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Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) Working Paper Series

No 1052:
Swedish Taxation since 1862: An Overview

Magnus Henrekson () and Mikael Stenkula ()

Abstract: This paper examines the development of taxation in Sweden from 1862 to 2013. The examination covers six key aspects of the Swedish tax system: the taxation of labor income, capital income, consumption, inheritance and gift, wealth and real estate. The importance of these taxes varied greatly over time and Sweden increasingly relied on broad-based taxes (such as income taxes and general consumption taxes) and taxes that were less visible to the public (such as payroll taxes and social security contributions). The tax-to-GDP ratio was initially low and relatively stable, but from the 1930s, the ratio increased sharply for 50 years. Towards the end of the period, the tax-to-GDP ratio declined significantly. The analysis is based on a project conducted at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and provides both a unique length and breadth of the development of a national tax system.

Keywords: Keywords: Income tax; Wealth tax; Inheritance and gift tax; Consumption tax; Real estate tax; Tax reforms; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H20; H71; N43; N44; (follow links to similar papers)

44 pages, January 2, 2015, Revised September 10, 2015

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This paper is published as:
Henrekson, Magnus and Mikael Stenkula, (2015), 'Swedish Taxation Since 1862: An Introduction and Overview' in Henrekson, Magnus and Mikael Stenkula (eds.) Swedish Taxation: Developments since 1862, 1 edn., chapter 1, pages 1-33, Palgrave Macmillan.



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