The Wealth Tax of 1942 and the Disappearance of Non-Muslim Enterprises in Turkey

2019-03-01
Ağır, Münis Seven
Artunc, Cihan
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.

Citation Formats
M. S. Ağır and C. Artunc, “The Wealth Tax of 1942 and the Disappearance of Non-Muslim Enterprises in Turkey,” JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 201–243, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/35674.