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Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650?1913 (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions)

Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650?1913 (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions)

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Mark Dincecco
Cambridge University Press, 8/22/2013
EAN 9781107617759, ISBN10: 1107617758

Paperback, 250 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
Language: English

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.

1. Weak and strong states in historical perspective
2. Gaining force
from fragmentation to centralization
3. Restricting power
from absolutism to limited government
4. Political regimes and credit risk
5. Two mechanisms
6. Letting the data speak for themselves
7. Estimating the fiscal effects of political regimes
8. The institutional balance of modern fiscal states.