The Journal of Development Studies Volume 52, Issue 12

The Politics of Taxation: Introduction to the Special Section

Published on 12 May 2016

Domestic revenue mobilisation has received growing attention in recent years. International players such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the G20 are calling for more determined action to combat tax evasion and avoidance. Developing countries are urged to increase their own tax collection. However, implementing and sustaining tax reforms has proven to be a challenging task for many governments. This special section provides new evidence on the political factors determining taxation in developing countries. The articles gathered here address two distinct yet related questions: first, which factors shape long-term taxation patterns and why are these patterns so difficult to change even when they prove to be dysfunctional in many ways? Second, which factors determine the fate of specific tax reforms? Evidence from case studies covering six countries is complemented by a statistical analysis of factors influencing revenue vulnerability in the face of external shocks.

Publication details

published by
Taylor and Francis


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