Political Economy of Institutional Change: Illustrations from the Ottoman Empire
This article sheds light on the political economy of the Ottoman Empire through the lens of its policy on tax collection and technology adoption. Like all rulers, the Ottomans were constrained in their abilities to implement economic policies as they wished. In addition to having limited resources and technology, they faced political constraints that altered the feasibility, desirability and outcomes of economic policies. In taxation, they allowed the tax bases and rate structures to vary significantly across regions to balance revenue maximisation with political power. In technology, despite adopting advancements in military technology immediately, they waited almost three centuries to fully sanction the printing press because it would have undermined the ability of religious authorities to confer legitimacy.
KeywordsConquest Constraints Fiscal regime Legitimacy Loyalty Political economy Power Religion State Taxation
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