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2nd World Bank Tax Conference: Taxing Personal Income and Wealth in Developing Countries

September 24-25, 2020

Virtual Format


COVID-19/Coronavirus Notice:

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have decided to switch the conference to a fully virtual format and have rescheduled to September 24-25, 2020. Future updates will be posted here. Thank you for your understanding.


This conference will bring together leading researchers and policymakers to discuss recent research on taxing personal income and wealth with relevance for developing countries. The conference will feature a keynote address by Wojciech Kopczuk, Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, research presentations and academic discussions, and a special session dedicated to shorter presentations of early-stage work. A brainstorming session on potential new projects will facilitate interactions between researchers and policymakers and the testing of innovative research ideas with high policy relevance. A unique feature of the conference will be the blending of frontier academic research with the practical experience of policymakers.

  • Individual income taxes are a major source of government revenue in high-income countries, and the primary tool for redistribution via the tax system. In lower-income countries, however, taxing individual income and wealth can be challenging. Many individuals in the lower part of the income distribution operate outside of the formal sector, while those in the upper part of the distribution often have diverse sources of non-wage income that can be de jure or de facto untaxed. These personal tax collection challenges can lead to a critical shortfall in government revenue, hampering the state’s ability to fund essential development programs and reduce inequalities.

    The conference will be hosted by the World Bank Group in conjunction with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK Department for International Development, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Office of Tax Policy Research at the Michigan Ross School of Business, and Columbia University.

    This is the second event in an annual series of conferences on taxation issues in developing countries. The first conference in the series, The Value Added of Value-Added Taxes, was held in Washington, D.C., on May 9-10, 2019.

    For all conference enquiries, please contact Megan Breece at mbreece@worldbank.org

  • Full agenda coming soon.