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Optimal Taxation and Growth with Public Goods and Costly Enforcement

Listed author(s):
  • 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://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/schools/soss/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
Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:89
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Web page: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/economics/our-research/centre-for-growth-and-business-cycle-research/

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  1. Louis Kaplow, 1989. "Optimal Taxation with Costly Enforcement and Evasion," NBER Working Papers 2996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," MPRA Paper 6978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Tax Structure in Developing Countries: Many Puzzles and a Possible Explanation," NBER Working Papers 11267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  9. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. 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.
  11. De Fiore, Fiorella, 2000. "The optimal inflation tax when taxes are costly to collect," Working Paper Series 0038, European Central Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2004. "Second-Best Optimal Taxation of Capital and Labor in a Developing Economy," Working Papers UWEC-2004-05-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2004.
  15. Salvador Ortigueira, 1996. "Fiscal Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model with Human Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 9609, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  16. Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2000. "Fiscal policy, elastic labor supply, and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 185-210, February.
  17. Pierre Richard Agénor & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2006. "The Allocation of Public Expenditure and Economic Growth," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0608, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  18. 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.
  19. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
  20. 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.
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