Map showing tax-to-GDP ratios of countries

The Government Revenue Dataset

Date:
Dataset

The most recent version of the Government Revenue Dataset – released in June 2020 – 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 and updates 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. There is also a 2-page brief about the GRD here.

Further information about the GRD, including the User Guide and additional documents, are available on the UNU-WIDER website.

Interactive Data Visualisation tool

The GRD Explorer allows users to access the GRD, compare countries, regions, and indicators and visualise the data. Access it here.

Background

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 been published in World Development. The following are the first 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’, (2020) https://www.wider.unu.edu/project/government-revenue-dataset

Image credit: © Government Revenue Dataset Explorer

Download Datasets

ICTD/UNU-WIDER Government Revenue Dataset
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