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How Does Neopatrimonialism Affect the African Staté's Revenues? The Case of Tax Collection in Zambia

Christian von Soest
The Journal of Modern African Studies
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Dec., 2007), pp. 621-645
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4501949
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
How Does Neopatrimonialism Affect the African Staté's Revenues? The Case of Tax Collection in Zambia
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Abstract

Following the neopatrimonialism paradigm, it can be hypothesised that in African states informal politics of the rulers infringe on the collection of taxes and in turn reduce state revenue. This article tests this proposition for the case of Zambia. Neopatrimonial continuity in the country is evidenced by three factors: the concentration of political power, the award of personal favours, and the misuse of state resources. Despite this continuity, the revenue performance increased considerably with the creation of the semi-autonomous Zambia Revenue Authority. Donor pressure has been the most important intervening variable accounting for this improvement. Yet, strengthening the collection of central state revenue has been consistent with a neopatrimonial rationale, and may even have fed neopatrimonialism overall, by providing increased resources for particularistic expenditure.

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