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Open Access Colonial Revenue Policies and the Impact of the Transition to Independence in South East Asia

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Colonial Revenue Policies and the Impact of the Transition to Independence in South East Asia

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Abstract The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first part examines trends in revenue policies across South East Asia in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is argued that, by the 1920s, there were quite striking differences in revenue policies and performance across the region. The paper examines the reasons for these differences, paying particular attention to the conflicting demands placed on the various colonial administrations by conditions within the colonies, as well as by the changing priorities of the metropolitan governments. The second aim of the paper is to examine the impact of the transition to independence on revenue policy and performance. It is often thought that in most parts of Asia, the advent of political independence led to a greatly expanded role for government in the economy. While it is true that many newly independent countries had ambitious plans for government as the lead actor in promoting rapid economic development, in fact in several countries in South East Asia, it proved very difficult to increase revenues in real terms. The reasons for this are explored in the paper.

Affiliations: 1: SOAS, University of London ab10@soas.ac.uk

10.1163/22134379-12340022
/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-12340022
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
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Abstract The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first part examines trends in revenue policies across South East Asia in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is argued that, by the 1920s, there were quite striking differences in revenue policies and performance across the region. The paper examines the reasons for these differences, paying particular attention to the conflicting demands placed on the various colonial administrations by conditions within the colonies, as well as by the changing priorities of the metropolitan governments. The second aim of the paper is to examine the impact of the transition to independence on revenue policy and performance. It is often thought that in most parts of Asia, the advent of political independence led to a greatly expanded role for government in the economy. While it is true that many newly independent countries had ambitious plans for government as the lead actor in promoting rapid economic development, in fact in several countries in South East Asia, it proved very difficult to increase revenues in real terms. The reasons for this are explored in the paper.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134379-12340022
2013-01-01
2016-12-09

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