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Tax Structure and Corruption: Cross-Country Evidence

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  • Yongzheng Liu

    (Renmin University of China)

  • Haibo Feng

    (Jinan University)

Abstract

The determinants of corruption have long been an important subject for research in the elds of economics and political science. The literature has identi ed a wide range of factors that cause corruption; however, little research has been done on how the design of government policy in uences corruption. We advance a new factor, the tax structure being measured as both tax mix and tax complexity, as another potential cause of corruption, and present strong supporting evidence by using a large sample of countries over the period 1995-2009. Our ndings indicate that: (1) countries relying more heavily on direct taxes tend to enjoy a lower level of corruption, as opposed to countries with higher reliance on indirect taxes; and (2) countries with more complex tax systems tend to have a higher level of corruption, as opposed to countries with less complex tax systems. These results are robust across alternative measures of corruption and tax structure, and alternative estimations with and without correcting the potential endogeneity issue of the tax structure variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Yongzheng Liu & Haibo Feng, 2014. "Tax Structure and Corruption: Cross-Country Evidence," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1427, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1427
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    4. Hoppe, Thomas & Schanz, Deborah & Sturm, Susann & Sureth, Caren, 2019. "Measuring tax complexity across countries: A survey study on MNCs," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 245, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Daniel Němec & Eva Kotlánová & Igor Kotlán & Zuzana Machová, 2021. "Corruption, Taxation and the Impact on the Shadow Economy," Economies, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
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    7. Nguyen, Trang T.T. & Prior, Diego & Van Hemmen, Stefan, 2020. "Stochastic semi-nonparametric frontier approach for tax administration efficiency measure: Evidence from a cross-country study," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-153.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Structure; Direct versus Indirect Taxes; Tax Complexity; Corruption;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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