May 2022, Paper: "The literature on tax capacity has shed light on the descriptive, long-run trends in tax performance and the micro-designs which incrementally impact tax collection of individual firms and households. There is a ’missing middle’ of evidence on tax performance at the intermediary level: in the aggregate, over medium-term horizons. This paper uses methods from the literature on economic growth to investigate the time-series of tax collection at this intermediary level. In a global sample of 156 countries between 1965 and 2020, and consistently across methods, we find numerous breaking points in tax-to-GDP trends that are sustained. Countries’ time-series of tax-GDP feature both upturns and downturns that are economically large in magnitude."
HKS Faculty Author - Anders Jensen