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Tax Collection in History

Author

Listed:
  • Metin M. CoÅŸgel

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut, thomas.miceli@uconn.edu)

Abstract

This article examines the rich variety of tax collection methods that have been employed throughout history. Three general categories have been observed: share contracts, rent contracts, and wage contracts, which differ depending on whether the government needs to measure the actual tax collected, the tax base, or the collector's effort, respectively. We develop a principal—agent model that seeks to explain the choice among these forms based on collector incentives, the value of state-specific collection effort, and measurement costs. We then review the actual use of the various forms in light of the model, both across countries and over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Metin M. CoÅŸgel & Thomas J. Miceli, 2009. "Tax Collection in History," Public Finance Review, , vol. 37(4), pages 399-420, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:399-420
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
    2. Mikael Priks, 2005. "Optimal Rent Extraction in Pre-Industrial England and France – Default Risk and Monitoring Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 1464, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Umberto Galmarini & Simone Pellegrino & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2014. "The runaway taxpayer," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(3), pages 468-497, June.
    3. Coşgel, Metin M. & Etkes, Haggay & Miceli, Thomas J., 2011. "Private law enforcement, fine sharing, and tax collection: Theory and historical evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 546-552.
    4. 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.
    5. Cosgel, Metin & Miceli, Thomas & Ahmed, Rasha, 2009. "Law, state power, and taxation in Islamic history," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 704-717, September.
    6. Belev, Sergei & Zolotareva, Anna & Malayrev, Aleksandr & Sokolov, Ilya, 2015. "Structural Alternatives to the Tax Administration," Published Papers mn13, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax collection; tax farming; share contracts; rent contracts; wage contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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