In the more collective states, reciprocity between rulers and taxpayers is hypothesized to develop in which the state provides public goods and services (or collective goods and services) in exchange for taxpayer compliance, although other factors influence compliance decisions. Given the centrality of the taxpayer-ruler reciprocity in collective action theories of state formation, theory-testing requires a method suited to comparing public goods and services cross-culturally. We were challenged to develop a suitable method owing to the fact that little prior work has been done along this line. Bates (1983: Table 10) and Claessen (1978: 541 and Table 1) provide some limited methodological guidance, and their data demonstrate that we could expect to find considerable cross-cultural variation in public goods in pre-modern states.
KeywordsPublic Good Water Control Public Safety Public Order Transportation Infrastructure
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