The Nordic Africa Institute

Research at a glance

Will carrot or stick make Ethiopians pay tax?

A man behind a window and another window full of briefcases for sale.

A man working behind a window at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa. Photo: Alexander Farnsworth

Date • 4 Dec 2019

Is carrot or stick the best way to make people pay tax? Researcher Firew Bekele made an experiment to find out the answer, sending two different types of letters to Ethiopian businesses. One with threats about legal penalties for those who refuse to pay tax, the other with a persuasive message about how tax payers can help to build the country by financing infrastructure projects and public services.