Formalization, Tax Appeals, and Social Intermediaries in Lagos, Nigeria
One of the foremost challenges to state-building in weak states is the collection of sufficient revenue for the government to supply public goods. If weak states seek to expand the size of their tax base and the overall revenue collected, can improved information or other appeals boost pro-tax attitudes and formal tax compliance? This project will conduct focus group meetings and other qualitative fieldwork in order to better understand surprising findings from a recent large-scale field experiment in Lagos, Nigeria. It will shed more light on the attitudes of informal sector vendors towards taxation, how they view information received from the state and others, and the importance of ethnicity in shaping market life and interactions with the state. Though the proposed research builds on a larger project funded by EGAP, it will yield novel outputs, will investigate new questions, and will set a new agenda for tax research in this area.