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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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Public Finance in Developing Countries

Public Finance in Developing Countries

Chapter:
(p.259) Chapter 15 Public Finance in Developing Countries
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

Richard M. Bird

Arindam Das-Gupta

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0016

A “good” tax system for developing countries was once considered one based on progressive income taxes. More recently, the emphasis has been placed on securing revenues from broader bases at lower rates from consumption as well as income taxes. A framework for evaluating public finance structures and institutions in terms of revenue and spending as well as the fiscal balance is set out, and some key areas such as VAT, earmarking, tax evasion, and administration, and non-tax revenues are discussed. Increased globalization challenges national tax bases and makes it even more important to improve local fiscal expertise and institutions in developing countries. Finally, if local governments are sufficiently reliant on own revenue to promote fiscal discipline, decentralization may produce gains in both efficiency and local accountability that may outweigh any costs that might arise from the loss of some macroeconomic control and altered investment priorities.

Keywords:   public finance, fiscal advice, fiscal decentralization, taxation, globalization, non-tax revenue

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