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Optimal Taxation and Growth with Public Goods and Costly Enforcement

  • Pierre-Richard Agénor
  • Kyriakos C. Neanidis

This paper studies optimal direct and indirect taxation in an endogenous growth framework with a productive public good and costly tax collection. Optimal (growth-maximizing) tax rules are derived under exogenous collection costs. The optimal direct-indirect tax ratio is shown to be negatively related to the administrative costs of collecting these taxes, as documented in cross-country data. This result also holds under endogenous collection costs (with these costs inversely related to administrative spending on tax enforcement), but for these to generate significant effects on tax collection requires implausibly high degrees of efficiency in spending, or the allocation of a large fraction of resources to tax enforcement. Depending on how it is financed, the latter policy may entail adverse effects on growth. Improving "tax culture" and the sense of civic duty through greater budgetary transparency may be a more effective policy to improve tax collection and promote economic growth.

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File URL: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/cgbcr/discussionpapers/dpcgbcr89.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester in its series Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series with number 89.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:89
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manchester M13 9PL
Phone: (0)161 275 4868
Fax: (0)161 275 4812
Web page: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/economics/our-research/centre-for-growth-and-business-cycle-research/

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  1. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2000. "Fiscal policy, elastic labor supply, and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 185-210, February.
  3. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1995. "Saving Behavior in Low and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Working Papers 95/3, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Ortigueira, Salvador, 1998. "Fiscal policy in an endogenous growth model with human capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 323-355, July.
  5. Pecorino, Paul, 1993. "Tax structure and growth in a model with human capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 251-271, September.
  6. Pierre‐Richard Agénor & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2011. "The Allocation Of Public Expenditure And Economic Growth," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(4), pages 899-931, 07.
  7. Ingrid Ott & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2005. "Excludable and Non-excludable Public Inputs: Consequences for Economic Growth," Working Paper Series in Economics 2, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  8. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2005. "Redistribution via Taxation: The Limited Role of the Personal Income Tax in Developing Countries," International Tax Program Papers 0508, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  9. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  10. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
  12. Cecilia Garcia Penalosa & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2003. "Second-Best Optimal Taxation of Capital and Labor in a Developing Economy," IDEP Working Papers 0307, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France.
  13. Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro, 1999. "Inflationary financing of public investment and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 539-563, February.
  14. Holman, Jill A. & Neanidis, Kyriakos C., 2006. "Financing government expenditures in an open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1315-1337, August.
  15. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  16. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal taxation with costly enforcement and evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 221-236, November.
  17. Been-Lon Chen, 2003. "Tax Evasion in a Model of Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 381-403, April.
  18. Juin-jen Chang & Jhy-hwa Chen & Jhy-yuan Shieh, 2012. "Consumption externalities, market imperfections and optimal taxation," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 345-359, December.
  19. De Fiore, Fiorella, 2000. "The optimal inflation tax when taxes are costly to collect," Working Paper Series 0038, European Central Bank.
  20. Bird, Richard M. & Zolt, Eric M., 2005. "The limited role of the personal income tax in developing countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 928-946, December.
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