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An Evaluation of Indirect Taxes in Turkey


  • Oya Pinar Ardic
  • Burcay Erus
  • Gurcan Soydan


The share of indirect taxes in tax revenues, specifically consumption taxes, is quite high in Turkey when compared to other OECD economies. This emphasis on indirect taxes in Turkey, as well as other developing economies, is argued to emerge from the inability of the government to collect direct taxes because of the existence of a large informal sector that is not easily taxable. It has been suggested that the recent increase in the indirect taxes puts the burden on mostly the poor, raising concerns of inequality. This paper evaluates the efficiency of the current indirect taxes in Turkey by taking into account distributional concerns. Using data from the 2003 Household Budget Survey, we estimate elasticities of different consumption goods and services using AIDS method. We then perform a marginal tax reform analysis to assess the efficiency of indirect taxes. Our findings indicate that there is room for improvement and the current tax rates are not optimal.
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Suggested Citation

  • Oya Pinar Ardic & Burcay Erus & Gurcan Soydan, 2010. "An Evaluation of Indirect Taxes in Turkey," Working Papers 2010/01, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bou:wpaper:2010/01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Scott Shonkwiler & Steven T. Yen, 1999. "Two-Step Estimation of a Censored System of Equations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 972-982.
    2. Sònia Muñoz & Stanley Sang-Wook Cho, 2003. "Social Impact of a Tax Reform; The Case of Ethiopia," IMF Working Papers 03/232, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Nichele, Veronique & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1995. "Simulation of indirect tax reforms using pooled micro and macro French data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 225-244, February.
    4. Paolo Liberati, 2001. "The Distributional Effects of Indirect Tax Changes in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(1), pages 27-51, January.
    5. David Madden, 1995. "An analysis of indirect tax reform in Ireland in the 1980s," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(1), pages 18-37, May.
    6. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Murat Üngör, 2014. "Average effective tax rates on consumption for Turkey: New data and a comparative analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 567-580.
    2. Daniela Penu, 2016. "Indirect Taxes in Romania – an Econometric Analysis," Academic Journal of Economic Studies, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 2(1), pages 121-128, March.
    3. World Bank, 2014. "Turkey Public Finance Review : Turkey in Transition--Time for a Fiscal Policy Pivot?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19321, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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