Taxation and the Sustainable Development Goals: do good things come to those who tax more?

Briefing papers
May 2017

This briefing note has three objectives. These are to discuss:

  1. the reasons for the renewed interest in domestic resource mobilisation in developing countries;
  2. the reasons why tax revenues tend to be lower in the poorer countries; and
  3. the potential risks associated with trying to squeeze too much taxation out of the poorest economies.

The purpose is not to argue the merits of more versus less taxation, but rather to provide food for thought on the management of expectations around taxation and the development agenda, as articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Corrections and clarifications

This version, updated in August 2017, includes updates to figures 1, 4 and 5 to account for previously missing data points for some OECD countries.