Working Papers

Tax Reforms in Latin America in an Era of Democracy

AUTHOR(s): Focanti, Diego , Hallerberg, Mark , Scartascini, Carlos
PUBLISHED: December 2013


The literature on taxes and public finance generally focuses on revenues, an easily observable and generally available variable, as the observable measure of tax policy. Still, revenues depend on many determinants other than the political will and policy objectives of the government. It is therefore important, when studying the politics of taxation, to evaluate specific changes to the tax code such as rates, bases and exemptions. With the underlying goal of exploring the political process and the determinants of tax policy, this paper compiles a novel and highly comprehensive database of tax reforms for Latin America between 1990 and 2004. The paper presents a description of the database as well as the stylized facts of tax reforms in Latin America. Examples of the database’s uses are discussed, as is motivation for future research.

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