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Essays on tax revenue composition in developing countries

Auteur : Ehrhart Hélène
Date de publication : 24/10/2011
Type : Thèse / Mémoire
Thème : Finances

Résumé/Sommaire :

This thesis focuses on the composition of tax revenue in developing countries and analyses its determinants and consequences. The first part examines the political economy factors shaping tax revenue composition, by considering the impact of elections and democratization, while the second part deals with the consequences of specific tax revenue compositions in terms of tax revenue stabilization and social welfare. Several results emerge.
Elections have a significant influence on tax revenue composition since indirect tax revenues are decreased in election times (Chapter 1). These electoral manipulations are less strong in countries where democracy is well-established. Moreover, Chapter 2 found that a more democratic political regime, with strong constraints on the executive, helps to enhance domestic tax revenues that are necessary to replace the lost revenues from trade liberalization. The second part of the thesis reveals interesting results on the effects of tax revenue composition on the stabilization of tax revenue and on its social incidence. Chapter 3 highlighted the importance of finding remedies to tax revenue instability since it induces public spending instability which in turn decreases the level of public investment. A higher reliance on domestic indirect taxes in total tax revenues has been found to lead to the stabilization of tax revenue. In addition, the results of Chapter 4 showed that the value-added tax significantly reduces tax revenue instability in the developing countries where it was adopted. The social incidence of domestic indirect taxes was compared to the social incidence of tariffs in Chapter 5 and it was established that tariffs are more regressive than taxes on consumption in Burkina Faso.

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