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Does Poverty Matter for Tax Revenue Performance in Developing Countries?

Sèna Kimm Gnangnon

South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, 2022, vol. 11, issue 1, 7-38

Abstract: This article explores the effect of poverty on tax revenue performance (tax revenue share), using an unbalanced panel data set of 102 developing countries over the period from 1996 to 2015. Based on the two-step system generalized methods of moments (GMM) approach, the empirical analysis shows that higher poverty rates significantly reduce tax revenue performance in developing countries. However, the magnitude of this negative effect is lower in least developed countries (LDCs) than in other countries of the sample. The analysis has also revealed that the tax revenue performance effect of poverty depends on the level of household consumption as well as the prevailing unemployment rate in the economy. Finally, development aid inflows help to mitigate the negative effect of poverty on tax revenue performance in developing countries. These findings not only highlight the importance of poverty for tax revenue performance in developing countries, but they additionally show that the provision of higher amounts of development aid to these countries could help them mitigate the adverse tax revenue effect of poverty, and even allow them to enjoy higher tax revenue performance, which is key for attaining their development objectives. JEL Classification: I30, I32, H20

Keywords: Poverty; tax revenue performance; development aid; developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/22779787211033506

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