n South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - A macroeconomic approach to estimating effective tax rates in South Africa

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8812
  • E-ISSN: 2222-3436



Using data contained in South Africa's national accounts and revenue statistics, this paper constructs time-series of effective tax rates for consumption, capital income, and labour income. The macroeconomic approach allows for a detailed breakdown of tax revenue accruing to general government and the corresponding aggregate tax bases. The methodology used also yields effective rate estimates that can be considered as being consistent with tax distortions faced by a representative economic agent within a general equilibrium framework. Correlation analysis reveals that savings (as a percentage of GDP) is negatively correlated with both capital income and labour income tax rates. Investment (as a percentage of GDP) is positively correlated with the capital income tax rate, an outcome suggestive of the direct relationship between volatile capital inflows into South Africa and capital tax revenue.

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