Norms, Power, and the Socially Embedded Realities of Market Taxation in Northern Ghana
van den Boogaard, Vanessa
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This article provides a ground-level view of market taxation in two local government areas in Ghana’s relatively disadvantaged northern region. It describes a system shaped by informal practices that are grounded in social relationships and collective norms, which sometimes foster greater equity and in other cases serve to reinforce existing inequalities. The evidence suggests the need for a more nuanced understanding of the highly informal and socially embedded realities of local tax collection, and the possibility that improved outcomes could be achieved by “working with the grain” of these inescapable local realities, while seeking to minimize potential costs of informality.