Gunnar Du Rietz, Magnus Henrekson, Daniel Waldenström, Dan Johansson (HUI Research and Örebro University) and Niklas Wykman (Örebro University)
The tax system in a country is often discussed and analyzed among academics, laymen and politicians alike. The extent and design of the tax system will affect the entrepreneurial activity in the economy as well as the level of employment, economic growth and the welfare system.
Even if the extent of taxation has fallen during recent time, Sweden has—together with Denmark—the highest tax-to-GDP ratio in the world with a tax share slightly below 50 percent. The high tax level will influence the incentives and the decisions made by individuals and firms. The Swedish tax system has, however, changed radically during the last century, and several major and minor tax reforms have been implemented. The tax system and its effect on the economy was, hence, radically different one hundred years ago.
The purpose of this project is to describe and analyze the evolution of the Swedish tax system in a long-term perspective. The Swedish tax system includes different types of taxes—such as taxation of labor and capital income or inheritance taxes—and these taxes are supposed to be analyzed separately. The final aim is, firstly, to create homogeneous series illustrating the development of the tax system and its components in Sweden from the mid-19th century until today. Secondly, the aim is to analyze the function of the tax system and how it may have affected the economy in general and the business sector in particular during this time period.