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Embedding Big Business. The Political Economy of the 1938 Corporate Tax Reform in Sweden

  • Martin Eriksson

Abstract

This article examines the business–government relations during the policy and decision-making processes that preceded the 1938 corporate tax reform in Sweden. This reform involved creating a new tax system under the turbulent economic conditions of the interwar period. But while literature on tax history has found that such circumstances often disable actors from agreeing on tax policies, a constructive outcome was still reached in the Swedish case. In this regard, it is demonstrated that one crucial factor behind the creation of the 1938 corporate tax reform was the formation of a coalition between the Social Democratic party and the business peak associations around a number of areas where their taxation interests coincided. Here, the Social Democrats agreed to shelter profits from corporations as long as they were managed according to the intentions of their countercyclical economic policy that encouraged industrial investments and employment expansion.

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Embedding Big Business. The Political Economy of the 1938 Corporate Tax Reform in Sweden

  • Martin Eriksson

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