Taxation

Work on taxation at IDS is primarily led by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), a global policy research network, devoted to improving the quality of tax policy and administration in developing countries, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

A tax sign in Sierra Leone. Credit: Vanessa van den Boogaard

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is led by Professor Mick Moore and funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key areas of research on tax and development

Why should we tax Africa?

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Image credit: Vanessa van den Boogaard

Experimental research on tax compliance in Rwanda

This project conducted a set of large-scale field experiments in Rwanda aiming to understand the determinants of tax compliance. More details

REDD+ and Forest Taxation in sub-Saharan Africa

This research project will map the channels through which REDD+ could impact upon different forest tax systems in sub-Saharan Africa, and develop proposals to increase the probability that these impacts will be positive. More details

UNU-WIDER Symposium on Taxation & Revenue Mobilisation in Developing Countries consultancy

Bruno Martorano will be conducting research on the topic of ‘Tax Changes and Inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010’ More details

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IDS Research Report

The Tobin Tax: A Review of the Evidence

IDS Research Report 68 (2011)

The debate about the Tobin tax, and other financial transaction taxes (FTTs), gives rise to strong views both for and against. Unfortunately, little of the popular debate refers to the now considerable body of evidence about the impact of such taxes. More details

IDS Research Summary

The Tobin Tax: A Review of the Evidence

IDS Research Summary of IDS Research Report 68 (2011)

The Tobin tax, a small levy on foreign exchange transactions, should theoretically discourage speculation and thereby stabilise markets. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Tobin Tax - A Review of The Evidence

This review attempts to synthesize what we know from the available theoretical and empirical literature about the impact of FTTs on volatility in financial markets. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Does reliance on tax revenue build state capacity in sub-Saharan Africa?

International Review of Administrative Sciences 76.4 (2010)

Academics and donors have increasingly argued that African states can enhance their general administrative capacity by improving tax revenue collection. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Citizen-State Relations – Improving Governance Through Tax Reform

Taxation is fundamental to sustainable development: it supports the basic functions of an effective state and sets the context for economic growth. However, there is another role for taxation that is often overlooked - as a catalyst for more responsive and accountable governments, and for expanding state capacity. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Is a Financial Transaction Tax a Good Idea? A Review of the Evidence

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing 14.2 (2010)

IDS has undertaken a comprehensive review of the feasibility of financial transaction taxes (FTTs). We find that, worldwide, a financial transaction tax on foreign exchange transactions could raise US$26 billion. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Markets, Basic Services and Poor People

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing Special issue (2010)

There are conditions under which well-structured commercialisation of government services can be advantageous to poor people. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Tackling Instability in Financial Markets with a Panic Tax

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing Special issue (2010)

There has been much debate on introducing a financial transaction or ‘Tobin Tax' to generate revenue for public goods or enhance market stability. More details

IDS Working Paper

Taxation and State Building: Towards a Governance Focused Tax Reform Agenda

IDS Working Paper 341 (2010)

Taxation is fundamental to sustainable development, as it supports the basic functions of an effective state and sets the context for economic growth. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Impact Assessment Report of Draft Environmental Tax Law in Vietnam

Report commissioned by Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit More details

IDS publications on international development research

Autonomy or organisation? Reforms in the Ghanaian Internal Revenue Service

Public Administration and Development 29.4 (2009)

Autonomous Revenue Authorities (ARAs) have recently become a popular organisational reform to improve revenue collection in developing countries. The success of ARAs is commonly attributed to 'autonomy' which reduces political interference, and increases financial independence and managerial freedom. More details

IDS Working Paper

The Politics of Taxation and Implications for Accountability in Ghana 1981–2008

IDS Working Paper 330 (2009)

In many ways the raising of tax revenues is the most central activity of any state, but it is only recently that the development field has begun to take questions about taxation and its relationship to the performance of government seriously. This research seeks to investigate the particular hypothesis that a government that relies primarily on tax revenues, as opposed to natural resource rents or foreign aid, is more likely to be accountable to its citizens. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Revenue authorities and public authority in sub-Saharan Africa

Journal of Modern African Studies 47.1 (2009)

Since the early 1990s, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have established semi-autonomous revenue authorities (ARAs), organisationally distinct from ministries of finance, with some real operational autonomy, and with staff paid at rates substantially higher than those in comparable public sector jobs. More details

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Oxfam, Give the IMF a break!

02 Apr 2012
By Mick Moore
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