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On Tax Efforts and Colonial Heritage in Africa

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  • Mkandawire, Thandika

    () (London School of Economics and Political Science. Department of International Development)

Abstract

One commonly observed phenomena about taxation in Africa are regional differences and the fact that southern African countries have higher levels of shares of taxation in GDP. This article argues that the major source of differences in ‘tax effort’ is the colonial histories of various countries. Using standard measures of ‘tax effort in a panel data framework and dividing colonial Africa along forms of incorporation into the colonial system, it shows that African countries and others with similar colonial histories have higher levels of ‘tax effort’. However, the difference disappears when we control for the colonial factor. These results hold under different model specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Mkandawire, Thandika, 2010. "On Tax Efforts and Colonial Heritage in Africa," Arbetsrapport 2010:10, Institute for Futures Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2010_010
    Note: ISSN: 1652X ISBN: 978-91-85619-71-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adam, Christopher S. & Bevan, David L. & Chambas, Gerard, 2001. "Exchange rate regimes and revenue performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 173-213, February.
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    Keywords

    taxation; GDP; regional differences; colonial histories; tax effort;

    JEL classification:

    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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