Tax reform and demands for accountability in the philippines

Gabriella R. Montinola, Matthew S. Winters, Masaru Kohno, Ronald D. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In January 2018, soon after he was elected President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte signed a comprehensive tax reform bill. In this paper, a nationwide survey and embedded experiment are used to investigate how ordinary Filipino citizens responded to different possible changes in tax incidence originating in the reform. The survey was conducted a few days prior to the enactment of the legislation. Our survey experiment yielded two noteworthy findings. First, Filipino citizens' interest in gathering information about the government budget and its usage increased when they were explicitly reminded of the possibility that the reform would change their tax burden; importantly, this occurred whether they expected their taxes to increase or decrease. Second, lower class citizens were more motivated than upper class citizens to monitor government when faced with the prospect of major tax burden changes. These findings not only shed light on how ordinary citizens in the Philippines reacted to the impending historic tax reform, but also reveal limits of the conventional fiscal contract conception of the link between taxation and accountability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Southeast Asian Economies
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Experiments
  • Fiscal contract
  • Public opinion
  • The Philippines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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