Long-run equilibrium between personal income tax and economic growth in Bulgaria

Stoyan Tanchev


The study analyzes the relationship of personal income tax and economic growth in the long and short runs to show which type of income tax (progressive or proportional) is more compatible with Bulgaria’s economic growth. The methods of Vector Error Correction and Correlation are applied to determine the long-run and short-run impacts of the two types of income tax. The research covers the period from the first quarter of 1999 to the first quarter of 2020. Eurostat data (85 observations) were used. The empirical research has been divided into two periods. The long-run and short-run relationships between economic growth and tax revenue from progressive income tax in Bulgaria have first been studied, followed by the relationship between economic growth and the tax revenue from proportional income tax. The research results show that there is a long-run equilibrium relationship, but not a short-run relationship, between personal income tax and economic growth. The results imply that the progressive income tax is more compatible with economic growth than proportional income tax in Bulgaria in the long run. In the short run, the progressive income tax and proportional income tax have not shown statistically significant relationships with economic growth. Therefore, a progressive income tax leads to greater economic growth than a proportional income tax. From a long-run equilibrium standpoint, it is advisable that Bulgaria switch from proportional to progressive income taxation. It may be inferred that progressive taxation is more appropriate for economic growth than proportional taxation. The results are in conformity with the theory of endogenic growth and reject the neoclassical theory.

For citation

Tanchev S. Long-run equilibrium between personal income tax and economic growth in Bulgaria. Journal of Tax Reform. 2021;7(1):55–67. DOI: 10.15826/jtr.2021.7.1.090

Article info

Received February 8, 2021; Revised March 2, 2021; Accepted April 8, 2021


personal income tax, tax policy, long-run equilibrium, economic growth


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