Shining a Light on the Mysteries of State : The Origins of Fiscal Transparency in Western Europe

Author/Editor:

Timothy C Irwin

Publication Date:

October 25, 2013

Electronic Access:

Free Full Text (PDF file size is 557 KB).Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

The extent of fiscal transparency in Western Europe has varied over the centuries. Although ancient Greek, Roman, and medieval governments were sometimes open about their finances, the absolute monarchies of the 1600s and 1700s shrouded them in mystery. Factors that have encouraged transparency include (i) the sharing of political power and rulers’ need to persuade creditors to lend and taxpayers’ representatives to approve new taxes; (ii) the spread of technological innovations that reduce the costs of storing and transmitting information; and (iii) the acceptance of political theories that emphasize accountable government and public discussion of government policy.

Series:

Working Paper No. 13/219

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

October 25, 2013

ISBN/ISSN:

9781475570946/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2013219

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

43

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org