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Costly Tax Enforcement and Financial Repression

Rangan Gupta () and Emmanuel Ziramba

No 99, Working Papers from Economic Research Southern Africa

Abstract: Using an overlapping generations production-economy model characterised by financial repression, purposeful government expenditures and tax collection costs, we analyse whether financial repression can be explained by the cost of raising taxes. We show that with public expenditures affecting utility of the agents, modest costs of tax collection tend to result in financial repression being pursued as an optimal policy by the consolidated government. However, when public expenditures are purposeless, the above result only holds for relatively higher costs of tax collection. But, more importantly, costs of tax collection cannot produce a monotonic increase in the reserve requirements. Of critical importance in this regard, are the weights the consumer assigns to the public good in the utility function and the size of the government.

Date: 2008
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