Skip to main content Accessibility help
Nontaxation and Representation
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 13
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

Does oil make countries autocratic? Can foreign aid make countries democratic? Does taxation lead to representation? In this book, Kevin M. Morrison develops a novel argument about how government revenues of all kinds affect political regimes and their leaders. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Morrison illustrates that taxation leads to instability, not representation. With this insight, he extends his award-winning work on nontax revenues to encompass foreign aid, oil revenue, and intergovernmental grants and shows that they lead to decreased taxation, increased government spending, and increased political stability. Looking at the stability of democracies and dictatorships as well as leadership transitions within those regimes, Morrison incorporates cross-national statistical methods, formal modeling, a quasi-experiment, and case studies of Brazil, Kenya and Mexico to build his case. This book upends many common hypotheses and policy recommendations, providing the most comprehensive treatment of revenue and political stability to date.


‘Professor Morrison’s clear, well-written book investigates how the nature of government finance affects the relationship between citizens and rulers. Relying on the concept of ‘non-tax revenue', the book builds on previous work by relaxing the assumption that rulers must tax the governed to suppress challenges and provide the goods citizens want. He makes a compelling theoretical and empirical case that non-tax revenue profoundly shapes political development. This book is a major contribution to the literatures on public finance, development, and comparative state building.’

John Ahlquist - University of Wisconsin, Madison

‘Are natural resources a governance curse? Does taxation foster representation? Kevin Morrison’s careful empirical work provides a detailed analysis of when, why, and how a regime’s revenues affect political stability. Many have theorized about this impact, but few have rigorously tested their theories with both cross-national and case study evidence. All future work in this vein will have to stand on the shoulders of Morrison’s masterful study.’

Deborah Brautigam - Johns Hopkins University

‘Morrison has produced a landmark study on the political impact of non-tax revenues, which synthesizes and clarifies what had been a fragmented and often contradictory literature on the relationship between government revenue and stability. Empirically rich and theoretically bold, his study should be read by all students of comparative political economy.’

Nicolas van de Walle - Cornell University

‘The link between the fiscal foundations of the state and representative government lies at the heart of booming research frontiers bearing on everything from regime type to redistribution to state capacity. Nontaxation and Representation addresses this fundamental aspect of governance and does so in a way that challenges important elements of the ‘taxation-leads-to-representation’ conventional wisdom. Professor Morrison gets quite a lot of richness out of a relatively simple theoretical set-up, and he turns some important stories on their heads. He draws evidence from diverse types of data and a plethora of empirical approaches, the sum of which is quite persuasive. It is not easy to make an original contribution on such a fundamental issue of governance, but Morrison has done just that.’

Erik Wibbels - Duke University

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.