Structural Transformation and Tax Efficiency
33 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2019
Date Written: February 2019
Structural transformation has resulted in an increasing share of services in aggregate value-added in advanced and developing countries across the world. We analyze the impact of this shift into services on countries' efficiency in collecting the value-added tax (VAT). The analysis is based on two alternative measures of VAT efficiency: (1) the VAT C-efficiency, using a broad panel of 134 countries over the period 1970-2014; and (2) the VAT gap using a more granular, proprietary dataset that draws on the results of IMF's Revenue Administraion-Gap Analysis Program covering 24 countries over the period 2004-2016. We find that a higher share of services in aggregate value-added reduces the VAT efficiency, and that this adverse effect is mainly a result of a rise of non-tradable services, which in turn contributes to a narrowing of the VAT base.
Keywords: Tax revenue, Financial statistics, Consumption taxes, Revenue measures, Economic growth, Structural transformation, tax efficiency, value-added tax, C-efficiency ratio, tax gap, non-tradable, vat rate, vat, government effectiveness
JEL Classification: E32, H20, H21, H25, H2, E01, K34, H83, H71
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