Progressive Taxation of Extractive Resources as Second-Best Optimal Policy

Author/Editor:

Jean-François Wen

Publication Date:

June 13, 2018

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The paper provides a critical review of the literature on the concept of progressivity in the taxation of petroleum and mineral resources and offers a fresh perspective on its purpose and measurement. Regressive taxes, such as royalties, exist to satisfy policy objectives other than revenue maximization, such as achieving early revenues, while rent-based or profit-sensitive fiscal instruments must be designed with progressive marginal rates to maximize government revenues. Hence, the emphasis should be placed on tax rate progression of the direct taxation of profit or rent, rather than progressivity in the overall government take. However, as regressive taxes, by their very nature, tend to be distortionary, the optimal degree of progression in the rent- or profit-tax rates must take these distortions into account. The central ideas are illustrated with a simple analytical model in which a second-best optimal tax rate schedule on profit is characterized in the presence of the tax distortions caused by the regressive taxes. Some practical implications of the analysis are discussed.

Series:

Working Paper No. 18/130

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

June 13, 2018

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484361627/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2018130

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

32

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