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More than Revenue: Main Challenges for Taxation in Latin America and the Caribbean


  • Teresa Ter-Minassian


This paper aims to provide an overview of the current state of taxation in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, and its main reform needs and options. It previews the findings of recent studies prepared or commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for its forthcoming flagship publication More than Revenue: Taxation as a Development Tool in the -Development in the Americas- series. Reflecting fiscal consolidation imperatives, the main objective of fiscal policies in the region in recent decades has been revenue mobilization, often at the expense of efficiency and equity objectives. This paper analyzes the region’s taxation in regard to revenue adequacy, efficiency, vertical and horizontal equity, ease of administration and compliance, and degree of fiscal decentralization, concluding that there is significant scope for reforms that would result in simultaneous improvement on several of these fronts. Although the paper does not provide a specific blueprint for reforms, which would need to be designed on a country-by-country basis, it identifies directions for reform that are relevant for most of the region.

Suggested Citation

  • Teresa Ter-Minassian, 2012. "More than Revenue: Main Challenges for Taxation in Latin America and the Caribbean," Research Department Publications 4803, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4803

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2012. "Prudential Policy for Peggers," NBER Working Papers 18031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène & Truempler, Kai, 2012. "The financial crisis and the geography of wealth transfers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 266-283.
    3. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Levine, Ross, 2012. "Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262017393, July.
    4. Patrick A. Imam & Erlend Nier & Luis Ignacio Jácome, 2012. "Building Blocks for Effective Macroprudential Policies in Latin America; Institutional Considerations," IMF Working Papers 12/183, International Monetary Fund.
    5. International Monetary Fund, 2011. "Portugal; Second Review Under the Extended Arrangement," IMF Staff Country Reports 11/363, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2013. "Impact and Implications of Recent and Potential Changes to Brazil's Subnational Fiscal Framework," World Bank Other Operational Studies 20773, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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