Development-Oriented Tax Policy
Working Paper #230
No public policy issue is of more importance than the structure and level of taxes. Tax reform has led governments to fall. Proposals to extend the VAT or increase its rates have been a source of political agitation in many countries, including Ecuador and Mexico. In many less developed countries, a shortage of funds impedes development efforts, and yet attempts to expand taxation not only meet enormous political resistance, but also often turn out to be futile. Simplistic recommendations to increase the power of the tax police often backfire—generating substantially more revenue for the tax collectors, but not much extra revenue for the public fisc.
About the Author
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
Joseph E. Stiglitz is co-President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.