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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

CANCELLED: Spillovers in State Capacity Building: Evidence from the Digitization of Land Records in Pakistan

Sonya Krutikova (IFS/Manchester), joint with Shan Aman-Rana

Thursday 16 November 2023 13:00 - 14:00

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About this event

Strong legal and fiscal capacity are both crucial to foster economic development, yet we know little about how these two forms of state capacity interact. Using a newly digitized administrative dataset on agricultural taxation and surveys of local bureaucrats from Punjab, Pakistan, we show that legal capacity reforms can have unintended consequences for fiscal capacity. We exploit the staggered roll-out of the digitization of land records in Punjab as a source of random variation in legal capacity and find that digitization had a negative effect on tax collection. The fall in taxes was not due to a decrease in the tax base. Instead, digitization affected the bureaucracy's capacity to collect taxes. The paper thus sheds light on the importance of understanding state capacity development from an organisational perspective.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg:

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