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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.

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File URL: http://www.business.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP06018.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 06-018.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:06-018
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  1. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 2005. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021807, 1.
  2. Zee, Howell H., 1996. "Empirics of crosscountry tax revenue comparisons," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1659-1671, October.
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  8. Tosun, Mehmet S., 2009. "Global Aging and Fiscal Policy with International Labor Mobility: A Political Economy Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 4166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Vito Tanzi & Hamid Reza Davoodi, 2000. "Corruption, Growth, and Public Finances," IMF Working Papers 00/182, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Mehmet Serkan Tosun & Sohrab Abizadeh, 2005. "Economic growth and tax components: an analysis of tax changes in OECD," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2251-2263.
  11. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  12. Paolo Mauro, 1996. "The Effects of Corruptionon Growth, Investment, and Government Expenditure," IMF Working Papers 96/98, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Rina Bhattacharya & Tarik Yousef & Pierre Dhonte, 2000. "Demographic Transition in the Middle East: Implications for Growth, Employment, and Housing," IMF Working Papers 00/41, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
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  16. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," NBER Working Papers 3038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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