Recent years have seen a growing interest among donors on taxation in developing countries. This reflects a concern for domestic revenue mobilization to finance public goods and services, as well as recognition of the centrality of taxation for growth and redistribution. The global financial crisis has also led many donor countries to pay more attention to the extent and effectiveness of the aid they provide, and to ensuring that they support rather than discourage the developing countries’ own revenue-raising efforts. This paper reviews the state of knowledge on aid and tax reform in developing countries, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Four main issues are addressed: (1) impacts of donor assistance to strengthen tax systems, including what has worked - or not - and why; (2) challenges in ‘scaling up’ donor efforts; (3) how to best provide assistance to reform tax systems; and (4) knowledge gaps to be filled in order to design better donor interventions. The paper argues that donors should complement the traditional ‘technical’ approach to tax reform with measures that encourage constructive engagement between governments and citizens over tax issues.
Long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic resource mobilisation in sub-Saharan Africa
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Anna Gopsill, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen and Ole Therkildsen
The colonial legacy of corruption among local elites in Africa
Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Abdulaziz Shifa
Understanding the resource curse: A large-scale experiment on corruption in Tanzania
Alexander Cappelen, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Donald Mmari, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen and Bertil Tungodden
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization