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Taxation and democratization

  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan

Anecdotal evidence from pre-modern Europe and North America suggests that rulers are forced to become more democratic once they impose a significant fiscal burden on their citizens. One difficulty in testing this taxation causes democratization hypothesis empirically is the endogeneity of public revenues. I use introductions of value added taxes and autonomous revenue authorities as sources of quasi-exogenous variation to identify the causal effect of the fiscal burden borne by citizens on democracy. The instrumental variables regressions with a panel of 122 countries over the period 1981-2008 suggest that revenues had on average a mild positive effect on democracy.

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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 164.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:164
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen
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  1. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2010. "The value added tax: Its causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 138-151, July.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2006. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Taliercio, Robert Jr., 2004. "Administrative Reform as Credible Commitment: The Impact of Autonomy on Revenue Authority Performance in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 213-232, February.
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  12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 44-49, May.
  14. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bigsten, Arne, 2011. "Fiscal capacity and government accountability in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 506, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  15. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
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  17. Kevin K. Tsui, 2011. "More Oil, Less Democracy: Evidence from Worldwide Crude Oil Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 89-115, March.
  18. Collier, Paul, 2006. "Is Aid Oil? An Analysis Of Whether Africa Can Absorb More Aid," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1482-1497, September.
  19. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2003. "Does more democracy lead to greater economic freedom? New evidence for developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 547-563, September.
  20. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil R. Bhavnani & Samuel Bazzi, 2012. "Counting Chickens when they Hatch: Timing and the Effects of Aid on Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 590-617, 06.
  21. Maureen Kidd & William Joseph Crandall, 2006. "Revenue Authorities: Issues and Problems in Evaluating their Success," IMF Working Papers 06/240, International Monetary Fund.
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