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The evolution of the state and taxation: role of agriculture

  • Richard Grabowski
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze those conditions which determine whether the state will be developmental or predatory. Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical model is developed to analyze those factors influencing state policy towards agriculture. Then the historical experiences of China, Japan, and Sub-Saharan Africa are used to illustrate the workings of the model. Findings – A necessary condition for growth promoting (poverty reducing) policy reforms, with respect to agriculture, is that a technological backlog must exist in agriculture. Practical implications – International organizations can play an important role in helping to create the necessary condition for effective reform. Significant investment in regional agricultural research institutions must be made so as to create a technological backlog in agriculture. Social implications – Investment in agricultural research has been declining. Thus, the availability of new technology has lessened. This poses an obstacle to rapid growth and poverty reduction. This paper seeks to refocus the attention of policy makers on agriculture. Originality/value – This paper develops a theory to explain how and when states in developing countries are likely to become developmental. The ideas are illustrated by the experiences of parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. These results will be useful to domestic policy makers in developing countries as well as the policy makers in international organizations.

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    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1446-8956&volume=10&issue=3&articleid=1950893&show=abstract
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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Development Issues.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 188-203

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:10:y:2011:i:3:p:188-203
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    1. Alejandro Nin-Pratt & Bingxin Yu & Shenggen Fan, 2010. "Comparisons of agricultural productivity growth in China and India," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 209-223, June.
    2. Fan, Shenggen & Chan-Kang, Connie & Qian, Keming & Krishnaiah, K., 2003. "National and international agricultural research and rural poverty: the case of rice research in India and China," EPTD discussion papers 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Kelley, Allen C. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1971. "Writing History Backwards: Meiji Japan Revisited," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(04), pages 729-776, December.
    4. Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Tax Structure in Developing Countries: Many Puzzles and a Possible Explanation," NBER Working Papers 11267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Henry J. Bruton, 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 903-936, June.
    6. Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    7. Daniel K.N. Johnson & Robert E. Evenson, 2000. "How Far Away Is Africa? Technological Spillovers to Agriculture and Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 743-749.
    8. Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Yu, Bingxin, 2008. "An updated look at the recovery of agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 787, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Bezemer, Dirk J & Headey, Derek, 2007. "Agriculture, Development and Urban Bias," MPRA Paper 7026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. G�ran Therborn & K.C. Ho, 2009. "Introduction," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 53-62, March.
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