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 surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between taxation and public expenditure and economic growth. Particular attention is paid to the effect of taxation and government expenditure on the supply and productivity of labor and physical capital. Studies suggest that well-targeted government expenditures on health, education, and infrastructure should have a positive impact on growth. By contrast, the impact of taxation on the supplies of labor and capital, and on output growth, is more muted.