Swedish Labor Income Taxation (1862–2013)

Reprint No. 2015:35

Author(s): Gunnar Du Rietz, Dan Johansson and Mikael Stenkula Year: 2015 Title: Swedish Taxation: Developments since 1862 Chapter: 2Editor(s): Magnus Henrekson and Mikael StenkulaPublisher: Palgrave MacmillanCity: New York Pages: 35–122
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

This chapter presents annual Swedish time series data on the top marginal tax wedge and marginal tax wedges on labor income for low-, average-, and high-income earners for the period 1862–2013. The tax wedges were initially low and the tax system, proportional. The tax wedges began to increase during World War I. The increase accelerated during World War II and through the postwar period. In the 1970s, the top marginal tax wedge was occasionally as high as 90 percent. The main explanations for this development were temporary crises that led to permanent tax increases, the expansion of the public sector and distributional ambitions, bracket creep, and the introduction of employer-paid social security contributions. The 1990–1991 tax reform represents the beginning of a new and continuing period of decreasing marginal tax wedges.

Du Rietz, Gunnar, Dan Johansson and Mikael Stenkula (2015), "Swedish Labor Income Taxation (1862–2013)". Chapter 2, pp. 35–122 in Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, eds., Swedish Taxation: Developments since 1862. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mikael Stenkula


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