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      Political Economy of Taxation in Sri Lanka

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            Abstract

            This article is about determinants of tax revenues and about constraints affecting taxation policy and its reform. Its analysis is in the context of a neoliberal policy framework practised in a small developing country, Sri Lanka. As in other countries in similar conditions, neoliberalism has created a fiscal crisis in Sri Lanka too. There has been almost continuous increase in public debt, associated with declining overall levels of taxation. The examination of related issues systematically highlights the crucial relevance of a series of socio-political as well as economic factors in respect of Sri Lanka's government revenue problem. The main theme emerging from a political economy perspective on taxation, including as an essential ingredient an historical view, is that while technical and administrative aspects of tax reform are crucial, the sustainability of reforms requires an understanding of how reforms become legitimate and accepted by the people. The focus on institutional designs and other technical tax issues would be incomplete if the essential political nature of taxation is ignored.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.13169
            worlrevipoliecon
            World Review of Political Economy
            Pluto Journals
            2042891X
            20428928
            Summer 2017
            : 8
            : 2
            : 235-252
            Article
            worlrevipoliecon.8.2.0235
            10.13169/worlrevipoliecon.8.2.0235
            25096a54-c5ae-41be-ba1e-ac3848e5fecf
            © 2017 World Association for Political Economy

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Categories
            Articles

            Political economics
            tax structure,neoliberalism,colonial taxation,state capacity for taxation,tax reform

            References

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            2. 2006. “The Political Economy of Taxation and Tax Reform in Developing Countries.” Research paper, no. 2006/74, United Nations University and World Institute for Development Economics Research, New York.

            3. , and . 2014. The Crisis of Neoliberalism . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

            4. 2007. “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610 (1): 22–44.

            5. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

            6. 2015. The Economics of Inequality . Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

            7. 2014a. Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism . London: Verso.

            8. 2014b. “How Will Capitalism End.” New Left Review 87: 35–64.

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