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Paying for the liberal state : the rise of public finance in nineteenth century Europe


  • Cardoso, José Luís
  • Lains, Pedro


Public finance is a major feature of the development of modern European societies, and it is at the heart of the definition of the nature of political regimes. Public finance is also a most relevant issue in the understanding of the constraints and possibilities of economic development. This paper is about the rise and development of taxation systems, expenditure programs, and dept regimes in Europe from the early nineteenth century to the beginning of World War I. Its main purpose is to describe and explain the process by which financial resources were raised and managed. We analyse nine countries or empires that are considered highly representative of the widest European experience on the matter and discuss whether there are any common patterns in the way the different European states responded to the need for raising additional resources to pay for the new tasks they were performing

Suggested Citation

  • Cardoso, José Luís & Lains, Pedro, 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp09-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Richard M. Bird, 2014. "Sustainable development requires a good tax system," Chapters,in: Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 1, pages 1-24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. 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.
    3. Javier San-Julián-Arrupe, 2011. "Economic ideas and redistributive policy in the Spanish parliament: the 1900 debate on fiscal progressivity," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1102, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    4. Hantke, Max & Spoerer, Mark, 2010. "The imposed gift of Versailles: the fiscal effects of restricting the size of Germany’s armed forces, 1924–1929," MPRA Paper 20054, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Comín, Francisco, 2012. "Default, rescheduling and inflation : debt crisis in Spain during the 19th and 20th centuries," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp12-06, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.

    More about this item


    Nineteenth Century Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

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