• Working Paper

Mapping Tax Compliance: Unpacking the Social, Economic, Political and Network Drivers of Tax Compliance in Freetown, Sierra Leone


Drawing on detailed administrative and survey data related to the introduction of a novel property tax reform program in Freetown, Sierra Leone, this paper investigates drivers of compliance behaviour across the city. Drawing on survey data, it explores the links between political affiliations, attitudes toward taxation and socioeconomic characteristics and compliance behaviour. Administrative data then allows us to investigate whether key trends are similarly reflected at the neighbourhood level: does compliance vary based on the political affiliation and socioeconomic characteristics of particular areas, and do those neighbourhood effects appear to reinforce individual level dynamics? In order to further explore the potential impact of neighbourhood dynamics on compliance behaviour we then explore whether we observe geographic clustering in the timing and extent of compliance across the city. Ultimately, we find evidence of significant impacts of political affiliation and socioeconomic characteristics on compliance well, more novel, find evidence of significant neighbourhood dynamics in driving compliance behaviour. We conclude by advancing potential explanations for those neighbourhood dynamics in order to guide future research.


Abou Bakarr Kamara

Kevin Grieco

Niccolo Meriggi


Publication Details

Wilson Prichard


Dr Wilson Prichard is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and Department of Political Science, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Executive Director of the ICTD and Chair of the LoGRI program. His research focuses on the political economy of tax reform in lower-income countries and the relationship between taxation and citizen demands for improved governance in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.  He is the authors of Taxation, Responsiveness and Accountability in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Dynamics of Tax Bargaining (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Taxing Africa: Coercion, Reform and Development (Zed Press, 2018) and Innovations in Tax Compliance: Building Trust, Navigating Politics and Tailoring Reform (World Bank, 2022), along with a range of academic articles.


All Contributions