uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The legacy of the Swedish gift and inheritance tax, 1884-2004
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8826-0410
2011 (English)In: European Review of Economic History, ISSN 1361-4916, E-ISSN 1474-0044, Vol. 15, no 3, 539-569 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper is to study how people change their behaviour when taxes change. I follow the revenue from the gift, inheritance and estate taxes in Sweden during more than a century. Second, I focus on a unique episode during the second half of the 1940s when gifts and gift tax revenue exploded. I have access to aggregate tax revenue data since 1884. Moreover, I have constructed a rich micro data set of all gifts reported during the period 1942–1949 in one county. A first main result is that gifts, inheritances and estates never were important sources of tax revenue. Tax revenue as shares of GDP and total government revenue reached peaks already in the 1930s. The role of these taxes has instead primarily been equity and to provide integrity for other tax bases. Second, expectations were important. Gift tax revenue during the 1940s started to increase long before a new estate tax and increased wealth taxation were decided and implemented. The increase even began before the legislative process started. Third, economic power and economic control were important. Parents gave to their children to avoid taxes, but only when the expected gain became large enough and in ways that left them with as much economic power as possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 15, no 3, 539-569 p.
Keyword [en]
gift tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, tax avoidance, expectations
National Category
Economics Economic History
Research subject
Economic History; Economics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132604DOI: 10.1017/S1361491611000049ISI: 000296085500006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132604DiVA: diva2:358443
Available from: 2010-10-21 Created: 2010-10-21 Last updated: 2013-07-09

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full texthttp://econpapers.repec.org/article/cupereveh/v_3a15_3ay_3a2011_3ai_3a03_3ap_3a539-569_5f00.htm

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ohlsson, Henry
By organisation
Department of Economics
In the same journal
European Review of Economic History
EconomicsEconomic History

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 214 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link