Systematic Review on economic impacts of mobiles and implications for tax debate

LIRNEasia has  completed a Systematic Review on the economic benefits of mobiles. The method is outlined in the slideset and the findings in the policy brief.

The question of whether mobiles have positive economic benefits underlies the debate on taxation. There is justification for imposing “sin taxes” on demerit goods such as smoking because they have negative externalities.  If positive externalities can be shown, the opposite argument comes in. At the minimum, government should not impose additional taxes.

An illustration of how this could be used is this piece in Bangladesh’s leading English Daily: