Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Fiscal Crisis and Institutional Change in the Ottoman Empire and France

  • Eliana Balla (a1) and Noel D. Johnson (a2)

Why is it that some countries adopted growth enhancing institutions earlier than others during the early modern period? We address this question through a comparative study of the evolution of French and Ottoman fiscal institutions. During the sixteenth century, both countries made extensive use of tax farming to collect revenue, however, uncertain property rights caused by fiscal pressure led to different paths of institutional change in each state. In France, tax collectors successfully overcame the collective action costs of imposing constraint on the king. In the Ottoman Empire, tax collectors faced prohibitive transaction costs to organizing in a similar manner.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daron Acemoglu , Simon Johnson , and James Robinson . “The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth.” American Economic Review 95, no. 3 (2005): 546546.

Robert Allen . “The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War.” Explorations in Economic History 38, no. 4 (2001): 411411.

R. J. Bonney “The Failure of the French Revenue Farms, 160060.” Economic History Revue 32, no. 1 (1988): 11–.

Gail Bossenga . The Politics of Privilege: Old Regime and Revolution in Lille. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Avner Greif , Paul Milgrom , and Barry R. Weingast . “Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild.” Journal of Political Economy 102, no. 4 (1994): 745745.

Timur Kuran . “The Logic of Financial Westernization in the Middle East.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 56, no. 4 (2005): 593–.

Naomi Lamoreaux , and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal . “Legal Regime and Contractual Flexibility: A Comparison of Business's Organizational Choices in France and the United States During the Era of Industrialization.” American Law and Economics Review 7, no. 1 (2005): 2828.

Rafael La Porta , Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes , Andrei Shleifer , and Robert Vishny . “Law and Finance.” Journal of Political Economy 106, no. 6 (1998): 11131113.

Douglass C. North Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Douglass C. North , and Paul Thomas . The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.

Mark Potter . “War Finance and Absolutist State Development in Early Modern Europe: An Examination of French Venality in the Seventeenth Century.” Journal of Early Modern History 7, no. 1 (2003): 120120.

Mark Potter . “Coalitions and Local Politics in Seventeenth-Century France.” French Historical Studies 31, no. 1 (2008): 2929.

Hilton Root . “Tying the King's Hands: Credible Commitments and Royal Fiscal Policy During the Old Regime.” Rationality and Society 1, no. 2 (1989): 240240.

Deena R. Sadat “Rumeli Ayanlari: the Eighteenth Century.” Journal of Modern History 44, no. 3 (1972): 346346.

Ariel Salzmann . “An Ancien Régime Revisited: Privatization' and Political Economy in the Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Empire.” Politics & Society 21, no. 4 (1972): 393393.

Thomas J. Sargent , and Franois R. Velde . “Macroeconomic Features of the French Revolution.” Journal of Political Economy 103, no. 3 (1995): 474474.

Kenneth L. Sokoloff , and Stanley L. Engerman . “History Lessons: Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 14, no. 3 (2000): 217217.

David Stasavage . “Credible Commitment in Early Modern Europe: North and Weingast Revisited.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 18, no. 1 (2002): 155155.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 98 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 239 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.