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This paper explores the effect of party system institutionalization on the relevance of the personal income tax in the tax composition. Based on a fiscal contractualism approach, it is argued that institutionalized political party systems increase the capacity of political actors to credibly commit to fiscal contracts agreed with wealthy taxpayers. Consequently, in countries characterized by institutionalized political party systems wealthy taxpayers accept paying a bigger share of the tax burden, as reflected in a greater relevance of progressive tax types. The analysis of panel data for more than 90 countries from 1990 to 2010 supports this hypothesis, showing that party system institutionalization has an especially significant and strong positive effect on the relevance of the personal income tax where bureaucratic capacity is low. At high levels of bureaucratic capacity the effect disappears. The findings strongly support the claim that, particularly in developing countries, where bureaucratic capacity tends to be limited, taxation is best understood as a problem of credible commitment.
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)
This paper address options for restructuring the revenue system of Bolivia’s subnational governments, particularly prefectures, emphasizing reduction of dependence on natural resources and strengthening of subnational tax autonomy. The paper additionally identifies tax instruments or tax bases that could be assigned exclusively to regional governments or shared with the central government, assessi ... (View publication)
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. U ... (View publication)
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