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 note assesses the relative efficiency of different tax bases in an open economy. If terms of trade effects are large, lump-sum taxation may be inferior to distortionary consumption or wage taxes. This result is demonstrated analytically using a simple neoclassical model. An overlapping generations, general equilibrium, simulation model is then employed to show the empirical significance of the effects involved.