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Coordinated Tax-Tariff Reforms, Informality, and Welfare Distribution

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  • Jenny Ligthart
  • Gerard C. van der Meijden

Abstract

The paper studies the revenue, efficiency, and distributional implications of a simple strategy of offsetting tariff reductions with increases in destination-based consumption taxes so as to leave consumer prices unchanged. We employ a dynamic micro-founded macroeconomic model of a small open developing economy, which features an informal sector that cannot be taxed, a formal agricultural sector, and an import-substitution sector. The reform strategy increases government revenue, imports, exports, and the informal sector. In contrast to Emran and Stiglitz (2005), who ignore the dynamic effects of taxes and tariffs on factor markets, we find an efficiency gain, which is unevenly distributed. Existing generations benefit more than future generations, who - depending on pre-existing tax and tariff rates and the informal sector size - even may become worse off.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Ligthart & Gerard C. van der Meijden, 2010. "Coordinated Tax-Tariff Reforms, Informality, and Welfare Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3107, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sokolovska, Olena & Sokolovskyi, Dmytro, 2011. "The effect of tax-tariff reform: evidence from Ukraine," MPRA Paper 42643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2010. "Global Warming And Extreme Events: Rethinking The Timing And Intensity Of Environmental Policy," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-48, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. Ligthart, J.E. & van der Meijden, G.C., 2011. "The Dynamics of Revenue-Neutral Trade Liberalization," Discussion Paper 2011-142, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tariff reform; consumption tax reform; informal sector; home production; transitional dynamics; overlapping generations; second-best outcome;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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