Do democracies tax more? Political regime type and taxation

Garcia, Maria Melody / Christian von Haldenwang
External Publications (2015)

in: Journal of International Development 28 (4), 485–506

A growing body of literature suggests that political regime type matters in determining taxation. However, research on the relationship of political regimes to taxation yields mixed results. To what extent does the democratic or authoritarian character of the polity impact on the level of taxation? The paper investigates the relationship between political regimes and tax-to-gross domestic product ratio, using a panel dataset of 131 countries and covering the period 1990–2008. Findings suggest that the character of the polity affects taxation, but there is no linear trend in favour of democracy. Rather, the results indicate a U-shaped relationship between polity and tax ratio.

About the author

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Scientist


Further experts

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Burni, Aline

Political Science 

Dafe, Florence

Social Scientist 

Fiedler, Charlotte

Political Scientist 

Grävingholt, Jörn

Political Scientist 

Gudibande, Rohan


Hilbrich, Sören


Laudage, Sabine


Leininger, Julia

Political Scientist 

Mross, Karina

Political Scientist 

Sommer, Christoph


Sudermann, Yannick

Human Geography and Political Science 

Wingens, Christopher

Political Scientiest 

Ziaja, Sebastian

Political Scientist