Taxation and Accountability: How to Improve the State-Citizen Social Contract Through Taxation

30th September 2019
Author: Evert-jan Quak

This rapid review synthesises the literature from academic, policy, and knowledge institution sources on how taxation can be effectively used as an instrument for accountability and responsiveness by governments in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The review concludes that there is sufficient evidence that links taxation with accountability. However, this does not mean that such outcomes are always guaranteed; taxation does not automatically translate into higher government responsiveness and accountability through tax bargaining processes in which citizens and business actors engage with state actors. For a positive outcome to happen, tax policy and donor-led interventions need to focus merely on building forums where tax bargaining can happen, civil society support, tax communication strategies towards citizens, strengthening taxpayers’ rights, horizontal equity in tax collection, and strengthen direct taxes.

Suggested Citation

Quak, E. (2019). Taxation and accountability: how to improve the state-citizen social contract through. K4D Helpdesk Report No 663. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


30th September 2019


Continent: Global