cross national data

The most recent version of the Government Revenue Dataset - released in July 2017 - is open and free to use. The primary data file (core dataset) is available for download in two formats and can be downloaded from UNU-WIDER, which now hosts an maintains the GRD.

The GRD contains data on a range of policy-relevant indicators, allowing for analysis of revenue and tax trends over time at the regional or country level. Where possible, figures are also expressed both inclusive and exclusive of natural resource revenues, which helps to overcome a major obstacle to cross-country comparisons in existing data sources.

Further information about the GRD, including the User Guide and additional documents, are available on the UNU-WIDER website


The past decade has seen dramatically increased attention to questions related to taxation and revenue in developing countries, from both policymakers and researchers. However, the quality of available cross-country tax and revenue data has remained seriously deficient, potentially leading to highly flawed research results and misplaced policy advice. The ICTD GRD was created and launched in September 2014 by the ICTD at the Center for Global Development, Washington D.C.  The goal was to provide a solid basis for more reliable, and comparable, cross-country tax research.

It was accompanied by a series of Working Papers demonstrating the value of the new data in updating, and in sometimes significantly altering, existing research findings.  A summary of that work has subsequently been published in World Development, with individual papers also now reaching publication.

The Working Paper describing the construction of the dataset is The ICTD Government Revenue Dataset, ICTD Working Paper 19

The following are the first original Working Papers that employed the GRD:

1. Foreign Aid and Domestic Taxation: Multiple Sources, One Conclusion , ICTD Working Paper 20

2. Aid and Taxation: Exploring the Relationship Using New Data, ICTD Working Paper 21

3. Tax Structures, Economic Growth and Development, ICTD Working Paper 22

4. Taxation, Non-Tax Revenue and Democracy: New Evidence Using New Cross-Country Data, ICTD Working Paper 23

5. Electoral Competitiveness, Political Budget Cycles and Taxation in Developing Countries, ICTD Working Paper 24

Using the GRD

Please cite the dataset as ICTD/UNU-WIDER, 'Government Revenue Dataset', (version date)

If you have questions about accessing the GRD, please contact the database manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have specific research questions about the GRD, please contact Kyle McNabb at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please email the titles of any publications that employ GRD data to the ICTD's Publications Manager, Camilla Walsh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..