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Thilo Albers

Forskare

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The Fiscal State in Africa : Evidence from a Century of Growth

Författare

  • Thilo N.H. Albers
  • Morten Jerven
  • Marvin Suesse

Summary, in English

What is the level of state capacity in developing countries today, and what have been its drivers over the past century? We construct a comprehensive new data set of tax and revenue collection for forty-six African polities from 1900 to 2015. Our data show that polities in Africa have been characterized by strong growth in fiscal capacity on average, but that substantial heterogeneity exists. The empirical analysis reveals that canonical state-building factors such as democratic institutions and interstate warfare have limited power to explain these divergent growth paths. On the other hand, accounting for the relationship between African polities and the international environment - through the availability of external finance and the legacy of colonialism - is key to understanding their differing investments in fiscal capacity. These insights add important nuances to established theories of state building. Not only can the availability of external finance deter investment in fiscal capacity, but it also moderates the efficacy of canonical state-building factors.

Avdelning/ar

  • Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Publiceringsår

2023-12-03

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

65-101

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

International Organization

Volym

77

Issue

1

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Cambridge University Press

Ämne

  • Economic History

Nyckelord

  • Africa
  • external finance
  • Fiscal capacity
  • resources
  • statehood
  • taxes

Aktiv

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 0020-8183