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Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries

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  • Richard M. Bird

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Abstract

Most developing countries continue to face serious problems in developing adequate and responsive tax systems. This paper reviews the three principal ways in which developing countries may expand and improve their taxation systems - base-broadening, rate reduction, and administrative improvement - in the context of the political economy of tax reform. While each of these paths to reform is essential, in the end what 50 years of experience tells us is that improving the transparency and understanding with which fiscal issues are discussed by all relevant players, both within and outside government, is the really essential ingredient to developing viable and sustainable tax systems in developing countries. Such institution-building activities are not a boring bit of infrastructure to be brushed aside in order to get into the real business of making this or that substantive reform in tax policy or administration: they are the "real business" with which serious tax reformers in any country should be most concerned.[IIB WP]

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  • Richard M. Bird, 2008. "Tax Challenges Facing Developing Countries," Working Papers id:1618, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:1618 Note: Institutional Papers
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    Cited by:

    1. Vaqar Ahmed & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2009. "Redistributive Effect of Personal Income Taxation in Pakistan," Working Papers 0143, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2009.
    2. Imam Patrick Amir & Jacobs Davina, 2014. "Effect of Corruption on Tax Revenues in the Middle East," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-24, April.
    3. Ahrens, Joachim & Schweickert, Rainer & Zenker, Juliane, 2011. "Varieties of capitalism, governance and government spending: A cross-section analysis," PFH Forschungspapiere/Research Papers 2011/01, PFH Private University of Applied Sciences, Göttingen.
    4. Joachim Ahrens & Rainer Schweickert & Juliane Zenker, 2015. "Varieties Of Capitalism And Government Spending In Developed And Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(1), pages 113-136, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Belal Fallah, 2014. "The Pros and Cons of Formalizing Informal MSES in the Palestinian Economy," Working Papers 893, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2014.
    7. Kaplanoglou, Georgia & Rapanos, Vassilis T., 2011. "The Greek fiscal crisis and the role of fiscal governance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36432, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge, 2013. "Taxation and Development : a Review of Donor Support to Strengthen Tax Systems in Developing Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    taxation; developing countries; political economy; institutions; India; Economics; public finance;

    JEL classification:

    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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