Upcoming African Studies Talk! 10/27 @ noon

“The Origins of Voluntary Compliance: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria”

with Adrienne Lebas (American University)

Monday 10/27 @ noon in PAC 004

How do states convince citizens to pay tax? Rather than
focusing on enforcement, most accounts emphasize voluntary or
“quasi-voluntary” compliance as an essential element in successful tax
regimes. There remains, however, limited understanding of how
voluntary tax compliance and the societal norms supporting it emerge.

This is an important issue in sub-Saharan Africa, where low reliance
on taxation is presumed to contribute to corruption and a lack of
government accountability. Prof. Lebas uses novel public opinion data
from urban Nigeria to examine why individuals adopt pro-compliance
norms. We find that citizens respond to state delivery of services,
but tax attitudes are also shaped by their access to services or “club
goods” provided by non-state actors.