Saleh, Mohamed and Tirole, Jean (2021) Taxing identity: theory and evidence from early Islam. Econometrica, vol. 89 (n° 4). pp. 1881-1919.

[thumbnail of taxing_identity_010321.pdf]
Download (4MB) | Preview
Identification Number : 10.3982/ECTA17265


A ruler who does not identify with a social group, whether on religious, ethnic, cultural or socioeconomic grounds, is confronted with a trade-off between taking advantage of the out-group population’s eagerness to maintain its identity and inducing it to “comply” (conversion, quit, exodus or any other way of accommodating the ruler’s own identity). This paper first nests economists’ extraction model, in which rulers are revenue-maximizers, within a more general identity-based model, in which rulers care also about inducing people to lose their identity, both in a static and an evolving environment. The paper then constructs novel data sources to test the implications of both models in the context of Egypt’s conversion to Islam between 641 and 1170. The evidence comes in support of the identity-based model.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: July 2021
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Chicago, Ill
Uncontrolled Keywords: Islam, poll tax, identity taxation, Laffer curve, legitimacy
JEL Classification: D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information
H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
N45 - Asia including Middle East
Z12 - Religion
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2021 14:19
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 11:17
OAI Identifier:
View Item


Downloads per month over past year