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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. Zodrow, George R., 2001. "The Property Tax as a Capital Tax: A Room with Three Views," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 139-56, March.
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  9. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2011. "Introduction to "Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gillis, Malcolm, 1985. "Micro and macroeconomics of tax reform : Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 221-254, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Pierre Salmon, 2012. "Decentralization and growth:has the cross-country approach met a dead end?," Working Papers CREGO 1120604, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
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