IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria

  • Cristina Bodea
  • Adrienne LeBas
Registered author(s):

    How do social contracts come into being? This paper argues that norm adoption plays an important and neglected role in this process. Using novel data from urban Nigeria, we examine why individuals adopt norms favoring a citizen obligation to pay tax where state enforcement is weak. We find that public goods delivery by the state produces the willingness to pay tax, but community characteristics also have a strong and independent effect on both social contract norms and actual tax payment. Individuals are less likely to adopt pro-tax norms if they have access to community provision of security and other services. In conflict-prone communities, where “self-help” provision of club goods is less effective, individuals are more likely to adopt social contract norms. Finally, we show that social contract norms substantially boost tax payment. This paper has broad implications for literatures on state formation, taxation, clientelism, and public goods provision.

    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.

    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2013-02.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2013-02.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-02
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
    Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
    Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
    2. James Alm & Jorge Martinez-Vazque & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Russian attitudes toward paying taxes – before, during, and after the transition," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(12), pages 832-857, December.
    3. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
    4. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
    5. Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1998. "Risk Sharing and Private Transfers: What about Urban Households?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 621-37, April.
    6. Raphaёl Franck & Ilia Rainer, 2012. "Does the Leader’s Ethnicity Matter? Ethnic Favoritism, Education and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2012-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    7. Grimard, Franque, 1997. "Household consumption smoothing through ethnic ties: evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 391-422, August.
    8. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal, 2012. "Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling Using Stata, 3rd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number mimus2, December.
    10. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    12. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "Addressing the natural resource curse: An illustration from Nigeria," Discussion Papers 0203-15, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    13. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
    14. Alessandra Cassar & Bruce Wydick, 2010. "Does social capital matter? Evidence from a five-country group lending experiment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 715-739, October.
    15. Bates, Robert H. & Lien, Da-Hsiang Donald., 1985. "A Note on Taxation, Development and Representative Government," Working Papers 567, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    16. Picci, Lucio & Golden, Miriam, 2007. "Pork Barrel Politics in Postwar Italy, 1953–1994," MPRA Paper 5626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-02. 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: (Richard Payne)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.