IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book

Political Transformations and Public Finances


  • Dincecco,Mark


How did today's rich states first establish modern fiscal systems? To answer this question, Political Transformations and Public Finances by Mark Dincecco examines the evolution of political regimes and public finances in Europe over the long term. The book argues that the emergence of efficient fiscal institutions was the result of two fundamental political transformations that resolved long-standing problems of fiscal fragmentation and absolutism. States gained tax force through fiscal centralization and restricted ruler power through parliamentary limits, which enabled them to gather large tax revenues and channel funds toward public services with positive economic benefits. Using a novel combination of descriptive, case study and statistical methods, the book pursues this argument through a systematic investigation of a new panel database that spans eleven countries and four centuries. The book's findings are significant for our understanding of economic history and have important consequences for current policy debates.

Suggested Citation

  • Dincecco,Mark, 2011. "Political Transformations and Public Finances," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521192330, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521192330

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. Justin Yifu Lin, 2011. "New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 193-221, August.
    3. Justin Yifu Lin, 2012. "New Structural Economics : A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2232.
    4. Lin, Justin Yifu, 2003. "Development Strategy, Viability, and Economic Convergence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 276-308, January.
    5. Dirk Willem te Velde & Justin Lin & Célestin Monga & Suresh D. Tendulkar & Alice Amsden & K. Y. Amoako & Howard Pack & Wonhyuk Lim, 2011. "DPR Debate: Growth Identification and Facilitation: The Role of the State in the Dynamics of Structural Change," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(3), pages 259-310, May.
    6. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Chilosi, David, 2014. "Risky Institutions: Political Regimes and the Cost of Public Borrowing in Early Modern Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 887-915, September.
    2. Mauro, Paolo & Romeu, Rafael & Binder, Ariel & Zaman, Asad, 2015. "A modern history of fiscal prudence and profligacy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 55-70.
    3. Mark Dincecco & Ugo Troiano, 2015. "Broadening the State: Policy Responses to the Introduction of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 21373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2013. "Democratization and the size of government: evidence from the long 19th century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 511-542, December.
    5. Igor Fedyukin, 2016. ""Westernizations” from Peter I to Meiji: War, Political Competition, and Reform," HSE Working papers WP BRP 122/HUM/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Tuan-Hwee Sng & Chiaki Moriguchi, 2014. "Asia’s little divergence: state capacity in China and Japan before 1850," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 439-470, December.
    7. Federico Boffa & Amedeo Piolatto & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2016. "Political Centralization and Government Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 381-422.
    8. 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.
    9. Stasavage, David, 2016. "What we can learn from the early history of sovereign debt," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-16.
    10. Mark Dincecco & Mauricio Prado, 2012. "Warfare, fiscal capacity, and performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 171-203, September.
    11. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2014. "Why Do Developing Countries Tax So Little?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 99-120, Fall.
    12. Cingolani L, 2013. "The State of State Capacity : a review of concepts, evidence and measures," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    13. Dan Bogart, 2016. "The East Indian Monopoly and the Transition from Limited Access in England, 1600–1813," NBER Chapters,in: Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development, pages 23-49 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Cingolani, Luciana & Thomsson, Kaj & de Crombrugghe, Denis, 2015. "Minding Weber More Than Ever? The Impacts of State Capacity and Bureaucratic Autonomy on Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 191-207.
    15. Hicks, Daniel L., 2013. "War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 60-81.
    16. Timothy C Irwin, 2013. "Shining a Light on the Mysteries of State; The Origins of Fiscal Transparency in Western Europe," IMF Working Papers 13/219, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Sng, Tuan-Hwee, 2014. "Size and dynastic decline: The principal-agent problem in late imperial China, 1700–1850," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 107-127.
    18. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner, 2015. "Growing Up to Stability? Financial Globalization, Financial Development and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 21287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. 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.
    20. Timothy Besley, 2013. "Making and Breaking Tax Systems," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(3), pages 297-321.
    21. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:1065-1091 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan L. Weigel, 2017. "The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence From the Kuba Kingdom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1065-1091, July.
    23. Dincecco, Mark & Katz, Gabriel, 2012. "State Capacity and Long-Run Performance," MPRA Paper 38299, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Rota, Mauro, 2016. "Military spending, fiscal capacity and the democracy puzzle," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 41-51.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521192330. 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: (Ruth Austin). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.