IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Structural Transformation and Tax Efficiency


  • Jan Gottschalk
  • Laura Jaramillo
  • Mr. Serhan Cevik
  • Moussé Sow
  • Mr. Eric Hutton
  • Pooja Karnane


Structural transformation has resulted in an increasing share of services in aggregate value-added in advanced and developing countries across the world. We analyze the impact of this shift into services on countries’ efficiency in collecting the value-added tax (VAT). The analysis is based on two alternative measures of VAT efficiency: (1) the VAT C-efficiency, using a broad panel of 134 countries over the period 1970-2014; and (2) the VAT gap using a more granular, proprietary dataset that draws on the results of IMF’s Revenue Administraion-Gap Analysis Program covering 24 countries over the period 2004-2016. We find that a higher share of services in aggregate value-added reduces the VAT efficiency, and that this adverse effect is mainly a result of a rise of non-tradable services, which in turn contributes to a narrowing of the VAT base.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Gottschalk & Laura Jaramillo & Mr. Serhan Cevik & Moussé Sow & Mr. Eric Hutton & Pooja Karnane, 2019. "Structural Transformation and Tax Efficiency," IMF Working Papers 2019/030, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/030

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 147-174, Fall.
    2. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 129-173.
    3. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Markus Poschke, 2011. "Structural Change Out of Agriculture: Labor Push versus Labor Pull," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 127-158, July.
    4. Mr. Junji Ueda, 2017. "The Evolution of Potential VAT Revenues and C-Efficiency in Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 2017/158, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Eric Hutton, 2017. "The Revenue Administration–Gap Analysis Program; Model and Methodology for Value-Added Tax Gap Estimation," IMF Technical Notes and Manuals 17/04, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2014. "Why Do Developing Countries Tax So Little?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 99-120, Fall.
    7. Mr. Eric Hutton, 2017. "The Revenue Administration–Gap Analysis Program: Model and Methodology for Value-Added Tax Gap Estimation," IMF Technical Notes and Manuals 2017/004, International Monetary Fund.
    8. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Capital Deepening and Nonbalanced Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 467-498, June.
    10. 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.
    11. Oliver Morrissey & Christian Von Haldenwang & Armin Von Schiller & Maksym Ivanyna & Ingo Bordon, 2016. "Tax Revenue Performance and Vulnerability in Developing Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(12), pages 1689-1703, December.
    12. Logan T Lewis & Ryan Monarch & Michael Sposi & Jing Zhang, 2022. "Structural Change and Global Trade [General Equilibrium Analysis of the Eaton–Kortum Model of International Trade]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 476-512.
    13. Joaquim Sarmento, 2016. "The Determinants Of Value Added Tax Revenues In The European Union," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 21(2), pages 79-99.
    14. Stephen Nickell & Stephen Redding & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The Uneven Pace of Deindustrialisation in the OECD," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1154-1184, September.
    15. Mr. Thierry Tressel & Mr. Shengzu Wang, 2014. "Rebalancing in the Euro Area and Cyclicality of Current Account Adjustments," IMF Working Papers 2014/130, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Ms. Cemile Sancak & Ricardo Velloso & Jing Xing, 2010. "Tax Revenue Response to the Business Cycle," IMF Working Papers 2010/071, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Ana Cristina Soares & João Amador, 2012. "Competition in the Portuguese Economy: a view on tradables and non-tradables," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    18. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "The collection efficiency of the Value Added Tax: Theory and international evidence," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 391-410.
    19. Zee, Howell H., 2005. "A New Approach to Taxing Financial Intermediation Services Under a Value–Added Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 58(1), pages 77-92, March.
    20. Marola Castillo & Rui Mano, 2015. "The Level of Productivity in Traded and Non-Traded Sectors for a Large Panel of Countries," IMF Working Papers 2015/048, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura, 1998. "Tax Revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa: Effects of Economic Policies and Corruption," IMF Working Papers 1998/135, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Dale W. Jorgenson & Marcel P. Timmer, 2011. "Structural Change in Advanced Nations: A New Set of Stylised Facts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 1-29, March.
    23. Joweria M. Teera & John Hudson, 2004. "Tax performance: a comparative study," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 785-802.
    24. Mario Mansour, 2015. "Tax Policy in MENA Countries: Looking Back and Forward," IMF Working Papers 2015/098, International Monetary Fund.
    25. Dale W. Jorgenson & Marcel P. Timmer, "undated". "Structural Change in Advanced Nations," Working Paper 13525, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    26. Mr. Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu & Ms. Yingyuan Chen & Ms. Era Dabla-Norris & Mr. Alun H. Thomas, 2013. "Benchmarking Structural Transformation Across the World," IMF Working Papers 2013/176, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Elisey Leonov, Ilya Sokolov, 2020. "VALUE ADDED TAX COLLECTION: Identifying New Determinants [Сбор Налога На Добавленную Стоимость: Определение Новых Детерминантов]," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 42-65, December.
    2. Christou Anna & Eriotis Nikolaos & Lomis Ioannis & Papadakis Spyros & Thalassinos Eleftherios, 2021. "The Greek VAT Gap: The Influence of Individual Economic Sectors," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4B), pages 851-882.
    3. Caro, Paolo Di & Sacchi, Agnese, 2020. "The heterogeneous effects of labor informality on VAT revenues: Evidence on a developed country," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Diego Comin & Danial Lashkari & Martí Mestieri, 2021. "Structural Change With Long‐Run Income and Price Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(1), pages 311-374, January.
    2. Herrendorf, Berthold & Rogerson, Richard & Valentinyi, Ákos, 2014. "Growth and Structural Transformation," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 855-941, Elsevier.
    3. Marti Mestieri & Danial Lashkari & Diego Comin, 2015. "Structural Transformations with Long-Run Price and Income Effects," 2015 Meeting Papers 437, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2020. "Relative Prices and Sectoral Productivity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 1400-1443.
    5. Takeo Hori & Masako Ikefuji & Kazuo Mino, 2015. "Conformism And Structural Change," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56(3), pages 939-961, August.
    6. Francesco Berardini & Fabrizio Renzi, 2022. "Mind the Gap! The (unexpected) impact of COVID-19 pandemic on VAT revenue in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 669, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Pedrosa Silva Duarte Maria Adelaide & Nunes Simões Marta Cristina, 2014. "Tertiarization and Human Capital: Do They Matter for Growth? Insights From Portugal," Scientific Annals of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 61(1), pages 1-24, July.
    8. Murat Üngör, 2016. "Did the rising importance of services decelerate overall productivity improvement of Turkey during 2002–2007?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 238-261, July.
    9. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Long, Ngo & Poschke, Markus, 2017. "Capital-labor substitution, structural change and growth," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(3), September.
    10. Sen, Ali, 2020. "Structural change within the services sector, Baumol's cost disease, and cross-country productivity differences," MPRA Paper 99614, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Gangopadhyay, Kausik & Mondal, Debasis, 2021. "Productivity, relative sectoral prices, and total factor productivity: Theory and evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    12. Alistair Dieppe, 2021. "Global Productivity," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 34015.
    13. Cai, Wenbiao, 2015. "Structural change accounting with labor market distortions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 54-64.
    14. Marta C. N. Simões & Adelaide Duarte, 2013. "Human Capital and Growth in a Services Economy: the Case of Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2013-21, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    15. Marcolino, Marcos, 2022. "Accounting for structural transformation in the U.S," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    16. Murat Ungor, 2017. "Productivity Growth and Labor Reallocation: Latin America versus East Asia," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 25-42, March.
    17. Duarte, Margarida, 2020. "Manufacturing consumption, relative prices, and productivity," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    18. Akos Valentinyi & Georg Duernecker, 2017. "Unbalanced Growth Slowdown," 2017 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Mr. Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu & Ms. Yingyuan Chen & Ms. Era Dabla-Norris & Mr. Alun H. Thomas, 2013. "Benchmarking Structural Transformation Across the World," IMF Working Papers 2013/176, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Ho, Chi Pui, 2015. "Population growth and structural transformation," MPRA Paper 68014, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    WP; null hypothesis; VAT C-efficiency; real GDP;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/030. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Akshay Modi (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.