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Fiscal Crisis and Institutional Change in the Ottoman Empire and France

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  • Balla, Eliana
  • Johnson, Noel D.

Abstract

Why is it that some countries adopted growth enhancing institutions earlier than others during the early modern period? We address this question through a comparative study of the evolution of French and Ottoman fiscal institutions. During the sixteenth century, both countries made extensive use of tax farming to collect revenue, however, uncertain property rights caused by fiscal pressure led to different paths of institutional change in each state. In France, tax collectors successfully overcame the collective action costs of imposing constraint on the king. In the Ottoman Empire, tax collectors faced prohibitive transaction costs to organizing in a similar manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Balla, Eliana & Johnson, Noel D., 2009. "Fiscal Crisis and Institutional Change in the Ottoman Empire and France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 809-845, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:69:y:2009:i:03:p:809-845_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Iyigun, Murat & Rubin, Jared, 2017. "The Ideological Roots of Institutional Change," IZA Discussion Papers 10703, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "Legal centralization and the birth of the secular state," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 959-978.
    3. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2017. "States and economic growth: Capacity and constraints," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Ma, Debin & Rubin, Jared, 2019. "The Paradox of Power: Principal-agent problems and administrative capacity in Imperial China (and other absolutist regimes)," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 277-294.
    5. Mark Koyama, 2013. "Timur Kuran: The long divergence: how Islamic law held back the Middle East," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 341-343, March.
    6. Jared Rubin & Debin Ma, 2017. "The Paradox of Power: Understanding Fiscal Capacity in Imperial China and Absolutist Regimes," Working Papers 17-02, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    7. 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.
    8. Raphael Franck & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2017. "Emigration during the French Revolution: Consequences in the Short and Longue Durée," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 2, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. Johnson, Noel, 2015. "Taxes, National Identity, and Nation Building: Evidence from France," MPRA Paper 63598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Yasin Arslantaş & Antoine Pietri & Mehrdad Vahabi, 2020. "State predation in historical perspective: the case of Ottoman müsadere practice during 1695–1839," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 182(3), pages 417-442, March.
    11. 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.
    12. M. Shahid Ebrahim & Seema Makhdoomi & Mustapha Sheikh, 2012. "The Political Economy and the Perennial Underdevelopment of the Muslim World," Working Papers 12011, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    13. Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2014. "Taxes, Lawyers, and the Decline of Witch Trials in France," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 77-112.
    14. Ayse Y. Evrensel & Tiffany Minx, 2017. "An institutional approach to the decline of the Ottoman Empire," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1380248-138, January.
    15. Jared Rubin & Elira Karaja, 2017. "The Cultural Transmission of Trust Norms: Evidence from a Lab in the Field on a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 17-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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