Taxation and state-building: Poor countries in a globalised world
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Original versionPresented at: Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE), Bled, Slovenia, 17-18 May
How far has the recent global wave of tax reform contributed to state building in poorer countries. Our conclusion mirrors other arguments about globalization more generally: there are a large number of good things to report, but worrying problems in the poorest and most dependent countries. The governments of those countries have little choice but to go along with a reform agenda that is not strongly rooted in their particular circumstances. The choice of policy problems, and of the means of dealing with them, reflect too much the enthusiasms of the more powerful actors in the international system. More important perhaps, the global reform agenda does not address some of the more urgent problems that the poorest countries face. The contemporary global tax reform agenda is least appropriate to those countries most in need of the state-building to which the taxation process has contributed at in other places and times.