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QoG lunch seminar with Ola Olsson

Seminar series

The QoG Institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government. The seminars address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained as well as the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty.

Speakers are invited from the international research community and experts from NGOs and other organizations to the lunch seminars. The seminars last for one hour and include a short presentation by the speaker (30-35 min) followed by a joint discussion about the topic.

If nothing else is indicated, the seminars are held in English.

Title of seminar:
"Tolling on the River: Trade and Informal Taxation on the Congo"

Abstract:
It is by now generally agreed that government corruption is a serious impediment to economic growth. An intensive use of informal tolls and bribes on roads and waterways still prevail in several developing countries, hampering trade and economic development. On the basis of a general model of a trader travelling downstream past multiple stations and taxing authorities, we study the extent and magnitude of informal taxation on traders in Democratic Republic of Congo. The river Congo is a key transportation route in one of the world's poorest countries. We show that informal tax payments per individual journey make up about 14 percent of the variable costs and 9 times the monthly salary of a public official. Price discrimination in taxing is present in the sense that the value of the cargo is the main determinant of informal taxes paid whereas personal or other characteristics do not seem to have a strong impact. In line with hold-up theory, the average level of informal taxation tends to increase downstream closer to Kinshasa, but authorities that were explicitly banned from taxing instead extract more payments upstream.

Keywords: Informal taxes, Congo, trade, corruption, river transport.

Lecturer: Ola Olsson Professor Development Economics, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg http://economics.handels.gu.se/english/about-us/staff?userId=xolola

Date: 3/8/2017

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: The Quality of Government Institute

Location: Stora Skansen (B336) Sprängkullsgatan 19

Contact person: Alice Johansson

Page Manager: Alice Johansson|Last update: 6/10/2016
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