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Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The interaction between domestic political economy and interstate competition

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  • K. Kivanç Karaman
  • Sevket Pamuk

Abstract

Theoretical work on state formation and capacity has focused mostly on early modern Europe and on the experience of western European states during this period. While a number of European states monopolized domestic tax collection and achieved gains in state capacity during the early modern era, for others revenues stagnated or even declined, and these variations motivated alternative hypotheses for determinants of fiscal and state capacity. In this study we test the basic hypotheses in the existing literature making use of the large date set we have compiled for all of the leading states across the continent. We find strong empirical support for two prevailing threads in the literature, arguing respectively that interstate wars and changes in economic structure towards an urbanized economy had positive fiscal impact. Regarding the main point of contention in the theoretical literature, whether it was representative or authoritarian political regimes that facilitated the gains in fiscal capacity, we do not find conclusive evidence that one performed better than the other. Instead, the empirical evidence we have gathered lends supports to the hypothesis that when under pressure of war, the fiscal performance of representative regimes was better in the more urbanized-commercial economies and the fiscal performance of authoritarian regimes was better in rural-agrarian economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Institute, LSE in its series LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series with number 37.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eiq:eileqs:37

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Cited by:
  1. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2014. "Tax farming and the origins of state capacity in England and France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-20.
  2. Dincecco, Mark & Katz, Gabriel, 2012. "State Capacity and Long-Run Performance," MPRA Paper 38299, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Deborah Mabbett, 2011. "A Rights Revolution in Europe? Regulatory and judicial approaches to nondiscrimination in insurance," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 8, London School of Economics / European Institute.
  4. Noel D., Johnson & Mark, Koyama, 2012. "Standardizing the fiscal state: cabal tax farming as an Intermediate Institution in early-modern England and France," MPRA Paper 40403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Mark Dincecco & Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato, 2013. "Military Conflict and the Economic Rise of Urban Europe," Working Papers 7/2013, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Nov 2013.
  6. Francesco Giovannoni & Leandro de Magalhaes, 2012. "War Financing and the Transition from Absolutism to Rule by Parliament," 2012 Meeting Papers 917, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Deborah Mabbett, 2011. "A Rights Revolution in Europe? Regulatory and judicial approaches to nondiscrimination in insurance," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 38, European Institute, LSE.
  8. David Chilosi, 2013. "Risky institutions: political regimes and the cost of public borrowing in early modern Italy," Economic History Working Papers 50815, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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