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How They All Came to Love the VAT: Consumption Taxes, Big Business, and the Welfare State in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4354-6380
2018 (English)In: Worlds of Taxation: The Political Economy of Taxing, Spending, and Redistribution Since 1945 / [ed] Huerlimann, Gisela; Brownlee, W. Elliot; Ide, Eisaku, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, p. 49-72Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several studies emphasize the importance of value-added tax (VAT) for financing extensive Scandinavian-type welfare states. This questions common perceptions of labor parties’ preference for taxing the rich. This chapter examines how Sweden came to adopt VAT, and its precursor the sales tax, in the 1950s and 1960s. The conclusion is that labor governments intentionally used this fiscal measure to achieve a comprehensive welfare state. Resistance was answered with promises of compensation for low-income households. The influence of international organizations for choosing VAT is not supported. Concerns voiced by the domestic business community about keeping up with international competition are given more weight as an explanation. Repeated appeals for reliefs from taxation of business inputs were another decisive factor in the transition from sales tax to VAT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. p. 49-72
Series
Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
Keywords [en]
Sweden, Value-added tax (VAT), Welfare, Regressive taxation, Business interests, Labor movement
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150271DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-90263-0_3ISI: 000454533800003Local ID: 881253ISBN: 978-3-319-90262-3 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-90263-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150271DiVA, id: diva2:1236196
Available from: 2018-08-01 Created: 2018-08-01 Last updated: 2019-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Lantz, Gunnar

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf