An Analysis of the Effects of Taxation on Income Inequalities in WAEMU

Authors: Pouwemdéou Tchila and Mawussé Komlangan Nézan Okey

ISSN: 2709-8575
Affiliations: Chef section des analyses conjoncturelles à l’Office Togolais des Recettes (OTR) et membre de l’équipe de recherche en économie institutionnelle (ERECI), Université de Lomé-Togo; Maître de conférence agrégé, Chef de département d’économie et responsable de l’équipe de recherche en économie institutionnelle (ERECI), Université de Lomé-Togo
Source: African Multidisciplinary Tax Journal, 2022 Issue 1, p. 61-82


This article analyses the potential effect that tax instruments have on income inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa particularly in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Tax instruments are represented by various types of levies and taxes whereas income inequalities are estimated by the Gini index. Using the generalised method of moments over the period from 1990 to 2017, the results demonstrate that value-added tax, excise duties, and port charges have no effect on income inequalities whereas personal income tax and corporate income tax improve income distribution in the WAEMU. However, the globalisation of economies reverses the effect of corporate income tax. Moreover, tax progressivity reduces inequalities while the tax structure has no significant effect on income inequalities. To this end, the study recommends using direct and progressive tax instruments for the fight against inequalities. Similarly, the fight against aggressive tax optimisation must take a central stage in tax policies within an economy that is increasingly open to multinational companies.