstone on Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 8(3), pages 207-225, July.
  26. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 53552-53552, September.
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  30. Richard M. Bird, 2006. "Taxing Land and Property in Emerging Economies: Raising Revenue...and More?," International Tax Program Papers 0605, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
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