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Tax Incidence in Madagascar : An Analysis Using Household Data

By Younger, Stephen D.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000073475
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.2 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Tax Incidence in Madagascar : An Analysis Using Household Data  
Author: Younger, Stephen D.
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Younger, S. D. (n.d.). Tax Incidence in Madagascar : An Analysis Using Household Data. Retrieved from


This question is especially pertinent in Africa, where interest in reforming taxes takes two directions. First, the ratio of tax revenue to gross domestic product (GDP) is low in Africa (except for countries with large mineral royalties), often no more than 10 or 12 percent of GDP. Thus there is a need to raise overall revenue. Second, many tax systems in Africa are very distortionary, concentrating on trade taxes while neglecting direct taxes and broad-based indirect taxes, such as a value added tax (VAT). To some extent, both of these problems reflect deeper structural issues. Tax handles for broad-based taxes are limited in economies with small formal sectors that are dominated by the public sector. Further, formal sector enterprises and workers are often politically powerful and thus able to lobby against their own taxation. The situation in Madagascar is typical of these general patterns. Tax revenues fell steadily during the past 20 years, while expenditures remained constant (with the exception of a sharp decline in 1981), leaving a substantial and growing fiscal deficit. At the same time, trade taxes continue to account for more than half of Madagascar?s tax revenue, significantly distorting incentives. Thus, like many African countries, Madagascar needs to increase its tax revenue and do so in a less distortionary way.


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