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Thilo Albers

Forskare

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The Fiscal State in Africa: Evidence from a century of growth

Författare

  • Thilo Albers
  • Morten Jerven
  • Marvin Suesse

Summary, in English

Why do large differences in fiscal capacity exist between states in the Global South? We constructa comprehensive new dataset of tax and revenue collection for 46 African polities from 1900 to2015. Descriptive analyses show that many polities in Africa have been characterized by stronggrowth in real tax collection. As a next step, we employ these data to test theories of fiscal capac-ity in a long-run panel setting, using fixed-effects and causal estimation techniques. The resultsshow democratic institutions and interstate warfare can increase fiscal capacity, while governmentturnover reduces it. However, these factors are conditional on the availability of debt financingand external aid, which by themselves reduce incentives to invest in fiscal capacity. Leveragingnew data on exogenous movements in commodity prices, we show that resource income does notgenerally lead to lower capacity. These insights add important nuance to established theories ofstate-building.

Avdelning/ar

  • Ekonomisk utveckling i det globala Syd
  • Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Publiceringsår

2020-09-18

Språk

Engelska

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

African Economic History Working Paper Series

Issue

55/2020

Dokumenttyp

Working paper

Ämne

  • Economic History

Nyckelord

  • fiscal capacity
  • taxes
  • Africa
  • institutions
  • resources

Aktiv

Published