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State-Building Taxation for Developing Countries: Principles for Reform

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Abstract:

The practical implications of adopting a state-building approach to tax reform need clarity now that the international community has come to recognise the importance of taxation as a ‘state-building’ process. This article seeks to address this gap. It identifies seven operating principles (political inclusion; accountability and transparency; perceived fairness; effectiveness; political commitment to shared prosperity; legitimisation of social norms and economic interests; and effective revenue-raising) as the essential characteristics for state-building taxation, and offers recommendations on potential reforms to implement them, illustrated by DFID/World Bank tax reforms in Yemen, Sierra Leone and Vietnam.

Keywords: Taxation; governance; public finance; state-building

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7679.2010.00475.x

Affiliations: Senior governance adviser for growth and investment, UK Department for International Development.

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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