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An Analysis Of The Land Tax Burden In China, 1650–1865

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the weakness of the Ch?ing land tax system to two practices: that of commutation, and of the shifting of the incidence of labor services into land tax. The chapter commences with a sketch of the basic features of the Ch'ing land tax system. It then provides a model to analyze the commutation practice and the fixed tax quota and their impact on the tax burden. In order to implement the theoretical analysis, the chapter explains statistical data are used, and applies the theory to interpret the data. The conclusions are two-fold: the tax burden had decreased enormously, and this decrease resulted from the lack of automatic adjustability of the land tax system. While government revenue was affected, the Ch'ing land tax system lost its efficiency to give way to a new system in the course of institutional evolution.

Keywords: Ch'ing land tax system; commutation practice; fixed tax quota; institutional evolution; tax burden



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