Does conditionality in IMF-supported programs promote revenue reform?
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This paper studies whether revenue conditionality in Fund programs had any impact on the revenue performance of 126 low- and middle-income countries during 1993–2013. The results indicate that such conditionality had a positive impact on tax revenue, with strongest improvement felt on taxes on goods and services, including the VAT. Revenue conditionality matters more for low-income countries, particularly those where revenue ratios are below the group average. Moreover, revenue conditionality appears to be more effective when targeted to a specific tax. These results hold after controlling for potential endogeneity, sample selection bias, and when revenues are adjusted for economic cycle.
KeywordsTax revenue reform Structural conditionality IMF
JEL ClassificationC33 E62 F33 H2
We would like to thank the Editor Ron Davies and two anonymous referees for excellent suggestions. We are grateful to Santiago Acosta-Ormaechea, Celine Allard, Katherine Baer, Sabina Bhatia, Martin Cerisola, Karla Chaman, Francesco Columba, Ruud De Mooij, Jonathan Dunn, Nisreen Farhan, Katherine Ferry, Geoff Gottlieb, Michael Keen, Christina Kolerus, Svitlana Maslova, Masahiro Nozaki, Iva Petrova, Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro, Saad Quayyum, and Philippe Wingender for many helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of the paper, and to Haoyu Wang for outstanding assistance with consolidating the data. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the IMF, its executive board, or its management.
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