Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650-1913
How did today's rich states first establish modern fiscal systems? To answer this question, Political Transformations and Public Finances by Mark Dincecco examines the evolution of political regimes and public finances in Europe over the long term. The book argues that the emergence of efficient fiscal institutions was the result of two fundamental political transformations that resolved long-standing problems of fiscal fragmentation and absolutism. States gained tax force through fiscal centralization and restricted ruler power through parliamentary limits, which enabled them to gather large tax revenues and channel funds toward public services with positive economic benefits. Using a novel combination of descriptive, case study, and statistical methods, the book pursues this argument through a systematic investigation of a new panel database that spans eleven countries and four centuries. The book's findings are significant for our understanding of economic history, and have important consequences for current policy debates.
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1 Weak and Strong States in Historical Perspective
2 Gaining Force
3 Restricting Power
4 Political Regimes and Credit Risk
5 Two Mechanisms
6 Letting the Data Speak for Themselves
7 Estimating the Fiscal Effects of Political Regimes
absolutist Centralized absolutist regime Acemoglu Appendix A.2 Austria basis points Belgium Belgium Belgium break coincided budget capita revenues Carlist central government revenue centralized and absolutist centralized and limited century Chapter coalition Column composite series constitutional converted into revenues deficit ratios Denmark Denmark Denmark dummy Dutch Republic econometric economic England European Figure fiscal centralization fiscal effects fiscal fragmentation fiscal prudence fragmented and absolutist fragmented and limited France French gold grams impact internal conflicts Italy Italy Italy limited government limited regime major turning point Napoleonic Wars Netherlands observations per segment ofthe Old Regime onward Panel parliament parliamentary political regimes population series Portugal Portugal Portugal positive effect Prussia public finances reforms regression revenues and deficit revenues in gold Revolution sample countries Source South Korea sovereign credit risk Spain Spanish square kilometers structural breaks tests Svveden Svveden Sweden Sweden Sweden Table tax system tion troy ounces variable yield spreads Zanden