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Towards a Fiscal Sociology of Latin America

Authors:

Jorge Atria ,

Universidad Mayor / Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES), CL
About Jorge
Jorge Atria is is Assistant Professor at the Centro de Economía y Políticas Sociales, Universidad Mayor (Chile), and Adjunct Researcher at the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES). His research interests include inequality, taxation and redistribution, elites, and economic sociology.
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Andrés Biehl,

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, CL
About Andrés
Andrés Biehl is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Researcher in the Millennium Nucleus for the Study of Vulnerability and the Life Course (MLIV). His current work examines the connection between taxation and labor markets in Latin America from a historical and sociological perspective.
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José Tomás Labarca

University of Edinburgh, GB
About José Tomás
José Tomás Labarca holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Currently, he is a PhD researcher in sociology at the School of Social and Political Science of the University of Edinburgh. His research interests relate to historical sociology, comparative economic and political sociology, sovereign debt and taxation. His work has been published in journals such as Latin American Research Review (LARR), Revista Mexicana de Sociología, and European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (ERLACS).
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Abstract

Tax systems in Latin America are characterized by low collection, a higher incidence of regressive taxes and mechanisms, little redistribution, and poor compliance. Policymakers and international organizations have proposed reforms across the region with the aim of increasing revenue for social expenditures and sustainable growth. These challenges, how-ever, are not new: Latin American countries have historically tried to build effective and egalitarian tax systems. This article illuminates the relationships between individual and state whereby citizenship and social cohesion take central stage. To do this, it examines different strands of literature and suggests new avenues for research. The article explores three dimensions of the social relations underpinning taxation: the building of citizenship through cooperation, the role of interest groups in the design and implementation of fiscal policy, and the resulting building of state capacity. These three relational dimensions open a research agenda on a fiscal sociology in Latin America, focusing on the social relationships that sustain and are created by fiscal arrangements.


Resumen: Hacia una sociología fiscal de América Latina
Los sistemas tributarios en América Latina se caracterizan por una baja recaudación, una mayor incidencia de impuestos y mecanismos regresivos, poca redistribución y un bajo cumplimiento. Los  diseñadores de políticas y las organizaciones internacionales han pro-puesto reformas en la región con el objetivo de aumentar los ingresos para gastos sociales y un crecimiento sostenible. Sin embargo, estos desafíos no son nuevos: los países latinoamericanos históricamente han tratado de construir sistemas tributarios efectivos e igualitarios. Este artículo ilumina las relaciones entre el individuo y el estado donde la ciudadanía y la cohesión social toman un lugar central. Con este objetivo, examina diferentes corrientes de la literatura y sugiere nuevas vías para investigaciones futuras. El artículo explora tres di-mensiones de las relaciones sociales que sustentan la tributación: la construcción de la ciu-dadanía a través de la cooperación, el papel de los grupos de interés en el diseño y la imple-mentación de la política fiscal, y la resultante construcción de la capacidad estatal. Estas tres dimensiones relacionales abren una agenda de investigación sobre temas fiscales a través del foco de la sociología fiscal en América Latina, centrándose en las relaciones sociales que sostienen y son creadas por los arreglos fiscales.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10451
How to Cite: Atria, J., Biehl, A., & Labarca, J. T. (2019). Towards a Fiscal Sociology of Latin America. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (107), 139–150. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10451
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Published on 18 Jun 2019.
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