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Fiscal pessimism in historical perspective : Tocqueville revisited


  • Fraile Balbín, Pedro


This paper explores Alexis de Tocqueville´s thought on fiscal political economy as a forerunner of the modern school of preference falsification and rational irrationality. Although he initially shared the cautious optimism of most Classical economists with respect to taxes under extended suffrage, Tocqueville's view turned more pessimistic in the second volume of his Democracy in America. Universal enfranchisement and democratic governments would lead to higher taxes, more intense income redistribution and government control. Under democracy, the continuous search for unconditional equality would eventually jeopardized liberty and economic growth.

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  • Fraile Balbín, Pedro, 2016. "Fiscal pessimism in historical perspective : Tocqueville revisited," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 23964, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:23964

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