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A comment on: "State Capacity, Reciprocity, and the Social Contract" by Timothy Besley





Authors / Editors

Papaioannou E

Publication Year



In this note, I discuss avenues for future research stemming from Besley's [this issue] theoretical approach on the interconnections between civicness, institutions, and state-fiscal capacity. First, I lay down some ideas on how one could extend the framework to model fragility traps that characterize many low-income countries and study issues related to nation-building, conflict, and heterogeneity across space and ethnic lines in the provision of public goods. Second, I discuss the relevance of the approach for the analysis of authoritarian populism that is spreading in developed countries and emerging markets.


Institutions; States; Social capital; Public goods; Fractionalisation; Populism

Available on ECCH


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