Project Researchers: Lily Tsai, Leah Rosenzweig & Nicole Wilson

How do government actions toward the poor influence other citizens’ perceptions of the government? Does making citizens aware of forced evictions – used by the government in the name of development – reduce their willingness to invest in the capacity of the government by paying taxes? We seek to build upon our 2018 pilot survey in informal settlements in Lagos, which finds that eviction threats decrease perceived willingness to pay taxes. However, we know little about how other Nigerians, particularly those of a higher socioeconomic status, respond to the government’s treatment of the poor. To what extent do the effects of forced evictions spill over into lost revenues from those who are not directly affected, but who likely have higher incomes and more valuable assets? Answering these questions will allow us to better understand the economic costs in terms of lost tax revenue the government incurs when its behaviour is perceived as anti-poor.