The IMF and World Bank revenue statistics show that, between 2000 and 2012, property taxes represent on average of 0.1 to 0.2% of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa (0.1% in Senegal). In OECD countries, the average range is between 2-3% of GDP. This poor performance suggests considerable scope for improvement. In Senegal, as in most developing countries, with cadaster shortcomings, weak administrative information and IT systems and poor enforcement tools, most local administrations experience substantial shortfall in property tax revenues. Yet, property taxes, when well functioning, have many virtues. Based on experiences in developing countries, the data-led approach to property tax reform posits that technological upgrades in the collection and processing of property information could increase administrative efficiency (McCluskey et al, 2018, Rosengard, 1998; 2012). Data-led work can also help improve the approaches to valuation, reducing the costs of assessing property tax liability (Franzsen and McCluskey, 2017, Fish 2018). A second approach to property tax reform focuses on increasing voluntary compliance. This project seeks to interrogate the relevance of both channels and the impacts of implementing a new property tax management system in Senegal.


Justine Knebelmann

Justine Knebelmann is a PhD Candidate at the Paris School of Economics. She will be a J-PAL Postdoctoral Associate with DigiFI at MIT in Fall 2021. Justine studies study fiscal capacity in developing countries. She has been collaborating closely with tax administrations in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2015, and have been managing a digitalization program for property taxes in Senegal. Her research interests are in the fields of Development, Public Finance, Economic History and Urban economics.

Victor Pouliquen

Victor Pouliquen is a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Economics at Nuffield College and the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on how public policies affect formal and informal institutions in developing countries.

Bassirou Sarr

Bassirou Sarr is a PhD candidate in Economics at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. His research focuses on development economics, public finance and applied economics. Bassirou holds an MSc in Analysis and Policy Economics from the Paris School of Economics-EHESS and a BA in Mathematics from Carleton College.