My guest for this episode is Mark Koyama of George Mason University. Our topic is a recent paper titled, “States and Economic Growth: Capacity and Constraints,” which Mark coauthored with Noel Johnson.

Just recorded at great podcast with @GarrettPetersen on my work on state capacity (with @ndjohnson).
— Mark Koyama (@MarkKoyama) May 24, 2017

As stated in the paper, “state capacity describes the ability of a state to collect taxes, enforce law and order, and provide public goods.” That said, state capacity does not mean big government. A state may have the power to impose rules across its territory, but it doesn’t have to use that power in a tyrannical way. Another way of saying that is to say that having a high state capacity is compatible with Adam Smith’s desire for “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.” (more…)
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