2016

Inheritance Taxation in Sweden, 1885–2004: The Role of Ideology, Family Firms and Tax Avoidance

Reprint No. 2016:46

Author(s): Magnus Henrekson and Daniel WaldenströmYear: 2016 Title: Economic History Review Volume (No.): 69 (4) Pages: 1228–1254
Preliminary version

Inheritance Taxation in Sweden, 1885–2004: The Role of Ideology, Family Firms and Tax Avoidance Magnus Henrekson and Daniel Waldenström


This article studies the evolution of Swedish inheritance taxation since the late nineteenth century to its abolition in 2004. The contribution of this article is twofold. First, the annual effective inheritance tax rates are computed for different sizes of bequests and asset types, accounting for all relevant exemptions, deductions, and valuation discounts. Second, an attempt is made to explain changes in inheritance taxation over time. Ideology appears to be the main driver of the sharp tax increases of the 1930s to the 1960s. Wartime economies with higher pressures on the people induced politicians to raise inheritance taxes on the wealthy, primarily during the First World War. Increased opportunities for tax planning for the wealthy are also documented, most notably a series of tax cuts on inherited family firms in the 1970s. This rise in avoidance opportunities for the rich, while middle-class heirs faced growing inheritance tax rates, undermined the legitimacy of the tax and led to its repeal.


Reference:
Henrekson, Magnus and Daniel Waldenström (2016), "Inheritance Taxation in Sweden, 1885–2004: The Role of Ideology, Family Firms and Tax Avoidance". Economic History Review 69(4), 1228–1254.

Magnus Henrekson

Contact

Ph: +46 (0)8 665 4502
magnus.henrekson@ifn.se

Daniel Waldenström

Contact

Ph: +33-754844839
Mob: +46 70 4916082
daniel.waldenstrom@if...

An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Omslag 2017 Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.jpg

The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se