Building State Capacity for Tax Collection: Emerging Evidence and Implications for Practice

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, tax revenues are equivalent to just 7.5% of GDP. This stands in stark contrast to higher-income countries, in which tax revenues represent an average of 34% of GDP and generate billions of dollars for essential government services like infrastructure, education, health care, policing, and social safety nets. 

The challenges of domestic resource mobilization are shared by many low-income countries. These challenges are complex and involve factors related to state capacity for tax collection and delivery of public services, the prevalence of informal economies, and firms’ and citizens’ knowledge and beliefs about paying taxes. 

The fourth webinar in the Governance, Crime, and Conflict Initiative’s (GCCI) series will discuss randomized evaluations funded by GCCI and others that address these questions and their implications for policymakers.

Panelists will share emerging insights from randomized evaluations on tax policy and administration in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where researchers have worked with the provincial government of Kasaï Central to address questions of optimal tax policies. They will also discuss the implications of this new research for evidence-informed decision-making.