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Tax Composition and Growth; A Broad Cross-Country Perspective

  • Santiago Acosta Ormaechea
  • Jiae Yoo
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    We investigate the relation between changes in tax composition and long-run economic growth using a new dataset covering a broad cross-section of countries with different income levels. We specifically consider 69 countries with at least 20 years of observations on total tax revenue during the period 1970-2009—21 high-income, 23 middle-income and 25 low-income countries. To our knowledge this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date dataset on tax composition and growth. We find that increasing income taxes while reducing consumption and property taxes is associated with slower growth over the long run. We also find that: (1) among income taxes, social security contributions and personal income taxes have a stronger negative association with growth than corporate income taxes; (2) a shift from income taxes to property taxes has a strong positive association with growth; and (3) a reduction in income taxes while increasing value added and sales taxes is also associated with faster growth.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/257.

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    Length: 36
    Date of creation: 25 Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/257
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    1. César Calderón & Enrique Moral-Benito & Luis Servén, 2011. "Is infrastructure capital productive? A dynamic heterogeneous approach," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1103, Banco de Espa�a.
    2. Xing, Jing, 2012. "Tax structure and growth: How robust is the empirical evidence?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 379-382.
    3. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    4. Baunsgaard, Thomas & Keen, Michael, 2010. "Tax revenue and (or?) trade liberalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 563-577, October.
    5. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S126-50, October.
    6. Johansen, Soren, 1992. "Cointegration in partial systems and the efficiency of single-equation analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 389-402, June.
    7. Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller & Ismael Sanz, 2011. "The Timing and Persistence of Fiscal Policy Impacts on Growth: Evidence from OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages F33-F58, February.
    8. Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Jens Arnold & Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2007. "Solow or Lucas?: Testing Growth Models Using Panel Data from OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 592, OECD Publishing.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Boswijk, H. Peter, 1995. "Efficient inference on cointegration parameters in structural error correction models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 133-158, September.
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