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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/333

Title: Revenue Authorities and State Capacity in Anglophone Africa
Authors: Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge
Moore, Mick
Keywords: Taxation
Tax administration
Privatisation
State capacity
Africa
JEL classification: H10, H29, O20, O38
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Chr. Michelsen Institute
Series/Report no.: CMI Working paper
WP 2008: 1
Abstract: Since the early 1990s, many countries in Anglophone Africa have established (semi-) autonomous revenue authorities (ARAs), organisationally distinct from ministries of finance, with some real operational autonomy, and with staff paid at rates similar to those in comparable private sector jobs. The introduction of revenue agencies has been seen by some as a step on the road to privatisation of the revenue collection process. We demonstrate in the article that this is a misreading of the story of revenue authorities in Anglophone Africa. This conclusion is reached by examining two related sets of questions. The first set concerns the transnational transfer of institutions. Is it a problem that ARAs have spread so fast under the influence of aid and of international financial institutions? The second set of questions relates to the more specific issue of the autonomy of revenue agencies. Is the establishment of revenue agencies another way of fragmenting the authority of already weak central government institutions? Our answers are largely ‘no’ to both sets of concerns. Addressing these questions enables us to explain what ARAs actually imply for state capacity in Anglophone Africa.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/333
ISBN: 978-82-8062-232-7
ISSN: 0804-3639
Appears in Collections:CMI Collection (Reports, Working Papers, Articles etc.)

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