No Representation without Taxation. Trading Rights for Revenue in the Post-communist Setting
Title: No Representation without Taxation. Trading Rights for Revenue in the Post-communist Setting
Author: MOLLER, Jorgen
Citation: Journal of Southeastern Europe, 2006, 31-32
Almost a century ago, the academic current of fiscal sociology voiced a very strong claim about the relationship between rights and revenue. Rights, the argument went, have historically been traded for revenue in a grand ‘quid-pro-quo’. In other words, rights have only become effective where the rulers have been dependent upon broad-based taxation. If we let this insight travel to the post-communist countries – where we find an empirical tripartition between democracies, hybrid regimes, and autocracies locking in over the 1990s – we discern an interesting result. The statistical relationship between rights and revenue, or democracy and taxation to phrase it in a different way, is very significant in this quarter. The variance on the ‘fiscal’ variable accounts for close to three fifths of the variance on the ‘democratic’ equivalent – and this figure rises to almost four fifths if we eliminate the one salient outlier of Belarus. Rights and revenue go hand in hand, just as they did in early modern Europe.
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