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DEC Lecture Series: Raising Money for the State Challenges of Taxation in Developing Countries

July 16, 2018 | 12:30 to 14:00 ET, 16:30 to 18:00 GMT
MC 13-121, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC

  Featured Speaker
  (July 16, 2018)

  Dina Pomeranz

  University of Zurich

Raising Money for the State: Challenges of Taxation in Developing Countries

About this Lecture

No state can exist in the long term without effective taxation. To be able to execute its various roles, the state needs to acquire the capacity to enforce compliance with tax obligations. In developing countries, this task is far from obvious. Taxation is particularly challenging in less formalized economies, since it is difficult for the government to gain information about what taxable transactions actually occurred. One important source of information that governments rely on are paper trails by third parties, which document such transactions. This talk presents evidence from Chile and Ecuador on the power and limitations of such paper trails. It also discusses the challenges that can emerge as countries introduce the use of third-party reported information for tax enforcement. The evidence suggests that despite the (helpful) growth of computer-based monitoring using cross-checks of third-party information, strengthening the traditional enforcement capacity of developing country governments still remains crucial for effective tax collection.

2018 DEC Lectures

VIEW THE REPLAY: Wednesday, January 31: Tavneet Suri, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

VIEW THE REPLAY: Tuesday, February 6: Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University

VIEW THE REPLAY: Tuesday, March 13: Pinelopi Goldberg, Yale University

VIEW THE REPLAY: Tuesday, April 24: Rohini Pande, Harvard University

VIEW THE REPLAY: Monday, May 21: Oriana Bandiera, LSE

VIEW THE REPLAY: Monday, June 18: Rema Hanna, Harvard University

Monday, July 16: Dina Pomeranz, University of Zurich

Tuesday, September 11: Gita Gopinath, Harvard University


Tavneet Suri

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Yale University

Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University

London School of Economics

Harvard University

University of Zurich

Harvard University