Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption: American States and Constitutional Change, 1842 to 1852
AbstractBetween 1842 and 1852, eleven states adopted new constitutions, simultaneously creating procedures for issuing government debt and for chartering corporations through general incorporation acts. Why simultaneously? Voters wanted geographically specific infrastructure investments but opposed geographically widespread taxation. States resolved the dilemma by developing several innovative public finance schemes. One, taxless finance, used borrowed funds and special corporate privileges without raising current taxes. Another scheme, benefit taxation, coordinated the incidence of taxes with the geographic benefits of investments through the property tax. After the fiscal crisis of the early 1840s, states changed their constitutions to eliminate taxless finance in the future.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
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- Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2013. "Revisiting American Exceptionalism: Business Organizational Forms and Corporate Governance in Comparative Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: Enterprising America: Business, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- C. Randall Henning & Martin Kessler, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism: US History for Architects of Europe's Fiscal Union," Working Paper Series WP12-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Wallis, John Joseph, 2011. "Institutions, organizations, impersonality, and interests: The dynamics of institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 48-64, June.
- Canuto, Otaviano & Liu, Lili, 2013. "Subnational Debt, Insolvency, and Market Development," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 112, pages 1-7, April.
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