IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/intorg/v64y2010i04p529-561_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Conscription of Wealth: Mass Warfare and the Demand for Progressive Taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Scheve, Kenneth
  • Stasavage, David

Abstract

The dominant narrative of the politics of redistribution in political science and economics highlights the signature role of the rise of electoral democracy and the development of political parties that mobilize working-class groups. We argue in this article that this narrative ignores the critical role played by mass warfare in the development of redistributive public policies. Focusing attention on the determinants of progressive taxation, we argue that mobilization for mass warfare led to demands for increased taxation of the wealthy to more fairly distribute the burden for the war effort. We then show empirically that during the past century, mass mobilization for war has been associated with a notable increase in tax progressivity. In the absence of war, neither the establishment of universal suffrage, nor the arrival of political control by parties of the left is systematically associated with large increases in tax progressivity. In making these arguments, we devote particular attention to a “difference-in-differences†comparison of participants and nonparticipants in World War I.

Suggested Citation

  • Scheve, Kenneth & Stasavage, David, 2010. "The Conscription of Wealth: Mass Warfare and the Demand for Progressive Taxation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 529-561, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:64:y:2010:i:04:p:529-561_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0020818310000226/type/journal_article
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:64:y:2010:i:04:p:529-561_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/ino .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.