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Economic ideas and redistributive policy in the Spanish parliament: the 1900 debate on fiscal progressivity

Listed author(s):
  • Javier San-Julián-Arrupe


    (Universitat de Barcelona)

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    This paper analyses the debate on the introduction of progressive rates in the inheritance tax, which took place in the Spanish Parliament in 1900. The article highlights the interest of this debate concerning two aspects: First, the parliamentary discussion itself, very controversial, showed an atypical alliance between conservatives and republicans supporting a very limited progressivity. In their view, this was just a tool to achieve real tax proportionality, and by no means should be a redistributive measure. Liberals' opposition feared the ultimate consequences of progressive taxes and refused its introduction in Spain, as it entailed serious hazard for property. Second, the wide use of economic ideas to support arguments in the debate make evident that the Members of Parliament taking part in the debate had a noteworthy degree of economic expertise. Therefore, parliamentary discussions were effectively contributing to the progress, expansion and institutionalization of political economy in contemporary Spain.

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    Paper provided by Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica in its series Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) with number 1102.

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    Length: 26
    Date of creation: Feb 2011
    Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1102
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    1. Lains, Pedro & Cardoso, José Luís, 2009. "Paying for the liberal state : the rise of public finance in nineteenth century Europe," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp09-03, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
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