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How Neopatrimonialism Affects Tax Administration: A Comparative Study of Three World Regions

  • Christian von Soest


  • Karsten Bechle


  • Nina Korte


Neopatrimonialism is a concept that has predominately been applied to describe governance in sub?Saharan Africa. Recently, though, it has also been used to describe states from other world regions. However, scholars have rarely attempted to systematically compare neopatrimonial rule in different regional settings. This paper aims to narrow this gap by examining the effect of neopatrimonialism on the tax administration as a core state function in six countries from three different world regions: Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Zambia. We conclude that neopatrimonialism is a valuable concept for comparative area studies with the potential to foster dialogue on the “state in operation” across the regional divide. However, several indicators are more valid for some world regions than for others. We find that there is no systematic relationship between neopatrimonial trajectories and the strength of tax administration. Individual actor decisions influence the outcomes of neopatrimonialism substantially.

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Paper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 172.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:172
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  1. Christian von Soest, 2006. "Measuring the Capability to Raise Revenue Process and Output Dimensions and Their Application to the Zambia Revenue Authority," GIGA Working Paper Series 35, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  2. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  3. Christian von Luebke, 2010. "The Politics of Reform: Political Scandals, Elite Resistance, and Presidential Leadership in Indonesia," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 29(1), pages 79-94.
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