The wealth tax of 1942 and the disappearance of non-muslim enterprises in Turkey

Seven Aǧlr, Clhan Artunç

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Turkey imposed a controversial tax on wealth to finance the army in 1942. This tax was arbitrarily assessed and fell disproportionately on non-Muslim minorities. We study the heterogeneous impact of this tax on firms by assembling a new dataset of all enterprises in Istanbul between 1926 and 1950. We find that the tax led to the liquidation of non-Muslim-owned firms, which were older and more productive, reduced the formation of new businesses with non-Muslim owners, and replaced them with frailer Muslim-owned startups. The tax helped nationalize the Turkish economy, but had negative implications for productivity and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-243
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Economic History
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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