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Efficiency and Continuity in Public Finance: The Ottoman System of Taxation


  • Metin M. Cosgel

    (University of Connecticut)


Economic historians have recently emphasized the importance of integrating economic and historical approaches in studying institutions. The literature on the Ottoman system of taxation, however, has continued to adopt a primarily historical approach, using ad hoc categories of classification and explaining the system through its continuities with the historical precedent. This paper integrates economic and historical approaches to examine the structure, efficiency, and regional diversity of the tax system. The structure of the system made it possible for the Ottomans to economize on the transaction cost of measuring the tax base. Regional variations resulted from both efficient adaptations and institutional rigidities.

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  • Metin M. Cosgel, 2004. "Efficiency and Continuity in Public Finance: The Ottoman System of Taxation," Working papers 2004-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2004-02
    Note: This working paper previously circulated under the title "The Economics of Ottoman Taxation"

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    Cited by:

    1. Mehmet Serkan Tosun & Serdar Yilmaz, 2010. "Centralization, Decentralization And Conflict In The Middle East And North Africa," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 1-14.
    2. Jaelani, Aan, 2018. "Relasi negara dan pasar bebas dalam mewujudkan keadilan ekonomi: Analisis sejarah keuangan publik Islam [State and free markets relation in realizing economic justice: Analysis of History of Islami," MPRA Paper 90963, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Dec 2018.
    3. Zafar Iqbal & Mervyn K. Lewis, 2014. "Zakat and the economy," Chapters, in: M. Kabir Hassan & Mervyn K. Lewis (ed.), Handbook on Islam and Economic Life, chapter 23, pages iii-iii, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Jaelani, Aan, 2015. "Manajemen Zakat di Indonesia dan Brunei Darussalam [Zakah Management in Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam]," MPRA Paper 71561, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Sep 2015.

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