Working Paper 169

In the growing body of research on gender and taxation in low-income countries, the implications of having more women in tax administration have received relatively little attention. Using data from employee records and key informant interviews, we examine the representation of women in the workforce of the Ethiopian tax administration, as well as their performance and their misconduct. The findings show that women dominate the overall workforce in most branch offices. However, women overwhelmingly occupy lower ranked positions and their engagement at the top level of management is quite limited. Our analysis of gender-disaggregated employee performance scores indicates that there is no conclusive evidence to claim women perform better than men employees, though most of the key informants tend to believe otherwise. However, misconduct records present a strong case that women employees are less likely to commit serious disciplinary misconduct, such as corruption and breaching trust, and more likely to serve for a longer number of years compared to men employees. We also present cross-country comparisons with Uganda and other ATAF member countries. Our overall findings underline the significant contributions of employing more women in tax administration and the need to further empower women through continued leadership training and mentoring programmes.


Seid Yimam Mohamed

Seid Yimam is based at the Institute of Development Studies, working as a Research Associate focusing on tax administration, gender and tax compliance, informal tax, and environmental taxes. He is also a PhD student in Economics at the University of Sussex on a scholarship funded by ICTD. Outside of the field of taxation, his main research areas are in contemporary development focusing on Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation. He holds an MSc in Economics (Policy Analysis) from Addis Ababa University and an MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen. He worked as a Research Officer at the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) and the Policy Study Institute (PSI), and he was also a lecturer of Economics at Debre Berehan University in Ethiopia prior to joining ICTD.

Yalew Mekonnen

Yalew Mekonnen is a Research Officer at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).