IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/chm/wpaper/wp2005-10.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda

Author

Listed:
  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Abstract

Over the past two decades many developing countries have implemented comprehensive reforms of their tax administrations in order to increase revenue and curb corruption. This paper examines recent experiences in the fight against corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). It argues that the technocratic remedies supported by donors have underplayed the degree to which progress in tax administration depends upon a thorough 'cultural change' in the public service. The motives of individual actors are often inextricably tied to the interests of the social groups to which they belong. In the URA patronage runs through networks grounded on ties of kinship and community origin. As such, people recognize the benefits of large extended families and strong kinship ties, even as their social and economic aspirations may be indisputably modern. This implies that such social relations may undermine formal bureaucratic structures and positions. If these problems, which are rooted in social norms and patterns of behavior rather than administrative features, are overlooked, the result may be to distort incentives. As a consequence, the government's commitment to reforming the tax administration may also be undermined.

Suggested Citation

  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2005. "Corruption in Tax Administration: Lessons from Institutional Reforms in Uganda," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2005-10
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/2037-corruption-in-tax-administration.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Taliercio, Robert Jr., 2004. "Administrative Reform as Credible Commitment: The Impact of Autonomy on Revenue Authority Performance in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 213-232, February.
    2. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Torsvik, Gaute & Tungodden, Bertil, 2004. "How middle-men can undermine anti-corruption reforms," Working Papers in Economics 12/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    3. Astri Suhrke & Espen Villanger & Susan L. Woodward, 2005. "Economic Aid to Post-conflict Countries: A Methodological Critique of Collier and Hoeffler," CMI Working Papers WP 2005:4, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    4. Arne Wiig, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility in the Angolan Oil Industry," CMI Working Papers WP 2005: 8, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Chand, Sheetal K. & Moene, Karl O., 1999. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1129-1140, July.
    6. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
    7. Joel Slemrod, 2002. "Trust in Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 9187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bernard Gauthier & Ritva Reinikka, 2006. "Shifting Tax Burdens through Exemptions and Evasion: an Empirical Investigation of Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(3), pages 373-398, September.
    9. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge & Tungodden, Bertil, 2003. "Fiscal Corruption: A Vice or a Virtue?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1459-1467, August.
    10. Espen Villanger & Anette Walstad Enes, 2004. "The role of participation and empowerment in income and poverty dynamics in Indonesia 1993-2000," CMI Working Papers WP 2004: 13, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    11. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-141, January.
    12. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Florida Henjewele & Geoffrey Mwambe & Erasto Ngalewa & Knut Nygaard, 2004. "Local government finances and financial management in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers WP 2004: 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leonardo Romeo & Paul Smoke, 2014. "The Political Economy of Local Infrastructure Planning," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1417, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    3. Andrews, Matt & Bategeka, Lawrence, 2013. "Overcoming the Limits of Institutional Reform in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 111, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Tina Søreide, 2006. "Is it wrong to rank? A critical assessment of corruption indices," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    5. Espen Villanger, 2006. "Is bonded labor voluntary? A framework against forced work," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    6. Richard M. Bird, 2008. "The BBLR Approach to tax Reform in Emerging Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0804, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    7. Kent Eaton & Kai Kaiser & Paul J. Smoke, 2011. "The Political Economy of Decentralization Reforms : Implications for Aid Effectiveness," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2336, November.
    8. Tahseen Ajaz & Eatzaz Ahmad, 2010. "The Effect of Corruption and Governance on Tax Revenues," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 405-417.
    9. Pamela Jagger & Gerald Shively, 2015. "Taxes and Bribes in Uganda," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 66-79, January.
    10. Seim, Line Tndel & Sreide, Tina, 2009. "Bureaucratic complexity and impacts of corruption in utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 176-184, June.
    11. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Ivar Kolstad & Knut Nygaard, 2006. "Bribes, taxes and regulations: Business constraints for micro enterprises in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 2, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    12. Matt Andrews & Lawrence Bategeka, 2013. "Overcoming the limits of institutional reform in Uganda," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-027-13, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    13. Matt Andrews & Lawrence Bategeka, 2013. "Overcoming the Limits of Institutional Reform in Uganda," CID Working Papers 269, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    14. repec:ris:isecst:0169 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption Incentives Social norms Tax administration Tax evasion Uganda;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2005-10. 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: (Robert Sjursen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cmiiino.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.