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The BBLR Approach to tax Reform in Emerging Countries

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Abstract

Fiscal experts have years proposed a holy trinity of tax reform options for developing countries: broader bases, lower rates, and better administration. The review in this paper of fifty years of experience auggests that what might be called the BBLR approach-- broader bases and lower rates -- to tax structure reform holds up fairly well. Nonetheless, some qualifications to the basic BBLR approach are suggested and the continuing fundamental importance of understanding and improving tax administration is stressed.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. Bird, 2008. "The BBLR Approach to tax Reform in Emerging Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0804, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 599-623.
    2. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2005. "Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    3. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 855-866.
    4. Bahl, Roy W. & Bird, Richard M., 2008. "Tax Policy in Developing Countries: Looking Back—and Forward," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 279-301, June.
    5. Boadway, Robin, 2005. "Income tax reform for a globalized world: The case for a dual income tax," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 910-927, December.
    6. Richard M. Bird, 2008. "Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries," Working Papers id:1618, eSocialSciences.
    7. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
    8. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2005. "Taxation base in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 625-646.
    9. 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 535-552, September.
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    Keywords

    tax reform; tax bases; tax rates; tax administration;

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