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Tax Collection in History

  • Metin M. CoÅŸgel

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Thomas J. Miceli

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

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.

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File URL: http://pfr.sagepub.com/content/37/4/399.abstract
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Article provided by in its journal Public Finance Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 399-420

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Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:399-420
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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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