Francisco Garfias Royo

2020 Hellman Fellow

Assistant Professor, GPS
UC San Diego

Project title: The Fiscal Contract up Close: Experimental Evidence from Mexico City

Project description: No government can perfectly enforce tax revenue collection. For this reason, administrations routinely rely on voluntary compliance by taxpayers. it creates an opportunity for citizens to hold their governments accountable: in exchange for voluntary compliance with their tax obligations, citizens can demand policy or public services (Bates and Lien 1985; Levi 1989; Timmons 2005). Such a fiscal contract, in which government and citizens exchange services for compliance, has the potential to strengthen government accountability and simultaneously raise the required tax revenue to fund valuable public goods. Still, deficient fiscal accountabil- ity and low tax compliance remain pervasive, especially in medium- and low-income countries (e.g., Besley and Persson 2014).