The fiscal contract: States, taxes, and public services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using data from approximately ninety countries, the author shows that the more a state taxes the rich as a percentage of GDP, the more it protects property rights; and the more it taxes the poor, the more it provides basic public services. There is no evidence that states gouge the rich to benefit the poor or vice versa, contrary to state-capture theories. Nor is there any evidence that taxes and spending are unrelated, contrary to state-autonomy models. Instead, states operate much like fiscal contracts, with groups getting what they pay for.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-567
Number of pages38
JournalWorld Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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