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Mobilizing Revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa; Empirical Norms and Key Determinants

Author

Listed:
  • Paulo Drummond
  • Wendell Daal
  • Nandini Srivastava
  • Luiz E Oliveira

Abstract

Mobilizing more revenue is a priority for sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Countries have to finance their development agendas, and weak revenue mobilization is the root cause of fiscal imbalances in several countries. This paper reviews the experience of low-income SSA countries in mobilizing revenue in recent decades, with two broad aims: identify empirical norms of how much and how fast countries have been able to mobilize more revenue and empirical determinants (panel estimates) of revenue mobilization. The paper finds that (i) the frequency distribution of changes in revenue ratios for SSA low-income countries (LICs) peaks at a pace of about ½-2 percentage points of GDP in the short-to-medium term and at a pace of about 2-3½ percentage points of GDP over the longer term, and that (ii) almost all SSA-LICs managed to increase revenue ratios by more than 2 percentage points of GDP in the short-to-medium term, at least once in the last two decades. The sustainability of large increases in revenue ratios can be an issue, in particular for fragile countries. The panel estimates suggest that structural factors, such as per capita GDP, share of agriculture in GDP, inflation, degree of openness, and rents received from natural resources, are important determinants of tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Drummond & Wendell Daal & Nandini Srivastava & Luiz E Oliveira, 2012. "Mobilizing Revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa; Empirical Norms and Key Determinants," IMF Working Papers 12/108, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moore, Mick, 2014. "Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 99-112.
    2. repec:eco:journ1:2018-01-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Joseph Mawejje & Ibrahim Mike Okumu, 2016. "Tax Evasion and the Business Environment in Uganda," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 84(3), pages 440-460, September.
    4. International Monetary Fund, 2013. "The Gambia; Staff Report for the 2013 Article IV Consultation; Informational Annex; Press Release on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for The Gambia," IMF Staff Country Reports 13/289, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Ali, Merima & Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge & Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem, 2014. "To Pay or Not to Pay? Citizens’ Attitudes Toward Taxation in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 828-842.
    6. Brun, Jean-François & Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2017. "Does trade openness contribute to driving financing flows for development?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-06, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    7. Matt Andrews & Lawrence Bategeka, 2013. "Overcoming the Limits of Institutional Reform in Uganda," CID Working Papers 269, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

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