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Structural breaks, causality, and the redistribution hypothesis: The United Kingdom, 1829-1913

Wednesday 9 October 2019, 1.00PM to 2.00 pm

Speaker(s): Toke Aidt (Cambridge)

Host: Giacomo De Luca

Abstract: We study the effect of franchise extension on the fiscal structure of central and local government in the United Kingdom between 1820 and 1913 in order to revisit the Redistribution Hypothesis - the prediction that franchise extension causes an increase in state-sponsored redistribution. To do so, we adopt a novel method of uncovering causality from non-experimental data proposed by Hoover (2001). This method is based on use of a combination of detailed historical narrative analysis and tests for structural breaks in the marginal and conditional distributions of the franchise and fiscal structure time series. We find little compelling evidence in support of the Redistribution Hypothesis.

1:1 meeting with speaker in A/D230: doodle

Location: A/RC/014

Admission: All welcome