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We explore the impact of the Ebola epidemic on attitudes toward taxation for development in West Africa. Utilising representative surveys from before and after the peak of the crisis, we estimate the impact of Ebola using both objective (recorded case rates) and self-reported measures of exposure (knowing a friend/relative who was infected with/died from Ebola). In addition, we consider the indirect impact of Ebola on redistributive preferences through disruption to different domains of life, including school, work, social gatherings, and medical care. Our empirical analysis demonstrates that higher levels of Ebola exposure and disruption are associated with greater levels of support for taxation for development.

Begoña Cabeza Martínez

Begoña Cabeza Martínez is a policy analyst at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Shaun Da Costa

Shaun Da Costa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Paris School of Economics.

Image credits
Medics in full safety gear at the entrance to a new isolation unit at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Credit: Simon Davis/DFID