Poverty & Public Policy Volume 14, Issue 3

Scholars have long debated formalizing the informal sector through taxation, but how do these processes affect gender inequalities? Our study in Nigerian markets contributes a gender framework to the equitable taxation literature on formalization. The study draws on a survey of 451 traders in 12 markets, key informant interviews, and ethnographic research in four markets of two states. We find that in at least two situations taxation policies discriminated against women implicitly: (1) male tax collectors had higher incidences of harassment on all traders and (2) taxing traders with flat taxes penalized women, as they earned less than men but were taxed the same.

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