Taxation, natural resources, and representation

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The thesis re-examines the links between the sources of government funding, representation, and accountability and analyzes whether and how the sources of a government's revenues are connected to the behavior of its political actors. Evidence is drawn from instances in which both sub-national and national governments experience large, exogenous changes in the origins of their funding due to the discovery or assignment of resource revenues. Contrary to claims in the existing literature that institutions are the result of resource abundance, the thesis proposes to view the quality of pre-existing institutions as the origin of natural resource dependence. Natural resource abundance translates into natural resource dependence only in the presence of poor institutions. In an empirical analysis using a panel of 98 oil- producing countries from 1918-2004, there is no evidence for the impact of crude oil production on the quality of political institutions. In a subnational analysis of Brazilian municipalities, the thesis provides evidence that access to non-tax resources allows governments to choose inefficient spending patterns and be less concerned about the well-being of its constituents. However, electoral accountability remains an accountability tool, though weakened, to mediate these negative effects, particularly by informed voters. In general, the effects of non-tax revenues such as resource income are found not to be uniform. Instead, they differ with the circumstances, including economic development, institutional environment, and geography.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2012
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Brambor, Johann Peter Thomas
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Political Science.
Primary advisor Laitin, David D
Thesis advisor Laitin, David D
Thesis advisor Jackman, Simon, 1966-
Thesis advisor Rodden, Jonathan
Advisor Jackman, Simon, 1966-
Advisor Rodden, Jonathan


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Thomas Brambor.
Note Submitted to the Department of Political Science.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2012.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2012 by Johann Peter Thomas Brambor
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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