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Measuring tax effort: Does the estimation approach matter and should effort be linked to expenditure goals?

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Abstract

In this paper we attempt to take a fresh look at the classical question of the determinants of tax effort. Our goal is to better understand the fundamental economic logic of the different approaches that have been used in the previous literature, consider alternative measurements which may provide a more direct intuition of what the concept of tax effort attempts to measure, and to compare quantitatively the rankings of tax effort produced by all these different approaches. As we see it, the fundamental issue is how to move forward toward a definition of tax effort that has a higher relevance to the developmental needs and budgetary ambitions of a country and as an indicator of potential tax reform needs. Fundamentally, all tax effort indicators are calculated by comparing actual collection performance against a measure of potential collections. This definitional choice lays out several dimensions for the conduct of tax policy in a country. These include the need for reform to raise revenues with reference to some potential, the desirable timing and urgency of those reforms, and the extent of the gains in national welfare that are achievable with these reforms. While the first two dimensions have been examined in different ways in the previous literature, in this paper, for the first time in this literature, we will examine how much the two different approaches to estimation of tax effort matter as compared to those conventionally used. In addition, and also for the first time in this literature, in this paper we argue for the need to explicitly link the adequacy of tax effort with the specific expenditure goals of government and their associated gains in national welfare.

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  • Musharraf Cyan & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & VIoleta Vulovic, 2013. "Measuring tax effort: Does the estimation approach matter and should effort be linked to expenditure goals?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1308, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1308
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    Cited by:

    1. Leanora Alecia Brown & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2015. "International Debt Forgiveness: Who Gets Picked and Its Effect On The Tax Effort Of Developing Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1504, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Émilie Caldeira & Ali Compaore & Alou Adessé Dama & Mario Mansour & Grégoire Rota-Graziosi, 2019. "Effort fiscal en Afrique subsaharienne : les résultats d’une nouvelle base de données," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 27(4), pages 5-51.
    3. Sèna Kimm Gnangnon & Jean-François Brun, 2020. "Tax reform and fiscal space in developing countries," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 10(2), pages 237-265, June.
    4. Danuse Nerudova & Marian Dobranschi, 2019. "Alternative method to measure the VAT gap in the EU: Stochastic tax frontier model approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. Sacchidananda Mukherjee, 2020. "Goods and Services Tax efficiency across Indian States: panel stochastic frontier analysis," Indian Economic Review, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 225-251, December.
    6. M. Govinda Rao & Sudhanshu Kumar, 2018. "Envisioning tax policy for accelerated development in India," Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 25(1), pages 85-107, June.
    7. Basil Dalamagas & Panagiotis Palaios & Stefanos Tantos, 2019. "A New Approach to Measuring Tax Effort," Economies, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-25, August.
    8. Emmanuel Ekow Asmah & Francis Kwaw Andoh & Edem Titriku, 2020. "Trade misinvoicing effects on tax revenue in sub‐Saharan Africa: The role of tax holidays and regulatory quality," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(4), pages 649-672, December.
    9. Basil Dalamagas & John Leventides & Panagiotis Palaios & Stefanos Tantos, 2020. "Revising the conventional tax‐effort principle," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 67(3), pages 272-299, July.
    10. Gohar S. Sedrakyan, 2017. "The Effects of Presumptive Methods of Taxation on Revenue Mobilization in the Value Added Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1718, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    11. Andrew Feltenstein & Nour Abdul-Razzak & Jeffrey Condon & Biplab Kumar Datta, 2015. "Tax Evasion, the Provision of Public Infrastructure and Growth: A General Equilibrium Approach to Two Very Different Countries, Egypt and Mauritius," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 24(suppl_2), pages 43-72.
    12. Gnangnon Sena Kimm, 2018. "Export Product Concentration and De Facto Fiscal Space: Does Openness to International Trade matter?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-12, March.
    13. Emilie Caldeira & Alou Adessé Dama & Ali Compaoré & Mario Mansour & Grégoire Rota-Graziosi, 2020. "Tax effort in Sub-Saharan African countries : evidence from a new dataset," Working Papers hal-02543162, HAL.
    14. Sena Kimm Gnangnon, 2019. "Fiscal Space for Trade: How Could the International Trade Community Help?," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 10(01), pages 1-42, February.
    15. Galvis Ciro, Juan Camilo & Ferreira de Mendonça, Helder, 2016. "Inflation targeting and tax effort: Evidence from Colombia," MPRA Paper 90544, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Dec 2018.
    16. Jean-François Brun & Maïmouna Diakite, 2016. "Tax Potential and Tax Effort: An Empirical Estimation for Non-resource Tax Revenue and VAT’s Revenue," Working Papers halshs-01332053, HAL.
    17. Nayudu, A. Sri Hari, 2019. "Tax Revenue Efficiency of Indian States: The case of Stamp Duty and Registration Fees," Working Papers 19/278, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    18. Pamela Lenton & Mike Masiye & Paul Mosley, 2017. "Taxpayer’s dilemma: how can ‘fiscal contracts’ work in developing countries?," Working Papers 2017004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    19. Garg, Sandya & Ashima Goyal & Rupayan Pal, 2014. "Why tax effort falls short of capacity in Indian states: A Stochastic frontier approach," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-032, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    20. Nosakhare Liberty Arodoye & John Norense Izevbigie, 2019. "Sectoral Composition And Tax Revenue Performance In Ecowas Countries," Oradea Journal of Business and Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4(2), pages 45-55, September.
    21. Onesmo Kaiya Mackenzie, 2021. "Efficiency of tax revenue administration in Africa," Working Papers 02/2021, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    22. Jean-François Brun & Tiangboho Sanogo, 2017. "Effect of central transfers on municipalities' own revenue mobilization: Do conflict and local revenue management matter?," CERDI Working papers halshs-01613108, HAL.
    23. Jean-François Brun & Tiangboho Sanogo, 2017. "Effect of central transfers on municipalities' own revenue mobilization: Do conflict and local revenue management matter?," Working Papers halshs-01613108, HAL.
    24. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Maria Cecilia Deza & Osmel Manzano & Alejandro Puerta, 2021. "Revisiting tax effort in emerging markets," Public Finance Review, , vol. 49(6), pages 845-873, November.

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