Paying taxes without receiving services:  informal settlements in Lagos

Nicole Wilson and Leah Rosenzweig publish paper in Studies in Comparative International Development



Community in an informal settlement along the lagoon waterfront in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo credit: Nicole Wilson

In research published in Studies in Comparative International Development, MIT GOV/LAB researchers Nicole Wilson (PhD student) and Leah Rosenzweig (PhD'18) surveyed residents in informal settlements in Lagos, Nigeria to better understand what motivates them to pay and be willing to pay taxes.  Rosenzweig is the director and lead researcher at the Development Innovation Lab at the University of Chicago and a research affiliate at MIT GOV/LAB, which funded the survey.

Though residents reported that governments neglect to provide basic services in informal settlements, over a quarter of residents still pay taxes. People's ties to the community more strongly predict tax payment and morale than their relationship to government does.

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