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Representation without taxation, taxation without consent. The legacy of Spanish colonialism in America

Irigoin, Alejandra (2015) Representation without taxation, taxation without consent. The legacy of Spanish colonialism in America. Economic History working papers (227/2015). The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The essay examines Spain’s colonial legacy in the long run development of Spanish America. It surveys the fiscal and constitutional outcomes of independence and assesses the relative burden imposed by colonialism. Constitutional asymmetries between revenue collecting and spending agents constrained de facto governments’ power to tax. Inherent disparities embedded in colonial fiscal system worsened with vaguely defined representation for subjects and territories and troubled their aggregation into a modern representative polity. Governments with limited fiscal capacity failed to deliver public goods and to equitably distribute costs and benefits of independence. Growing indirect taxes, debt and money creation allowed them to transfer the fiscal burden to other constituents or future generations. Taxpayers realised the asymmetry between private contributions and public goods and hence favoured a low but regressive taxation. Comparisons with trajectories in the metropolis and the US are offered to qualify this legacy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N10 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N16 - Latin America; Caribbean
N - Economic History > N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions
N - Economic History > N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions > N20 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation
N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N40 - General, International, or Comparative
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 15:05
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 23:04
Projects: SG 113363
Funders: The British Academy
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/64804

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