Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1052: Swedish Taxation since 1862: An Overview

Magnus Henrekson () and Mikael Stenkula ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Henrekson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Mikael Stenkula: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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

JEL-codes: H20; H71; N43; N44

44 pages, First version: January 2, 2015. Revised: September 10, 2015. Earlier revisions: September 10, 2015.

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