Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, CASE Reports, CASE Network Studies and Analyses, taxes, Trade, economic integration and globalization, transition economies

A Short Play on the Idea of Laffer Curve in Transition Economies


Very strong emotions have accompanied the idea of the Laffer Curve from the very beginning. This simple analysis does not try to solve the discussion. The author has constructed the (TBI-Tax Burden Index), a special measure of taxes. The special feature of this measure is that it tries to take into account both tax rates and tax ceilings while measuring the average taxation. The ensuing analysis gives us some evidence of the presence of some kind of the Laffer-like relationship in countries analysed. It shows that the Laffer Curve for these three countries can be bell shaped. On the other hand this relationship does not seem to play an important role in determining budget revenues in these countries. It seems that differences in revenues among countries are more the result of other factors specific to each country. Therefore, even if the main objective of a government is to maximize revenues, it should not pay to much attention to this issue, it would do much better trying to make tax system as simple as possible, minimizing both incentives and possibilities for tax evasion and tax avoidance.