Yannis Skalli-Housseini joins HOST as a PhD student on the project 'Fiscal policy and social inequality in the 18th century Austrian Netherlands (1749-1794)', supervised by prof. dr. Wouter Ryckbosch. Yannis obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees in history at the VUB and a MSc in International History from the London School of Economics (LSE).
“The spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure (…) all this and more is written in its fiscal history, stripped of all phrases. He who knows how to listen to its message here discerns the thunder of world history more clearly than anywhere else.”
Some hundred years after Joseph Schumpeter wrote these words, fiscal policy (and history!) has been dragged back to the mainstage of public opinion by economists like Thomas Piketty. Yet for all the contemporary attention, much remains unknown about the social effects of taxation in early-modern societies. How regressive were fiscal systems? And when did economic inequality become an issue for governments, if at all? What were, in short, the origins of, and obstacles to, equitable taxation in the modern world. I look forward to contributing to this fascinating debate.