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Taxation and Development: Again

  • Michael Keen

Issues of taxation and development, which have long been a central concern of the IMF, have attracted wider and renewed interest in the last few years. This paper reflects on three broad lessons of experience: that developing countries differ vastly in tax matters, and in ways that are less than fully understood; that the history of ‘big ideas’ in guiding tax reform for developing countries is decidedly mixed; and that the value of the emphasis often placed in this context on ‘informality’ is decidedly limited. It also asks whether ideas of ‘state building’ emphasized in some of the recent literature are likely to lead to practical advice much different from that commonly offered now.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/220.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/220
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  1. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.
  2. Keen, Michael, 2008. "VAT, tariffs, and withholding: Border taxes and informality in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1892-1906, October.
  3. Ravi Kanbur, 2009. "Conceptualising Informality: Regulation and Enforcement," Working Papers id:2005, eSocialSciences.
  4. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-44, September.
  5. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Warlters, Michael, 2005. "Taxation base in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 625-646, April.
  6. Tybout, James, 1998. "Manufacuring firms in developing countries - how well do they do, and why?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1965, The World Bank.
  7. Dina Pomeranz, 2013. "No Taxation without Information: Deterrence and Self-Enforcement in the Value Added Tax," NBER Working Papers 19199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-035, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 17 Oct 2007.
  9. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2005. "Redistribution via Taxation: The Limited Role of the Personal Income Tax in Developing Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0507, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  10. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. Brett, Craig & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Political uncertainty and the earmarking of environmental taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 315-340, March.
  12. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2010. "The value added tax: Its causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 138-151, July.
  13. Gauthier, Bernard & Gersovitz, Mark, 1997. "Revenue erosion through exemption and evasion in Cameroon, 1993," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 407-424, June.
  14. Brian Erard & Chih-Chin Ho, 1999. "Searching for Ghosts: Who Are the Nonfilers nd How Much Tax Do They Owe?," Carleton Economic Papers 99-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2001.
  15. Erard, Brian & Ho, Chih-Chin, 2001. "Searching for ghosts: who are the nonfilers and how much tax do they owe?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 25-50, July.
  16. John W. McArthur & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Institutions and Geography: Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000)," NBER Working Papers 8114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Keen & Mario Mansour, 2010. "Revenue Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalisation II - Corporate Taxation," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 573-596, 09.
  18. Kaizuka, Keimei, 1992. "The Shoup Tax System and the Postwar Development of the Japanese Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 221-25, May.
  19. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2005. "The collection efficiency of the value added tax: theory and international evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt42d103zh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  20. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States," NBER Working Papers 11275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Johannes Stroebel & Arthur van Benthem, 2013. "Resource Extraction Contracts Under Threat of Expropriation: Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1622-1639, December.
  22. Sònia Muñoz & Stanley Sang-Wook Cho, 2003. "Social Impact of a Tax Reform; The Case of Ethiopia," IMF Working Papers 03/232, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Gauthier, Bernard & Reinikka, Ritva, 2001. "Shifting tax burdens through exemptions and evasion - an empirical investigation of Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2735, The World Bank.
  24. Michael Keen & Mario Mansour, 2010. "Revenue Mobilisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalisation I - Trade Reform," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 553-571, 09.
  25. Glenn P. Jenkins & Hatice Jenkins & Chun-Yan Kuo, 2006. "Is the Value Added Tax Naturally Progressive?," Working Papers 1059, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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