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Public Economics and History: A Review of Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States, Edited by Andrew Monson and Walter Scheidel

Philip Hoffman

Journal of Economic Literature, 2017, vol. 55, issue 4, 1556-69

Abstract: Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States greatly expands our knowledge of the history of premodern fiscal systems and raises important questions about the political economy of premodern states. Answering those questions can help explain how states developed the capacity to tax; why tax levels and government-spending patterns varied greatly in the past, even though per capita incomes were similar; how government debt and representative institutions arose; and, last but not least, why some premodern states expanded and others collapsed. But firm answers to those questions will have to combine the history outlined in Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States with systematic data and formal models of political economy.

JEL-codes: E62 H20 H50 N40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.20151348
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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1556-69