1 Faegis

Value Added Tax Research Papers

International Trade Effects of Value Added Taxation

Paul Krugman, Martin Feldstein

NBER Working Paper No. 3163
Issued in November 1989
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, Public Economics, International Finance and Macroeconomics

The actual value added tax systems used in many countries differ significantly from the completely general VAT that has been the focus of most economic analyses. In practice, VAT systems exempt broad classes of consumer goods and services. This has important implications for the effect of the VAT on international trade.

A value added tax is sometimes advocated as a way of improving a country's international competitiveness because GATT rules permit the tax to be levied on imports and rebated on exports. This leads to political support for the VAT among exporters and producers of import-competing products. For a general VAT on all consumption, this argument is incorrect except in the very short run because exchange rates or domestic prices adjust to offset the effect of the tax on the relative prices of domestic and foreign goods. When prices or exchange rates have adjusted, a general value added tax will have no effect on imports and exports.

In practice, the value added tax frequently exempts housing and many personal services. The VAT thus raises the price of tradeables relative to nontradeables and induces a substitution of housing and services for tradeable goods. Since this implies a reduced consumption of imported goods, it also implies a decline in exports. The most likely effect of the introduction of a VAT would thus be a decline of exports.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3163

Published:

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:

The Collection Efficiency of the Value Added Tax: Theory and International Evidence

Joshua Aizenman, Yothin Jinjarak

NBER Working Paper No. 11539
Issued in August 2005
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, Public Economics

This paper evaluates the political economy and structural factors explaining the collection efficiency of the Value Added Tax [VAT]. We consider the case where the collection efficiency is determined by the probability of audit and by the penalty on underpaying. Implementation lags imply that the present policy maker determines the efficiency of the tax system next period. Theory suggests that the collection efficiency is impacted by political economy considerations greater polarization and political instability would reduce the efficiency of the tax collection. In addition, collection is impacted by structural factors affecting the ease of tax evasion, like the urbanization level, the share of agriculture, and trade openness. Defining the collection efficiency of the VAT as the ratio of the VAT revenue to aggregate consumption divided by the standard VAT rate, we evaluate the evidence on VAT collection efficiency in a panel of 44 countries over 1970-99. The results are consistent with the theory - a one standard deviation increase in durability of political regime, and in the ease and fluidity of political participation, increase the VAT collection efficiency by 3.1% and 3.6%, respectively. A one standard deviation increase in urbanization, trade openness, and the share of agriculture changes the VAT collection efficiency by 12.7%, 3.9%, and - 4.8%, respectively. In addition, a one standard deviation increase in GDP/Capita increases the tax efficiency by 8.1%. Qualitatively identical results apply for an alternative measure of VAT collection efficiency, defined by the ratio of VAT revenue to GDP divided by the standard VAT.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11539

Published: Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "The collection efficiency of the Value Added Tax: Theory and international evidence," Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 391-410. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *