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Foreign Advice and Tax Policy in Developing Countries

  • Richard M. Bird

    ()

    (University of Toronto)

Fifty years of experience tells us that the right game for tax researchers and outside agencies interested in fostering better sustainable tax systems in developing countries researchers is not the short-term political game in which policy decisions are made. The right game for them is instead the long-term one of building up the institutional capacity both within and outside governments to articulate relevant ideas for change, to collect and analyze relevant data, and of course to assess and criticize the effects of such changes as are made. Tax researchers in developing countries can and should play an active role in all these activities. To do so, however, they often need considerably more and more sustained support from academic institutions abroad as well as from international agencies than is now available. Such long-term ‘institution-building’ activities are seldom immediately rewarding. They appear at present to be out of fashion with international agencies concerned with development, where most efforts at present seem to focus on designing and implementing ever more rigorous ‘benchmarking’ schemes. Nonetheless, the long-term institution-building approach seems still to provide the most useful way in which foreigners may perhaps be able to assist in the formidable and on-going task of achieving more efficient, equitable, effective, and sustainable tax systems in developing countries.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp1307.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 paper1307.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 07 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1307
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. Peter Diamond & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 165-90, Fall.
  2. Markus Leibrecht & Claudia Hochgatterer, 2012. "Tax Competition As A Cause Of Falling Corporate Income Tax Rates: A Survey Of Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 616-648, 09.
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  5. Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Taxing Alcohol in Africa: Reflections from International Experience," International Tax Program Papers 0304, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Nov 2003.
  6. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2011. "Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number enge11-1, May.
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  10. Richard M. Bird, 2011. "Subnational Taxation In Developing Countries: A Review Of The Literature," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 139-161.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 15071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2005. "Redistribution via Taxation: The Limited Role of the Personal Income Tax in Developing Countries," International Tax Program Papers 0508, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  14. Arnold C. Harberger, 1968. "A Landmark in the Annals of Taxation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(s1), pages 183-194, February.
  15. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Richard M. Bird, 2011. "Value-Added Tax: Onward and Upward?," Chapters, in: The Elgar Guide to Tax Systems, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
  16. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Violeta Vulovic & Yongzheng Liu, 2009. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: Trends, Theory and Economic Significance," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0911, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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  29. Raja J. Chelliah, 1971. "Trends in Taxation in Developing Countries (Les tendances de la fiscalité dans les pays en voie de développement) (Tendencias tributarias en los países en desarrollo)," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 18(2), pages 254-331, July.
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