IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oec/ecoaaa/1407-en.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The capacity of governments to raise taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Oguzhan Akgun

    (OECD)

  • David Bartolini

    (OECD)

  • Boris Cournède

    (OECD)

Abstract

This paper investigates the factors that shape governments’ capacity to collect revenue. To do so, it analyses how tax revenue responds to tax rates using evidence from a panel of 34 OECD countries over 1978-2014. The estimations show that the response of revenue to rates weakens as rates become higher, confirming the existence of a hump-shaped relationship between tax revenue and rates for corporate income taxation and providing a new contribution by analysing value-added taxation. Importantly, the estimated responses of revenue to tax rates vary, in some cases very strongly from an economic perspective, depending on country-specific policies and framework conditions. In particular, the corporate income tax revenue-generating potential of hiking the effective rate shrinks much more quickly in more open economies than in more closed ones. Tax revenue is found to be more responsive to tax increases in countries where the tax authorities have more resources. The investigations also cover personal income taxation. They point to diminishing revenue returns of increasing the effective marginal tax rates that apply at substantially above-average income levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Oguzhan Akgun & David Bartolini & Boris Cournède, 2017. "The capacity of governments to raise taxes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1407, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1407-en
    DOI: 10.1787/6bee2df9-en
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1787/6bee2df9-en
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1787/6bee2df9-en?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5pv1j341, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper & Campbell Leith, 2013. "Uncertain Fiscal Consolidations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 31-63, February.
    3. Acheson, Jean & Deli, Yota & Lambert, Derek & Morgenroth, Edgar, 2017. "Income tax revenue elasticities in Ireland: an analytical approach," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS59, September.
    4. Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2007. "Optimal share contracts with moral hazard on effort and in output reporting: managing the double Laffer curve effect," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 253-274, April.
    5. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2014. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 230-271, February.
    6. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Villeval, Marie-Claire, 2007. "Tax evasion and social interactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2089-2112, December.
    7. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2015. "Validation of the discrete choice labor supply model by methods of the new tax responsiveness literature," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 38-53.
    8. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695, Elsevier.
    9. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    10. Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt5pv1j341, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    11. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470, Elsevier.
    12. Heijman, W.J.M. & van Ophem, J.A.C., 2005. "Willingness to pay tax: The Laffer curve revisited for 12 OECD countries," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 714-723, October.
    13. Debra Bloch & Jean-Marc Fournier & Duarte Gonçalves & Álvaro Pina, 2016. "Trends in Public Finance: Insights from a New Detailed Dataset," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1345, OECD Publishing.
    14. Åsa Johansson, 2016. "Public Finance, Economic Growth and Inequality: A Survey of the Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1346, OECD Publishing.
    15. Dyreng, Scott D. & Hanlon, Michelle & Maydew, Edward L. & Thornock, Jacob R., 2017. "Changes in corporate effective tax rates over the past 25 years," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 441-463.
    16. George Hondroyiannis & Dimitrios Papaoikonomou, 2017. "The effect of card payments on vat revenue in Greece," Working Papers 225, Bank of Greece.
    17. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    18. Simeon Djankov & Tim Ganser & Caralee McLiesh & Rita Ramalho & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "The Effect of Corporate Taxes on Investment and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 31-64, July.
    19. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-572, June.
    20. Mihir A Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2009. "Corporate Tax Avoidance and Firm Value," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 537-546, August.
    21. Jean-Marc Fournier, 2016. "The Positive Effect of Public Investment on Potential Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1347, OECD Publishing.
    22. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2006. "What matters for financial development? Capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-192, October.
    23. Jean-Marc Fournier & Åsa Johansson, 2016. "The Effect of the Size and the Mix of Public Spending on Growth and Inequality," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1344, OECD Publishing.
    24. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    25. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 551-572, June.
    26. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    27. Kent Matthews, 2003. "VAT Evasion and VAT Avoidance: Is there a European Laffer curve for VAT?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 105-114.
    28. Xing, Jing, 2012. "Tax structure and growth: How robust is the empirical evidence?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 379-382.
    29. Bi, Huixin, 2012. "Sovereign default risk premia, fiscal limits, and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 389-410.
    30. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    31. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-00944873 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    33. Åsa Johansson & Øystein Bieltvedt Skeie & Stéphane Sorbe & Carlo Menon, 2017. "Tax planning by multinational firms: Firm-level evidence from a cross-country database," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1355, OECD Publishing.
    34. Sanyal, Amal & Gang, Ira N & Goswami, Omkar, 2000. "Corruption, Tax Evasion and the Laffer Curve," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 61-78, October.
    35. Bert Brys & Sarah Perret & Alastair Thomas & Pierce O’Reilly, 2016. "Tax Design for Inclusive Economic Growth," OECD Taxation Working Papers 26, OECD Publishing.
    36. Robert Price & Thai-Thanh Dang & Jarmila Botev, 2015. "Adjusting fiscal balances for the business cycle: New tax and expenditure elasticity estimates for OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1275, OECD Publishing.
    37. Lukas Vogel, 2012. "Tax avoidance and fiscal limits: Laffer curves in an economy with informal sector," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 448, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    38. Jens Matthias Arnold & Bert Brys & Christopher Heady & Åsa Johansson & Cyrille Schwellnus & Laura Vartia, 2011. "Tax Policy for Economic Recovery and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages 59-80, February.
    39. Stéphane Sorbe & Åsa Johansson, 2017. "International tax planning, competition and market structure," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1358, OECD Publishing.
    40. Hondroyiannis, George & Papaoikonomou, Dimitrios, 2017. "The effect of card payments on VAT revenue: New evidence from Greece," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 17-20.
    41. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 2015. "Capital Taxation in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 20871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Tamás K. Papp & Elöd Takáts, 2008. "Tax Rate Cuts and Tax Compliance—The Laffer Curve Revisited," IMF Working Papers 2008/007, International Monetary Fund.
    43. Kimberly Clausing, 2007. "Corporate tax revenues in OECD countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(2), pages 115-133, April.
    44. Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner & Rosamaria Bitetti & Omar Barbiero, 2015. "The 2013 update of the OECD's database on product market regulation: Policy insights for OECD and non-OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1200, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Pierce O’Reilly, 2018. "Tax policies for inclusive growth in a changing world," OECD Taxation Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
    2. Boris Cournède & Jean-Marc Fournier & Peter Hoeller, 2018. "Public finance structure and inclusive growth," OECD Economic Policy Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
    3. Kostantinos J. Liapis & Evangelos D. Politis & Dimitra Ntertsou & Eleftherios I. Thalassinos, 2020. "Investigating the Relationship between Tax Revenues and Tax Ratios: An Empirical Research for Selected OECD Countries," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(1), pages 215-229.
    4. Oguzhan Akgun & Boris Cournède & Jean-Marc Fournier, 2017. "The effects of the tax mix on inequality and growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1447, OECD Publishing.
    5. Christine Lewis, 2019. "Raising more public revenue in Indonesia in a growth - and equity-friendly way," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1534, OECD Publishing.
    6. Jean-Marc Fournier & Manuel Bétin, 2018. "Limits to government debt sustainability in middle-income countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1493, OECD Publishing.
    7. Hüseyin ŞEN & Zeynep Burcu BULUT-ÇEVIK, 2021. "The Revenue-Maximizing Corporate Income Tax Rate for Turkey," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 122-142, December.
    8. Dimitra Ntertsou & Konstantinos Liapis, 2022. "Investigating the Relationship between Tax Rates and Tax Revenues in the Euro Area: The Effect of the Shadow Economy," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 49-62.
    9. Jean-Marc Fournier & Manuel Bétin, 2018. "Sovereign defaults: Evidence on the importance of government effectiveness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1494, OECD Publishing.
    10. Péter Gábriel & Lóránt Kaszab, 2019. "Laffer Curves for Hungary," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 18(4), pages 55-76.
    11. Christine Lewis & Patrice Ollivaud, 2020. "Policies for Switzerland’s ageing society," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1600, OECD Publishing.

    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. Åsa Johansson, 2016. "Public Finance, Economic Growth and Inequality: A Survey of the Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1346, OECD Publishing.
    2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.
    3. Boris Cournède & Jean-Marc Fournier & Peter Hoeller, 2018. "Public finance structure and inclusive growth," OECD Economic Policy Papers 25, OECD Publishing.
    4. Sanz Labrador, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2013. "Política fiscal y crecimiento económico: consideraciones microeconómicas y relaciones macroeconómicas," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 5367, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Mr. Alexander D Klemm & Ms. Li Liu & Mr. Victor Mylonas & Mr. Philippe Wingender, 2018. "Are Elasticities of Taxable Income Rising?," IMF Working Papers 2018/132, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Debra Bloch & Jean-Marc Fournier & Duarte Gonçalves & Álvaro Pina, 2016. "Trends in Public Finance: Insights from a New Detailed Dataset," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1345, OECD Publishing.
    7. Carina Neisser, 2021. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: A Meta-Regression Analysis [The top 1% in international and historical perspective]," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(640), pages 3365-3391.
    8. Hans Schytte Sigaard, 2022. "Labor Supply Responsiveness to Tax Reforms," Economics Working Papers 2022-04, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    9. Michaël Sicsic, 2022. "Does labour income react more to income tax or means‐tested benefits reforms?," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(3), pages 291-319, September.
    10. Hüseyin ŞEN & Zeynep Burcu BULUT-ÇEVIK, 2021. "The Revenue-Maximizing Corporate Income Tax Rate for Turkey," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 122-142, December.
    11. Uribe-Terán, Carlos, 2021. "Higher taxes at the top? The role of tax avoidance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    12. Stanisław Cichocki & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2016. "The evolution of the Laffer curve as a framework for studying tax evasion: from simple theoretical to DSGE models," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 45.
    13. Jeffrey Thompson, 2012. "Raising Revenue from High-Income Households: Should States Continue to Place the Lowest Tax Rates on Those with the Highest Incomes?," Published Studies revenue_peri_march5, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    14. Fack, Gabrielle & Landais, Camille, 2016. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax elasticities: Evidence from charitable contributions in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 23-40.
    15. Charles F. Manski, 2014. "Identification of income–leisure preferences and evaluation of income tax policy," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 145-174, March.
    16. Karel Mertens & José Luis Montiel Olea, 2018. "Marginal Tax Rates and Income: New Time Series Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 133(4), pages 1803-1884.
    17. Robert A. Moffitt, 2012. "The Reveral of the Employment-Population Ratio in the 2000s: Facts and Explanations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 201-264.
    18. Lundberg, Jacob, 2017. "Analyzing tax reforms using the Swedish Labour Income Microsimulation Model," Working Paper Series 2017:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    19. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    20. KOUAKOU, Dorgyles C.M. & YEO, Kolotioloma I.H., 2023. "Can innovation reduce the size of the informal economy? Econometric evidence from 138 countries," MPRA Paper 119264, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    country-specific circumstances; effective marginal tax rate; framework conditions; interactions; Laffer curve; personal income tax; social security contributions; value added tax;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:oec:ecoaaa:1407-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/edoecfr.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.