Religion and state capacity: Ottoman Europe in 1530
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CitationCoşgel, M., Popescu, B., Yıldırım, S. (2018). Religion and state capacity: Ottoman Europe in 1530. XVIII World Economic History Congress (WEHC), 30 July - 3 August 2018, Boston, USA.
We study the relationship between religion and state capacity in the European districts of the Ottoman Empire in the year 1530. Starting from a small tribe settled in northwestern Anatolia at the end of the thirteenth century, the Ottomans soon expanded their rule in the Balkans and eventually controlled territories in eastern and central Europe, including lands in today’s Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Crimea, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Whereas the population in these lands consisted of non-Muslims prior to Ottoman conquest, the fraction of Muslims rose significantly in some districts by the sixteenth century. Focusing on the year 1530, we examine how the variation in the Muslim share of population across districts affected the fiscal ability of the Ottomans to tax the population and their administrative ability to provide public goods and services.