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This paper argues that the details of political institutions help explain the low levels of personal income taxation. In particular, legislative malapportionment enables rich elites to exercise disproportionate political influence. Because over-represented districts tend to be dominated by parties aligned with the elite, these groups can block legislative attempts to introduce progressive taxes. Using a sample of more than 50 countries (including 17 across Latin America) between 1990 and 2007, this paper finds that i) countries with historically more unequal distributions of wealth and income systematically present higher levels of legislative malapportionment, and ii) higher levels of malapportionment are associated with lower shares of personal income taxes in GDP.present higher levels of legislative malapportionment, and ii) higher levels of malapportionment are associated with lower shares of personal income taxes in GDP.
This paper aims to provide an overview of the current state of taxation in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, and its main reform needs and options. It previews the findings of recent studies prepared or commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for its forthcoming flagship publication More than Revenue: Taxation as a Development Tool in the -Development in the Americas- ... (View publication)
What determines the capacity of countries to design, approve and implement effective public policies? To address this question, this book builds on the results of case studies of political institutions, policymaking processes, and policy outcomes in eight Latin American countries. The result is a volume that benefits from both micro detail on the intricacies of policymaking in individual coun ... (View publication)
Over the past 30 years, democratic freedoms and competitive electoral processes have taken hold as never before in Latin America. How Democracy Works takes a detailed look, from an institutional perspective, at each of the main actors on the policymaking stage in Latin America, emphasizing the extent to which institutions facilitate or hinder intertemporal political cooperation and compromise. It ... (View publication)
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