An econometric method for estimating the tax elasticity and the impact on revenues of discretionary tax measures : applied to Malawi and Mauritius


This paper develops an econometric technique that deals with shortcomings of existing methods for estimating the tax elasticity and the impact on revenues of discretionary tax measures. This model highlights the roles that discretionary tax measures and economic growth play in effecting the shift from the taxation of international trade to the taxation of domestic transactions. The objective of this study is twofold: first, to develop an econometric method of estimating built-in tax elasticity, and, hence, isolating the revenue impact of discretionary tax measures from that of economic growth; and second, to apply this model to selected sub-Saharan Africa countries in order to highlight the contribution of discretionary actions taken by fiscal authorities to trends of tax effort and individual tax shares during the past two decades. The structural adjustment programs of developing countries use fiscal deficit reduction as one of the policy tools for achieving real economic growth with price stability and balance of payments viability. In dealing with this deficit within such a framework, projects need to be made of the additional revenues which can be mobilized within the existing tax system as gross domestic product (GDP) grows. These projections indicate the need to activate additional means of revenue generation, particularly politically difficult discretionary tax measures.Public Sector Economics&Finance,Economic Theory&Research,Environmental Economics&Policies,Taxation&Subsidies,Tax Policy and Administration

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Research Papers in Economics

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This paper was published in Research Papers in Economics.

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