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Law, State Power, and Taxation in Islamic History

  • Metin Cosgel


    (Economics Dept., The University of Connecticut.)

  • Rasha Ahmed

    (Economics Dept., The University of Connecticut.)

  • Thomas Miceli

    (Economics Dept., The University of Connecticut.)

This paper studies the unique nature, institutional roots, and economic consequences of the ruler’s political power in Islamic History. An influential interest group in Islamic societies has been the legal community, whose power could range from being able to regulate the rulers to being entirely under their control. The struggle was over the provision of legal goods and services, the legal community gradually gaining control of the law in history and the rulers seeking to appropriate political power by controlling the legal community. The economic consequence of power was the ability to dictate the choice of tax bases and rates.

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Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series Papers on Economics of Religion with number 08/02.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:paoner:08/02
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  1. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 595-619, December.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 8272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
  5. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1976. "Legal Precedent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 249-307, August.
  6. Oran, Ahmad & Rashid, Salim, 1989. "Fiscal Policy in Early Islam," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 44(1), pages 75-101.
  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Pop-Eleches, Cristian & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Scholarly Articles 3451311, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2001. "Legal Theories of Financial Development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 483-501.
  9. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
  10. Metin Cosgel & Thomas Miceli, 2008. "State and Religion," Working papers 2008-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2009.
  11. George Tridmas, 2005. "Judges and Taxes: Judicial Review, Judicial Independence and the Size of Government," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-30, 01.
  12. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  13. Miceli, Thomas J. & Cosgel, Metin M., 1994. "Reputation and judicial decision-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-51, January.
  14. Leopoldo Fergusson, 2006. "Institutions for Financial Development: What are they and where do they come from?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 27-70, 02.
  15. Metin M. CoÅŸgel & Thomas J. Miceli, 2009. "Tax Collection in History," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 399-420, July.
  16. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, November.
  17. Barry R. Weingast, 2005. "The Constitutional Dilemma of Economic Liberty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
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