The Origins of Social Contracts: Attitudes toward Taxation in Urban Nigeria
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.
|Date of creation:||24 Jan 2013|
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