IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Tax Revenue Instability in Sub-Saharan Africa: Consequences and Remedies

  • Hélène EHRHART


    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Christian EBEKE


This paper focuses on the sources and consequences of the instability of tax revenue in Sub-Saharan African countries. We take advantage of a unique and extraordinarily rich dataset on the composition of tax revenues for a large number of countries. Using panel data for 39 countries observed over the period 1980-2005, our results are threefold. Firstly, the instability of government tax revenue leads to an instability of both the public investment and government consumption, and finally, reduces the level of public investment. Secondly, foreign aid inflows appear to be an effective insurance mechanism against the instability of tax revenue by lowering the sensitivity of public investment with respect to tax revenue shocks. Finally, the reliance on domestic indirect taxation-based systems seems more stabilizing than the dependency on trade tax revenue.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 201025.

in new window

Length: 30
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1192
Contact details of provider: Postal: 65 Bd. F. Mitterrand, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand
Phone: (33-4) 73 17 74 00
Fax: (33-4) 73 17 74 28
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael Keen & Mario Mansour, 2010. "Revenue Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalisation I - Trade Reform," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 553-571, 09.
  2. Michael Keen & Thomas Baunsgaard, 2005. "Tax Revenue and (or?) Trade Liberalization," IMF Working Papers 05/112, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Norman V. Loayza & Romain Rancière & Luis Servén & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Macroeconomic Volatility and Welfare in Developing Countries: an Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00754201, HAL.
  4. Guillaumont, Patrick & Jeanneney, Sylviane Guillaumont & Brun, Jean-Francois, 1999. "How Instability Lowers African Growth," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(1), pages 87-107, March.
  5. Ehrhart, H., 2013. "Elections and the structure of taxation in developing countries," Working papers 419, Banque de France.
  6. Diallo, Oumar, 2009. "Tortuous road toward countercyclical fiscal policy: Lessons from democratized sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 36-50.
  7. repec:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2007. "The Value Added Tax : Its Causes and Consequences," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 801, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Karuna Gomanee & Sourafel Girma & Oliver Morrissey, 2005. "Aid and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: accounting for transmission mechanisms," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 1055-1075.
  10. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2006. "The impact of globalization on the composition of government expenditures: Evidence from panel data," KOF Working papers 06-141, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  11. Janet Gale Stotsky & Asegedech WoldeMariam, 1997. "Tax Effort in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 97/107, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2002. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," CEPR Discussion Papers 3277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Bacchetta & Romain Rancière & Kenneth Rogoff, 2009. "Exchange rate volatility and productivity growth: The role of financial development," Post-Print halshs-00754377, HAL.
  14. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2007. "The External Debt-Servicing Constraint and Public Expenditure Composition: Evidence from African Economies," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  15. Shi, Min & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Political budget cycles: Do they differ across countries and why?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1367-1389, September.
  16. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  17. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
  18. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2006. "Growth volatility and financial liberalization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 370-403, April.
  19. Miguel D. Ramirez & Nader Nazmi, 2003. "Public Investment and Economic Growth in Latin America: an Empirical Test," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 115-126, February.
  20. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  21. Michael Keen & Mario Mansour, 2010. "Revenue Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalisation II - Corporate Taxation," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 573-596, 09.
  22. Lim, David, 1983. "Instability of government revenue and expenditure in less developed countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 447-450, May.
  23. Fielding, David, 1997. "Modelling the Determinants of Government Expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 377-90, October.
  24. Davide Furceri, 2007. "Is Government Expenditure Volatility Harmful for Growth? A Cross-Country Analysis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 28(1), pages 103-120, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1192. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vincent Mazenod)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.