Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

No 225: What explains attitudes towards tax levels? A multi-tax comparison

Henrik Hammar , Sverker C. Jagers () and Katarina Nordblom ()
Additional contact information
Henrik Hammar: NIER, Postal: Box 3116, Kungsgatan 12-14, SE 103 62 Stockholm, Sweden
Sverker C. Jagers: Department of Political Science, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Göteborg,Sweden
Katarina Nordblom: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG

Abstract: We analyse Swedes’ opinions about the level of taxation for eleven different taxes to see what taxes people are most reluctant to and why. The most unpopular tax is the real estate tax, while the corporate tax is the least unpopular. We find a strong self interest effect in attitudes, and for corrective taxes information increases acceptance. We perform two case studies of Swedish tax policy and find political economy reasons for the recent abolition of the gift and inheritance taxes, and weak support for the ongoing green tax shift from labour to environmental taxes.

Keywords: tax policy; real estate tax; inheritance tax; gift tax; payroll tax; income tax; vehicle tax; alcohol tax; CO2 tax on petrol and diesel; wealth tax; corporate tax

JEL-codes: H20; Q58; Z13

28 pages, September 22, 2006

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