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Does Paying Taxes Improve the Quality of Governance? Cross-Country Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Yener Altunbas

    () (Bangor University)

  • John Thornton

    () (Bangor University)

Abstract

A growing economics literature argues that taxation can strengthen the quality of governance and public sector institutions by making governments more responsive and accountable to their citizens, building capacity, and improving public policy. In this paper, we provide empirical support for this view. Using data on a cross-section of developed and developing countries, we find that taxation improves the quality of governance and that those taxes that are borne most directly by citizens are the most important in improving governance. Our results are robust to different estimation methodologies, to variations in the country sample, and to controlling for the influence of variables that have been identified as affecting the quality of governance. The results suggest that policies aimed at mobilizing tax revenues may be justified based on the greater accountability of government that may result.

Suggested Citation

  • Yener Altunbas & John Thornton, 2010. "Does Paying Taxes Improve the Quality of Governance? Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 10006, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  • Handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:10006
    as

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    File URL: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/business/docs/BBSWP10006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cross- section; taxation; governance; development; state capacity;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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