Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento
European University Institute
Princeton University - Department of Politics; Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
IMT Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies
June 6, 2011
The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 71, No. 4
We examine the relationships between warfare, taxation, and political change in the context of the political unification of the Italian peninsula. Using a comprehensive new database, we argue that external and internal threat environments had significant implications for the demand for military strength, which in turn had important ramifications for fiscal policy and the likelihood of constitutional reform and related improvements in the provision of non-military public services. Our analytic narrative complements recent theoretical and econometric works about state capacity. By emphasizing public finances, we also uncover novel insights about the forces underlying state formation in Italy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: wars, fiscal policy, constitutional change, European history
JEL Classification: N43, H10, P43Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 22, 2010 ; Last revised: October 5, 2011
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