Taxes, Lawyers, and the Decline of Witch Trials in France
How is rule of law established? We address this question by exploring the effect of increases in fiscal capacity on the establishment of well-enforced, formal, legal standards in a preindustrial economy. Between 1550 and 1700, there were over 2,000 witch trials in France. Prosecuting a witch required local judges to significantly deviate from formal rules of evidence. Hence, we exploit the significant variation across time and space in witch trials and fiscal capacity across French regions between 1550 and 1700 to show that increases in fiscal capacity were associated with increased adherence to the formal rule of law. As fiscal capacity increased, local judges increasingly upheld de jure rules, and the frequency of witch trials declined.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Emily Oster, 2004. "Witchcraft, Weather and Economic Growth in Renaissance Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 215-228, Winter.
- Johnson, Noel D., 2006. "Banking on the King: The Evolution of the Royal Revenue Farms in Old Regime France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(04), pages 963-991, December.
- Saumitra Jha, 2015. "Financial Asset Holdings and Political Attitudes: Evidence from Revolutionary England," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1485-1545.
- Dincecco, Mark & Federico, Giovanni & Vindigni, Andrea, 2011. "Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 887-914, December.
- Komlos, John & Hau, Michel & Bourginat, Nicolas, 2003.
"An Anthropometric History of Early-Modern France,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
54, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Dincecco, Mark, 2010. "Fragmented authority from Ancien Régime to modernity: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 305-328, September.
- Dan Bogart & Gary Richardson, 2008. "Making Property Productive: Reorganizing Rights to Real and Equitable Estates in Britain, 1660 to 1830," NBER Working Papers 14107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000.
"States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start,"
2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
- Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004.
"Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in The Process of Economic Development,"
2004-04, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Early Starts, Reversals and Catch-up in the Process of Economic Development," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 387-413, 06.
- Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, . "Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in the Process of Economic Development," Departmental Working Papers 2005-06, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
- Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in The Process of Economic Development," Development and Comp Systems 0408016, EconWPA.
- Dincecco, Mark, 2009. "Fiscal Centralization, Limited Government, and Public Revenues in Europe, 1650–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 48-103, March.
- 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(03), pages 809-845, September.
- Bogart, Dan & Richardson, Gary, 2009. "Making property productive: reorganizing rights to real and equitable estates in Britain, 1660–1830," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 3-30, April.
- Patrick O'Brien, 2011. "The nature and historical evolution of an exceptional fiscal state and its possible significance for the precocious commercialization and industrialization of the British economy from Cromwell to Nels," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(2), pages 408-446, 05.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/674900. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.