The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides an assessment of the poverty and social impact of replacing Ethiopia's sales tax with a value-added tax (VAT). The results indicate that this reform has not had a major adverse effect on the poorest 40 percent of the population. The VAT is progressive in its incidence, and the higher revenues brought about by the VAT can provide additional funds for poverty-reducing spending, including primary education. At the same time, there is significant scope for making education spending more pro-poor by increasing the access of low-income households to schools.