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Source: Myanmar Governance Network
The social contract, preferences for redistribution, and tax morale
12.30–1.30pm 17 January 2018
David Doyle, Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford; Gerard McCarthy Doctoral Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University (ANU); Associate Director of ANU Myanmar Research Centre.

Taxation is central to the social contract between citizens and the state. Yet little research has explored the relationship in developing countries between individual attitudes towards the social contract and perceptions of tax fairness and efficacy.

This seminar draws on experimental research with informal sector workers in Mexico and a unique survey on taxation and social protection in Myanmar to help advance the debate. Focusing on individual perceptions, we show that in contexts of high informality and weak state capacity, reciprocity and individual preferences for redistribution shape tax morale. We point to the centrality of fairness, finding that tax morale is lower when individuals have stepped outside of the social contract and the welfare state through reliance on private insurance or informal reciprocity mechanisms. Furthermore, we present evidence that individuals are less willing to pay taxes when they doubt the redistributive capacity of the state or know the rich will ultimately benefit.

David Doyle is an Associate Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Latin American Centre and a Fellow of St Hugh’s College. He is the co-convener of the European Consortium for Policitcal Research Standing Group on Latin American Politics and an Associate Editor of the journal Oxford Development Studies.

Gerard McCarthy is a doctoral fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change at The Australian National University and Associate Director of ANU Myanmar Research Centre. He has advised and consulted for a range of agencies including International Growth Centre Myanmar, United States Institute of Peace and the Carter Centre.

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Rakia, 20, and her daughter, Nafissa, 3, Niger, 2005. Photo © Nick Danziger
Lives in times of war, famine and civil unrest
5.30–6.30pm 12 February 2018
Nick Danziger, Author, Photojournalist and Film-maker.

Nick Danziger is one of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Much of his life has been dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times in best-selling books, award-winning documentaries and photography.

In this lecture, Nick will provide a human face to development issues and share his experiences documenting the lives of people in some of the poorest countries of the world. Nick will also give insights into his own life and career, his advocacy efforts, and reflections on the global development agenda as seen from the ground.

Some of Nick’s stories will draw on his Revisited 2005-2010-2015 project, which will be exhibited in Canberra at ANU Drill Hall Gallery from Thursday 15 February to Sunday 8 April 2018 with the support of the Development Policy Centre. Revisited tracks communities and individuals in eight countries across four continents over ten years to assemble a stark and extraordinary portrait of life on the fringes. The lecture will be followed by an advance viewing of the exhibition, and a cocktail reception.

This event forms part of the 2018 Australasian Aid Conference. This event is free and open to the public — for details on the rest of the conference, which requires registration, visit http://bit.ly/2w2FCY6.

Nick Danziger’s photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines worldwide, toured museums and galleries internationally, and are held in numerous collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, London. He has won many awards for his outstanding photojournalism, including an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society, and the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award in recognition of raising public understanding of contemporary social, political and environmental issues through documentary films and photography.

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