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Explaining the Variation in Tax Structures in the MENA Region


  • Mehmet Tosun

    () (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)


This paper examines the tax structures of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries by focusing on the quality of governance and demographic changes as two influential factors in region’s economies. The objective of is to determine whether these factors can explain the variation in the tax structures of these countries. Results from regressions on the MENA countries and the ones based on a larger sample of 61 countries show that these factors affected the level of taxation, measured by the tax ratio, more strongly than they affected the tax composition. While the quality of governance seems to have affected the tax structures in the MENA countries more than in other comparable Non-OECD countries, demographics seems to have played a bigger role in determining the tax structures in other Non-OECD countries. However, neither of these factors explained changes in the income tax share satisfactorily. One key result is that the increase in the quality of governance has decreased the reliance on domestic taxes on goods and services. The paper provides a discussion on the policy implications of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehmet Tosun, 2006. "Explaining the Variation in Tax Structures in the MENA Region," Working Papers 06-018, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:06-018

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Tax structure; quality of governance; demographics; MENA countries;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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