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Tax Effort: The Impact of Corruption, Voice and Accountability

  • Richard Bird


  • Jorge Martinez-Vazquez


  • Benno Torgler


In this paper we argue that a more legitimate and responsive state is an essential factor for a more adequate level of tax effort in developing countries. While at first glance giving such advice to poor countries seeking to increase their tax ratios may not seem more helpful than telling them to find oil, it is presumably more feasible for people to improve their governing institutions than to rearrange nature’s bounty. Improving corruption, voice and accountability may not take longer nor be necessarily more difficult than changing the opportunities for tax handles and economic structure. The key contribution of this paper is to extend the conventional model of tax effort by showing that not only do supply factors matter, but that demand factors such as corruption, voice and accountability also determine tax effort to a significant extent.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 223.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 14 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:223
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