"Greener on the Other Side? Property Tax Collection and Horizontal Inequality," a talk by Evan Kresch, assistant professor of economics, Oberlin College.
Property taxes are seen as an effective way of collecting government revenue in developing countries, however compliance in these countries is relatively low (less than 50%). In this paper we analyze whether horizontal inequality across taxpayers can account for this noncompliance.
We exploit the tax scheme in Manaus, Brazil, whereby the city is divided into "tax sectors" with discontinuous jumps in the effective tax rate across sector boundaries. Using administrative tax data on yearly charges, payments, property characteristics, and a spatial mapping of properties throughout out the city, we find evidence of a significant spike in tax non-compliance for households on the higher tax rate side of the sector boundary. We hypothesize that this noncompliance may play are role in restoring equity across the city.
Kresch conducts research in the fields of development economics, public finance, and environmental economics. His current research focuses on the institutional barriers to water and sanitation provision, the health and behavioral effects of natural resource management, and the improvement of public procurement in developing countries.
He teaches classes in development economics and principles of economics.
Sponsored by the Department of Economics and Majors Committee Brown Bag Series.