Social scientists have long recognized the importance of tax for financing the services and investment required for economic and social development. In their recent introduction to the topic of taxation and development, Besley and Persson (2013) cite Nicholas Kaldor who suggested more than fifty years ago: “It is shortage of resources, and not inadequate incentives, which limits the pace of economic development. Indeed the importance of public revenue from the point of view of accelerated economic development could hardly be exaggerated.”
This themed issue of Development Policy Review is indicative of a new wave of scholarship that builds on these insights but recognizes that tax is about more than just financing public budgets. How taxes are levied and who bears the burden of paying them goes to the very heart of the relationship between the state and society.
Articles in this issue will be free to access until the end of April 2020.