Taxes, lawyers, and the decline of witch trials in France
AbstractThis paper explores the rise of the fiscal state in the early modern period and its impact on legal capacity. To measure legal capacity, we establish that witchcraft trials were more likely to take place where the central state had weak legal insti- tutions. Combining data on the geographic distribution of witchcraft trials with unique panel data on tax receipts across 21 French regions, we find that the rise of the tax state can account for much of the decline in witch trials during this period. Further historical evidence supports our hypothesis that higher taxes led to better legal institutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34266.
Date of creation: 21 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Rule of Law; Witchcraft; France; Institutions; Fiscal Capacity; Legal Capacity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K0 - Law and Economics - - General
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CIS-2011-10-22 (Confederation of Independent States)
- NEP-HIS-2011-10-22 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAW-2011-10-22 (Law & Economics)
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