Global Reform of Personal Income Taxation, 1981-2005: Evidence from 189 Countries

54 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2009

See all articles by Klara Sabirianova Peter

Klara Sabirianova Peter

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Steve Buttrick

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

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Abstract

In this paper we use a panel of 189 countries to describe the salient trends that have emerged in national personal income tax systems spanning the twenty five year period from 1981 to 2005. Using complete national income tax schedules, we calculate actual average and marginal tax rates at different income levels as well as time-varying measures of structural progressivity and complexity of national tax systems. We show that frequent alterations of tax structures have reduced tax rates at higher levels of income and diminished the overall progressivity and complexity of national tax systems; however, the degree of this change varies considerably across countries. We also find that the relationship between the tax rates and revenue is positive for high income countries; however, the strength of the relationship declines with weaker institutions and lower levels of economic development.

Keywords: personal income tax, marginal rate, average rate, tax complexity, progressivity, flat tax, revenue, global trends

JEL Classification: C8, E62, H2, H87, N10, O1

Suggested Citation

Sabirianova Peter, Klara and Buttrick, Steven Craig, Global Reform of Personal Income Taxation, 1981-2005: Evidence from 189 Countries. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4228, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1423344

Klara Sabirianova Peter (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.unc.edu/~kpeter

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Steven Craig Buttrick

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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