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A Computational General Equilibrium Approach to Sectoral Analysis for Tax Potential: An Application to Pakistan

This study develops a dynamic general equilibrium model, applied to Pakistani data, in which optimizing agents evade taxes by operating in the underground economy. The cost to firms of evading taxes is that they find themselves subject to credit rationing from banks. Our model simulations show that in the absence of budgetary flexibility to adjust expenditures, raising tax rates too high drives firms into the underground economy, thereby reducing the tax base. Aggregate investment in the economy is lowered because of credit rationing. Taxes that are too low eliminate the underground economy, but result in unsustainable budget and trade deficits. Thus, the optimal rate of taxation, from a macroeconomic point of view, may lead to some underground activity. We note, in particular, that incorporating a VAT without any other tax reductions greatly reduces the tax compliance of the service sector. We have applied our model to Pakistan, and have calibrated our model to an 8 year period from 2004-2011. We note that it gives a reasonable approximation of Pakistani macro data. We then use a sectoral breakdown of tax data generated by the model to estimate tax gaps on a sector by sector basis. We note that certain sectors are currently paying taxes below their potential, while others may be above their tax potential. These sectoral gap estimates may be used as indicators of where greater tax enforcement efforts should be directed.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp1226.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 paper1226.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1226
Contact details of provider: Phone: 404-413-0235
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Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html

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  1. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stéphane, 2001. "Taxes, Inequality and the Size of the Informal Sector," Cahiers de recherche 0112, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  2. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
  3. Blejer, Mario I. & Feldman, Ernesto V. & Feltenstein, Andrew, 2002. "Exogenous shocks, contagion, and bank soundness: a macroeconomic framework," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 33-52, February.
  4. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  5. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1998. "Inter-Firm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," CEPR Discussion Papers 2036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Robina Ather Ahmed & Mark Rider, 2008. "Pakistan’s Tax Gap: Estimates By Tax Calculation and Methodology," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0811, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Era Dabla-Norris & Andrew Feltenstein, 2005. "The underground economy and its macroeconomic consequences," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 153-174.
  8. Qayyum, Abdul, 2005. "Modelling the Demand for Money in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 2057, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2005.
  9. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  10. Feltenstein, Andrew & Shah, Anwar, 1993. "General Equilibrium Effects of Taxation on Investment in a Developing Country: The Case of Pakistan," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(3), pages 366-86.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  12. Ball, Sheryl & Feltenstein, Andrew, 2001. "Bank failures and fiscal austerity: policy prescriptions for a developing country," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 247-270, November.
  13. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Kaspar Richter, 2009. "Pakistan Tax Policy Report: Tapping Tax Bases for Development," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0908, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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