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A democratic rentier state? Taxation, aid dependency and political representation in Benin

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posted on 14.10.2016, 10:55 authored by Giulia PiccolinoGiulia Piccolino
Drawing on the history of statebuilding in Western Europe, fiscal sociology has proposed the existence of a mutually reinforcing effect between the emergence of representative government and effective taxation. This paper looks at the case of Benin, a low‐income West African country that underwent a fairly successful democratization process in the early 1990s. It finds, in contrast to previous studies that have emphasized dependency on aid rents, that Benin appears to have reinforced its extractive capacities since democratization. However, the effect of democratization has been largely indirect, while other factors, such as the influence of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the size of the country’s informal sector, have played a more direct role in encouraging or inhibiting tax extraction. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that effective taxation depends on a quasiconsensual relationship between government and taxpayers finds some confirmation in the Beninese case.



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies

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GIGA Working Papers Series




PICCOLINO, G., 2014. A democratic rentier state? Taxation, aid dependency and political representation in Benin. German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Institute of African Affairs.


German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) / © Giulia Piccolino


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is a GIGA Working Paper. The GIGA Working Papers series serves to disseminate the research results of work in progress prior to publication in order to encourage the exchange of ideas and academic debate. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. Inclusion of a paper in the GIGA Working Papers series does not constitute publication and should not limit publication in any other venue. Copyright remains with the authors.

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GIGA Working Paper;253



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