Showing 109 - 120 of 123 publications
November 2013

The Political Economy of Tax Reform in Bangladesh: Political Settlements, Informal Institutions and the Negotiation of Reform

by Mirza Hassan & Wilson Prichard

This paper explores the political economy of tax reform in Bangladesh over several decades, shedding light on the complex factors that account for unusually effective and sustained resistance to significant reform. We contend that it is necessary to understand both deep-seated formal and informal institutions and the micro-level incentives that shape the negotiation of short-term…

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Revenue Reform and Statebuilding in Anglophone Africa

by Mick Moore

Within the development field, tax administration reform is an area of relative success. Over the past two decades, the national revenue systems of most countries in anglophone Africa have undergone major reforms. These comprise, in particular, the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT), the adoption of ‘advanced’ tax administration practices, and the creation of semi-autonomous…

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June 2015

Taxation and Livelihoods: A Review of the Evidence from Fragile and Conflict-Affected Rural Areas

by Oliver Lough, Richard Mallett & Paul Harvey

This is a joint paper by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) and the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) Despite growing interest in the connections between taxation, development and governance, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the relationship between taxation and people’s livelihoods, particularly in places affected by war and violent conflict. Yet, it…

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September 2015

Obstacles to Increasing Tax Revenues in Low Income Countries

by Mick Moore

This paper is focused on the question: why do the governments of low income countries not raise more tax revenues? Two different but complementary approaches are used to answer it. The first approach is comparisons: among countries today, and within countries over time. This approach tends to generate relatively conservative answers to the central question….

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September 2015

Rebuilding Local Government Finance After Conflict: The Political Economy of Property Tax Reform in Sierra Leone

by Samuel Jibao & Wilson Prichard

This research explores relatively successful reforms of the local property tax system in the four largest city councils in Sierra Leone. Deriving lessons from differing outcomes across the four councils, it highlights three key messages about the determinants of successful reform. First, relatively modest and targeted support from the international community and the central government…

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September 2013

Is the International Tax System Fit for Purpose, Especially for Developing Countries?

by Sol Picciotto

Taxes are a basis of national states, but they have been internationally coordinated since the emergence of taxes on income and profits, which were central to the legitimacy of taxation and the increased power of states in the 20th century. This paper traces the historical development of this international system, especially in relation to its interaction…

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September 2015

Low Government Revenue from the Mining Sector in Zambia and Tanzania: Fiscal Design, Technical Capacity or Political Will?

by Olav Lundstøl, Gaël Raballand & Fuvya Nyirongo

The contribution of mining to economic and social development in Sub-Saharan Africa is under increased scrutiny and criticism. Minerals are non-renewable resources, and production represents a transformation from a sub-soil to a financial asset. Unless the gains are efficiently captured, saved and invested by the ultimate owner of the resource, the country in question could experience…

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September 2012

People’s Views of Taxation in Africa: A Review of Research on Determinants of Tax Compliance

by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Collette Schulz-Herzenberg & Ingrid Hoem Sjursen

What are the key determinants of taxpayer compliance? And which features of citizen-state relations govern attitudes and behaviour regarding taxation? This paper examines the analytical foundation, methodological approaches and key findings of available empirical literature on taxpayer behaviour in Africa. Understanding how citizens perceive and experience taxation may provide an essential diagnostic of the political…

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October 2012

Local Government Revenue Mobilisation in Anglophone Africa

by Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Kari Heggstad

This paper examines opportunities and constraints facing local revenue mobilisation in anglophone Africa, with an emphasis on urban settings. It discusses specific revenue instruments and their effects on economic efficiency, income distribution and accountability. In particular, it addresses political and administrative constraints facing various revenue instruments and factors affecting citizens’ compliance. The analysis is illustrated…

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September 2012

Donors, Aid and Taxation in Developing Countries: An Overview

by Wilson Prichard, Jean-Francois Brun & Oliver Morrissey

Recent years have witnessed rapidly growing donor interest in tax issues in the developing world. This reflects a concern with revenue collection to finance public spending, but also recognition of the centrality of taxation to growth, redistribution and broader state-building and governance goals. Against this backdrop, this paper identifies a series of key issues that…

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September 2012

Caught in a Trap: Zambia’s Mineral Tax Reforms

by David Manley

Any investment that involves unrecoverable costs relies on the good faith of the government not to raise taxes after costs have been incurred. Unfortunately, features inherent within the political economy of natural resource industries, and particularly within poor countries, makes a stable investment environment difficult to achieve. Indeed, some suggest that countries may fall into…

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August 2012

Taxing the Informal Economy: Challenges, Possibilities and Remaining Questions

by Anuradha Joshi, Wilson Prichard & Christopher Heady

Recent years have witnessed significantly increased attention to the challenge of taxing small businesses in the informal sector. However, much of this recent attention has remained focused on comparatively technical issues of revenue maximization and policy design. This paper argues that this debate should focus increasingly on the wider development implications of informal sector taxation,…

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