Medieval European Traditions in Representation and State Capacity Today

Economics of Governance (Forthcoming)

72 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2018 Last revised: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Jamie Bologna Pavlik

Jamie Bologna Pavlik

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Andrew T. Young

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Rich economies are characterized by the coincidence of, on the one hand, high state capacity and, on the other, well-functioning markets and the rule of law. They have states that are powerful and centralized and yet also limited. Furthermore, relatively low rates of shadow economic activity and tax evasion suggest that citizens perceive their states’ limitations to be credible. This suggests that a state’s ability to be credibly limited may facilitate its investments in state capacity. Consistent with this, we explore the potential link between historical traditions of representative governance institutions and state capacity today. We report that medieval and early modern representative assembly experiences positively correlate with higher tax revenues, smaller shadow economies, greater state control of violence and yet fewer state resources dedicated to violence. Relative to tax revenues, the evidence regarding shadow economies and violence is more robust to various controls and samples.

Keywords: Representative Assemblies, State Capacity, Political Economy, Medieval Europe, Institutions, Property Rights, Rule of Law, Growth and Development

JEL Classification: D72, O10, O43, P14, P16, P48, P50

Suggested Citation

Bologna Pavlik, Jamie and Young, Andrew T., Medieval European Traditions in Representation and State Capacity Today (February 2019). Economics of Governance (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3251355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3251355

Jamie Bologna Pavlik

Texas Tech University - Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Suite 167, 2625 Memorial Circle
TTU Administration
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Andrew T. Young (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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