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The Other Side of Taxation: Extraction and Social Institutions in the Developing World

Chapter in book
Authors Ellen Lust
L. Rakner
Published in Annual review of political science
Pages 277-294
ISSN 1094-2939
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 277-294
Language en
Keywords taxation, social institutions, social extraction, informal taxation, service provision, risk-sharing networks, public-goods provision, ethnic diversity, moral, economy, civil-society, insurance, tanzania, credit, kenya, reciprocity, udhomme r, 1992, environment and planning c-government and policy, v10, p1
Subject categories Political Science


The fiscal sociology literature views the state at the heart of development, but in most developing countries, formal taxation is limited. Instead, local residents make substantial contributions outside the state to the provision of public goods. That is, they engage in what we call social extraction rather than state taxation. This article conceptualizes social extraction and the social institutions that drive extraction. Furthermore, it considers variations in the content of social institutions, and it proposes research agendas that allow us to understand how social institutions impact resource mobilization and development at the community level. It draws lessons from a large, cross-disciplinary literature that includes work in anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, and political science.

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