Proposal preview

Polity and state finance in the peripheries of the global economy

Politics shapes the way governments tax, spend, borrow and repay. In this session, we aim to explore the question of how political systems influenced the way peripheral governments managed their fiscal systems during different waves of globalisation. The mainstream historical literature on state finance assumes that autocratic regimes are less likely to run sustainable accounts and more likely to default on their debt. The “democratic advantage” implies that governments limited by checks and balances such as an independent parliament are more creditworthy. Another stream of literature highlights the importance of political centralisation in the rise of “fiscal states”, which count with permanent bureaucratic bodies to tax and borrow long term. Overall, there is a consensus that political institutions influence the ability and willingness of governments to tax and repay. We aim to explore these ideas by focusing on a range of combinations between polity, credit records and fiscal strength. The session is open to papers on any time range which focus on the peripheries of the global economy. Proposed papers inter alia will explore topics of fiscal policy, long-term patterns of taxation and government spending, political economy of domestic/foreign debt and defaults, and persistence and convergence of fiscal regimes.

Organizer(s)

  • Coskun Tuncer University College London a.tuncer@ucl.ac.uk United Kingdom
  • Leonardo Weller FGV - Sao Paulo School of Economics leonardo.weller@fgv.br Brazil

Session members

  • Leticia Arroyo Abad, Middlebury College
  • D’Maris Coffman, University College London
  • Giselle Datz, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Rui Pedro Esteves, University of Oxford
  • Edwin Lopez Rivera, University of California, San Diego
  • Noel Maurer, George Washington University
  • Michael Pammer, Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • Helen Paul, University of Southampton
  • Gail Triner, Rutgers University
  • Coskun Tuncer, University College London
  • Leonardo Weller, FGV - Sao Paulo School of Economics
  • Dong Yan, University of California, Los Angeles

Discussant(s)

  • Sevket Pamuk Bogazici University pamuk@boun.edu.tr
  • Tirthankar Roy London School of Economics T.Roy@lse.ac.uk
  • Colin Lewis London School of Economics c.m.lewis@lse.ac.uk

Papers

Panel abstract

Politics shapes the way governments tax, spend, borrow and repay. This session focuses on the question of how political systems influenced the way peripheral governments managed their fiscal systems during different waves of globalisation. The mainstream historical literature on state finance assumes that autocratic regimes are less likely to run sustainable accounts and more likely to default on their debt. The “democratic advantage” implies that governments limited by checks and balances such as an independent parliament are more creditworthy. Others highlight the importance of political centralisation in the rise of “fiscal states” with permanent bureaucratic bodies to tax and borrow long term. We explore these ideas by discussing a range of combinations between polity, credit records and fiscal strength since the eighteenth century. The papers inter alia explore topics of fiscal policy, long-term patterns of taxation and government spending and political economy of domestic/foreign debt and defaults.

1st half

Land banks in North America in the long eighteenth century

D'Maris Coffman and Helen Paul

American imperialism and country risk, 1895-1929

Leticia A. Abad and Noel Maurer

From federalism to centralism: local finances in Cundinamarca, Colombia 1872-1910

Edwin López Rivera

Emerging financial markets of the 1820s: Latin American sovereign debt, 1824-1852

Gail D. Triner

2nd half

A Portuguese twist? Sovereign debt management in an emerging country, 1869‐1890

Rui Esteves

Constitutionalism and state finances in the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, 1815–1914

Michael Pammer

Foreign institutions and fiscal state-building in China and the Ottoman Empire before World War I

Coskun Tuncer and Dong Yan

Placing sovereign debt: the fragmented landscape of legal precedent and legislative preemption

Giselle Datz

Sovereign risk and political regimes in the peripheries of the global economy, 1870-1914

Coskun Tuncer and Leonardo Weller

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