Taxation, Responsiveness and Accountability in Sub-Saharan by Wilson Prichard

By Wilson Prichard

It truly is more and more argued that bargaining among electorate and governments over tax assortment delivers a origin for the improvement of responsive and dependable governance in constructing nations. besides the fact that, whereas intuitively beautiful, strangely little learn has captured the truth and complexity of this dating in perform. This publication offers the main entire remedy of the connections among taxation and responsibility in constructing nations, supplying either new facts and a useful place to begin for destiny learn. Drawing on cross-country econometric facts and distinct case reviews from Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia, Wilson Prichard exhibits that reliance on taxation has, in reality, elevated responsiveness and responsibility via increasing the political strength wielded via taxpayers. severely, even though, procedures of tax bargaining were hugely diversified, often long-term and contextually contingent. shooting this variety offers novel perception into politics in constructing international locations and the way tax reform may be designed to inspire broader governance earnings.

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The latter seems intuitively possible: as has already been noted, and will be described in greater detail in Chapter 2, the causal processes that are expected to link taxation, responsiveness and accountability are highly varied, complex and frequently long term. Greater, and more diverse, evidence is clearly needed in order to draw stronger conclusions, and it is to this task that we now turn. 3 The importance of detailed country-level research Presented with supportive but ultimately inconclusive econometric evidence, the research challenge lies in adopting complementary, countrylevel research methods that are better placed to confirm (or not) the existence of the specific causal processes of interest, and, as importantly, to shed light on the potential diversity of those processes and the contextual factors shaping their emergence in individual cases.

This recognition has contributed to a broader resurgence of interest in much older ideas associated with the subfield of fiscal sociology. In 23 Humphreys (2005) offered an early effort to explicitly distinguish alternative causal explanations, although focusing more narrowly on the observed connection between resource revenues and civil conflict. However, he highlighted the difficulty of this task, writing that “[e]conometric tests of the effects of natural resources on conflicts, including those presented here, continue to suffer from severe problems of data, model specification and in particular a sensitivity of coefficient estimates to variations in model specification.

These limitations of existing research motivate the focus of this book, which makes three broad contributions. First, it provides the most complete evidence to date of the existence of causal connections between taxation, responsiveness and accountability in contemporary developing countries. The econometric evidence presented earlier provides a necessary starting point, as it establishes that cross-country data is minimally consistent with the broader claims of this book. However, it proves impossible to establish conclusively, using cross-country econometric methods alone, that the broader relationship between tax reliance and accountability is driven by tax bargaining.

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