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

Mark Dincecco, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Tuscany

Abstract: This paper examines the relationships between warfare, taxation, and political institutions in historical perspective. We focus on nineteenth-century Italy from the end of the Napoleonic era in 1815 to political unification in 1861. The institutional variety at the regional level makes the Italian peninsula a unique testing ground for comparative work. Using a comprehensive new database, we argue that pre-unitary states pursued different military, fiscal, and political policies in response to diverse external and internal threat environments. Our analytic narrative complements recent theoretical and econometric works about state capacity. By emphasizing public finances, we also uncover novel insights about the process of state formation in Italy.

About the speaker
Mark Dincecco is an assistant professor in research area of Economics and Institutional Change at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Tuscany. His research focuses on economic history, political economy, and public economics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has published in several academic journals. His book, Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650-1913, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

Venue: UNU-MERIT Conference Room

Date: 03 May 2011

Time: 13:00 - 14:00  CEST