This study aims to expand the conventional tax effort model to incorporate relevant economic freedom variables to investigate whether economic freedom fosters tax revenue performance in `sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
This study uses data from 42 countries across the four sub-regions of SSA from the period 2005 to 2012 with 252 year-country observations in an unbalanced panel method. The data were statistically treated using feasible generalised least square (FGLS) and panel-corrected standard errors (PCSE) estimate techniques.
The findings are twofold. First, the principal finding of the study suggests that economic freedom promotes tax revenue performance. Precisely, the FGLS analysis indicates that property rights freedom, freedom from corruption and investment freedom, as well as the composite economic freedom, exerted positive significant impact on tax revenue performance. This implies that country, which attained high degree of economic freedom, is likely to have higher tax-to-GDP ratio than a country with low level of economic freedom. Secondly, the results of most conventional variables conform to the prediction in the traditional theory except per capita income. Specifically, agriculture share in GDP and per capita income indicate negative significant relationship with tax revenue performance.
Because little is known empirically about the connection between economic freedom and tax revenue performance, this study extended the conventional tax effort model to incorporate the economic freedom to bridge the knowledge gap due to the absence of empirical evidence on the relationship between economic freedom and tax effort.
The author appreciates Mr G. Vincent and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on the initial draft of the paper.
Alabede, J.O. (2018), "Economic freedom and tax revenue performance in sub-Saharan Africa", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 610-638. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-04-2017-0024Download as .RIS
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