Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento

Journal of Economic History, Vol. 71, No. 4

36 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2010 Last revised: 6 May 2020

See all articles by Giovanni Federico

Giovanni Federico

European University Institute

Andrea Vindigni

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mark Dincecco

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Date Written: June 6, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: wars, fiscal policy, constitutional change, European history

JEL Classification: N43, H10, P43

Suggested Citation

Federico, Giovanni and Vindigni, Andrea and Dincecco, Mark, Warfare, Taxation, and Political Change: Evidence from the Italian Risorgimento (June 6, 2011). Journal of Economic History, Vol. 71, No. 4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1646322

Giovanni Federico

European University Institute ( email )

Badia Fiesolana
Via dei Roccettini 9
I-50016 San Domenico Fiesole, Tuscany 50014
Italy

Andrea Vindigni

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mark Dincecco (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/umich.edu/dincecco

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