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How Does Neopatrimonialism Affect the African State? The Case of Tax Collection in Zambia

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  • Christian von Soest

    ()
    (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)

Abstract

Following the neopatrimonialism paradigm, it can be hypothesised that in African states informal politics of the rulers infringe on the collection of taxes and in turn reduce state revenues. This article tests this proposition for the case of Zambia. The main finding is that there is no linear correlation between a neopatrimonial system and the collection of taxes. Neopatrimonial continuity in the country is evidenced by three factors; the concentration of political power, the award of personal favours and the misuse of state resources. De-spite this continuity, the revenue performance has increased considerably with the crea-tion of the semi-autonomous Zambia Revenue Authority. This demonstrates that the effect of neopatrimonialism on public policy in the African state is highly context-specific and dependent on the interaction with additional variables. Donor pressure has been the most important in the Zambian case. In order to apply neopatrimonialism for further empirical work on public policy in the African state, these additional variables have to be incorpo-rated into the analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 32.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:32

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Keywords: Neopatrimonialism; collection of revenue; tax systems; Zambia; African state; donors;

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  1. Bates, Robert H & Collier, Paul, 1995. "The Politics and Economics of Policy Reform in Zambia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 4(1), pages 115-43, May.
  2. Gero Erdmann & Ulf Engel, 2006. "Neopatrimonialism Revisited - Beyond a Catch-All Concept," GIGA Working Paper Series, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies 17, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  3. World Bank, 2003. "Zambia : Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14695, The World Bank.
  4. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Zambia," IMF Staff Country Reports, International Monetary Fund 05/137, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2002. "Fighting fiscal corruption: The case of the Tanzania Revenue Authority," CMI Working Papers, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway WP 2002:3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
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Cited by:
  1. Patrick Francois & Ilia Rainer & Francesco Trebbi, 2014. "The Dictator's Inner Circle," NBER Working Papers 20216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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