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Decentralized coercion and self-restraint in provincial taxation: The Ottoman Empire, 15th-16th centuries

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  • Karaman, Kamil KIvanç

Abstract

For technological reasons the central administration of a state may want to entrust to provincial delegates the dual tasks of extracting provincial resources and converting them into coercive force. This article establishes that the coercive threat that the delegates pose may make the administration cap the amount they extract. The cap will cause the state not to internalize the marginal benefits of provincial economic development. It will also induce inefficient economic policies. The identified institutional setup is consistent with the political regime, economic policy, and legislation of the Ottoman Empire during its classical age.

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  • Karaman, Kamil KIvanç, 2009. "Decentralized coercion and self-restraint in provincial taxation: The Ottoman Empire, 15th-16th centuries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 690-703, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:3:p:690-703
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. K. Kivanç Karaman & Sevket Pamuk, 2011. "Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The interaction between domestic political economy and interstate competition," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 7, London School of Economics / European Institute.
    3. Rubin, Jared, 2014. "Centralized institutions and cascades," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 340-357.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

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