Corruption and tax morale in Africa

Amadou Boly, Maty Konte & Abebe Shimeles


This paper analyses the effect of the quality of governance (proxied by perceived corruption) on attitude towards paying tax. Using the Afrobarometer surveys from 36 African countries over the period 2011-2015, we find that low perception of corruption of different levels of the Executive branch (President Office, Government Officials or Tax Authorities) has a significant and positive impact on tax morale. To account for possible reverse causality between a citizen's perception of governance quality and attitude towards tax payment, we also propose an IV approach, using the ethnicity of the country's leader as instrument for perceived level of corruption. The IV results confirm that an individual's positive perception of governance has a positive impact on its willingness to pay tax.

Keywords: Corruption, Taxation, Governance, Africa

JEL Classification: D73, H71, O55

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