TEFISCON, Tax Expenditures and the FIScal CONtract

A German-French collaboration project financed by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) on taxation and fiscal policy.

The project

The German Institute of Development and Sustainability, IDOS partners with the CERDI, Université Clermont Auvergne to research on Tax Expenditures and the Fiscal Contract (TEFISCON). This project was initiated by Christian von Haldenwang (IDOS, project lead) and Jean-François Brun (UCA, CERDI, project lead).

The project aims at shedding light on a topic that has not been widely researched so far: How does the use of tax expenditures in low-and middle-income countries impact on the fiscal contract? The concept of fiscal contract refers to an implicit agreement between the state and the taxpayers (both citizens and businesses) that links individual tax compliance and the distribution of the tax burden within a society to public service delivery and access to political decision-making.

The project contributes to closing a significant research gap. Little is known about the impact of tax expenditures on the fiscal contract, partly due to lacking information on tax expenditures, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The project will generate new evidence on the specific role tax expenditures play for fiscal contracts and the underlying causality paths that drive this relationship. Further, it will broaden the fiscal contract debate, which has focused mainly on individual taxpayers, by incorporating an additional focus on government-business relationships. This is a relevant contribution to academic research, with important repercussions on the political debate as well. 

The research approach

The project will employ a multi-method approach that uses several qualitative (case-specific) and quantitative (statistical) methods for data collection and analysis. As outlined in the preceding chapter, research at the intersection of tax expenditures and fiscal contracts has not yet produced a consolidated body of theoretical approaches and empirical insights. Hence, the project will combine theory-guided conceptualisation, with empirical research using inductive as well as statistical inference. The work programme foresees a combination of desk study research at the two project partner institutes and field research in four case study countries, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Uganda and Morocco.

The Team

The French Team, Université Clermont Auvergne, CERDI

The German team, German Institute of Development and Sustainability, IDOS

Objet inconnu