The Government Revenue Dataset
The most recent version of the Government Revenue Dataset – released in September 2018 – is open and free to use. The primary data file (core dataset) is available for download in two formats and can be downloaded from UNU-WIDER, which now hosts an maintains the GRD.
The GRD contains data on a range of policy-relevant indicators, allowing for analysis of revenue and tax trends over time at the regional or country level. Where possible, figures are also expressed both inclusive and exclusive of natural resource revenues, which helps to overcome a major obstacle to cross-country comparisons in existing data sources.
The Working Paper describing the construction of the dataset is The ICTD Government Revenue Dataset (ICTD Working Paper 19). There is also a 2-page brief about the GRD here (ICTD Research in Brief 10).
Further information about the GRD, including the User Guide and additional documents, are available on the UNU-WIDER website.
The past decade has seen dramatically increased attention to questions related to taxation and revenue in developing countries, from both policymakers and researchers. However, the quality of available cross-country tax and revenue data has remained seriously deficient, potentially leading to highly flawed research results and misplaced policy advice. The ICTD GRD was created and launched in September 2014 by the ICTD at the Center for Global Development, Washington D.C. The goal was to provide a solid basis for more reliable, and comparable, cross-country tax research.
It was accompanied by a series of Working Papers demonstrating the value of the new data in updating, and in sometimes significantly altering, existing research findings. A summary of that work has subsequently been published in World Development, with individual papers also now reaching publication.
The following are the first original Working Papers that employed the GRD:
1. Foreign Aid and Domestic Taxation: Multiple Sources, One Conclusion (ICTD Working Paper 20)
2. Aid and Taxation: Exploring the Relationship Using New Data (ICTD Working Paper 21)
3. Tax Structures, Economic Growth and Development (ICTD Working Paper 22)
4. Taxation, Non-Tax Revenue and Democracy: New Evidence Using New Cross-Country Data (ICTD Working Paper 23)
5. Electoral Competitiveness, Political Budget Cycles and Taxation in Developing Countries (ICTD Working Paper 24)
Using the GRD
Please cite the dataset as ICTD/UNU-WIDER, ‘Government Revenue Dataset’, (version date) https://www.wider.unu.edu/project/government-revenue-dataset
If you have questions about accessing the GRD, please contact the database manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific research questions about the GRD, please contact Kyle McNabb at email@example.com.
Please email the titles of any publications that employ GRD data to the ICTD’s Publications Manager, Camilla Walsh C.Walsh@ids.ac.uk.