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Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance and Development Finance

  • Alex Cobham (QEH)

Domestic revenue mobilisation is key to sustainable development finance - only self-sufficiency will allow the development of fully-functioning states with flourishing systems of political representation and economies reflecting societies' expressed preferences in regard to, for example, inequality. Tax evasion and tax avoidance are important insofar as they affect both the volume and nature of government finances. This paper estimates the total cost to developing countries of these leakages as US$385 billion annually, dwarfing any potential increase in aid. An additional result suggests that doubling aid to low income countries may have little positive revenue effect but damage the strength of political representation, if full trade liberalisation is simultaneously required.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series QEH Working Papers with number qehwps129.

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Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps129
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  1. Pallage, Stephane & Robe, Michel A, 2001. "Foreign Aid and the Business Cycle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 641-72, November.
  2. Robert Lensink & Oliver Morrissey, 2000. "Aid instability as a measure of uncertainty and the positive impact of aid on growth," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 31-49.
  3. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
  4. Michael Keen & Thomas Baunsgaard, 2005. "Tax Revenue and (or?) Trade Liberalization," IMF Working Papers 05/112, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.
  6. Howell H. Zee, 2005. "Personal Income Tax Reform: Concepts, Issues, and Comparative Country Developments," IMF Working Papers 05/87, International Monetary Fund.
  7. repec:ttp:itpwps:0505 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Value-Added Taxes in Developing and Transitional Countries: Lessons and Questions," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0505, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  10. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2001. "Mexico: An Evaluation of the Main Features of the Tax System," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0112, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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