Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/249481
Authors: 
Nistotskaya, Marina
D'Arcy, Michelle
Year of Publication: 
2021
Series/Report no.: 
WIDER Working Paper No. 2021/175
Publisher: 
The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki
Abstract: 
The arguments that property rights and taxation positively affect development are well established in separate literatures, but the link between property rights and taxation is understudied. To address this gap, we theorize that formalization of individual property rights facilitates economic exchange at scale, providing a viable opportunity for individuals to improve their economic standing, in exchange for which property owners assent to pay taxes. We illustrate the argument by comparing the historical evolution of tax states in early modern Europe and colonial Africa. Empirically, we examine the links in sub-Saharan Africa between (1) the ease of access to state-recorded information on land ownership and assent to paying taxes using individual-level data from Afrobarometer, and (2) the formalization of individual property rights on land, measured through novel data on the extent of cadastral records, and government revenue from taxes on individuals at the cross-country level.
Subjects: 
property rights
cadastre
taxation
sub-Saharan Africa
Afrobarometer
JEL: 
H24
O55
P14
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
ISBN: 
978-92-9267-115-0
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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