Author: Andrea Revelant | Pages: 131–147
Tax systems are useful indicators of the economic and political conditions which concur to shape them. With respect to developing countries, an analysis of the tax burden can help to understand how the process of modernization is sustained through fiscal extraction from different social classes and productive sectors. This paper presents statistical evidence on the distribution of taxes in Japan around the time of World War I, which was a pivotal moment for both economic growth and political change. Sources indicate that government officials had a clear perception of inequality and its structural causes; the surveys examined here can therefore be considered a starting point for reform of the tax system, as discussed in the next twenty years.