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The Russian ‘flat tax’ reform


Ivanova, Anna; Keen, Michael; & Kleem, Alexander (2005). The Russian 'flat tax' reform. Economic Policy, 20(43), 397-444.


In 2001, Russia dramatically reduced its higher rates of personal income tax (PIT), establishing a single marginal rate at the low level of 13%. In the following year, real revenue from the PIT increased by about 26%. This ‘flat tax’ experience has attracted much attention (and emulation), making it perhaps the most important tax reform of recent years. But it has been little studied. This paper asks whether the strong performance of PIT revenue was itself a consequence of this reform, using both macro evidence and, in particular, micro level data on the experiences of individuals and households affected by the reform to varying degrees. It concludes that there is no evidence of a strong supply side effect of the reform. Compliance, however, does appear to have improved quite substantially – by about one third, according to our estimates – though it remains unclear whether this was due to the parametric tax reform or to accompanying changes in enforcement.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economic Policy


Ivanova, Anna
Keen, Michael
Kleem, Alexander