Working Paper
Fiscal policy, state building and economic development

This paper presents a synopsis of the contextual conditions, factors and challenges under which the recent evolution of tax systems has taken place over the past three decades. The paper gives especial emphasis to the role of natural endowments, political economy, social structure and history, and the interplay between politics and tax revenues.

These are relevant issues, considering that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have placed fiscal policy, and tax policy and revenue mobilization in particular, at the centre of national and international development efforts. Delivering on the SDGs will require a level of state revenue mobilization capacity in many ways unprecedented in the history of development policy.