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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004.
"Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in The Process of Economic Development,"
Development and Comp Systems
- 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," Working Papers 2004-04, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Komlos, John, 2003.
"An anthropometric history of early-modern France,"
European Review of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 159-189, August.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.