Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Evolution of Top Incomes in an Egalitarian Society: Sweden, 1903–2004

Contents:

Author Info

  • Roine, Jesper

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Waldenström, Daniel

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

This study presents new homogenous series of top income shares in Sweden over the period 1903 to 2004. We find that, starting from higher levels of inequality than in other Western countries, the income share of the Swedish top decile drops sharply over the first eighty years of the century. The fall is almost entirely due to a dramatic drop in the top percentile, while the lower half of the top decile experiences virtually no change over this period. Most of the decrease takes place before the expansion of the welfare state, in fact, by 1950 Swedish top income shares were already lower than in other countries. In the past decades the Swedish top income shares developed very differently depending on whether capital gains are included or not. Including them, Sweden’s experience resembles that in the U.S. and the U.K. with sharp increases in top incomes, whereas excluding them Sweden looks more like the Continental European countries where top income shares have remained relatively constant. A possible interpretation of our results is that Sweden over the past 20 years has become a country where it is more important make the right investments than to have a high salary to become rich.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0625.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 625.

as in new window
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 11 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0625

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Email:
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Income inequality; Income distribution; Wealth distribution; Top incomes; Welfare State; Sweden; Taxation; Capital gains;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Simon Kuznets, 1950. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn50-1, June.
  2. Morrisson, Christian, 2000. "Historical perspectives on income distribution: The case of Europe," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 217-260 Elsevier.
  3. A.B. Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia," CEPR Discussion Papers 514, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 33-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dell, Fabien & Piketty, Thomas & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland Over the 20th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 5090, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Alvaredo, Facundo & Saez, Emmanuel, 2006. "Income and Wealth Concentration in Spain in a Historical and Fiscal Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Henrekson, Magnus & Jakobsson, Ulf, 2003. "The Swedish Model of Corporate Ownership and Control in Transition," Working Paper Series 593, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  8. Ian Dew-Becker & Robert J. Gordon, 2005. "Where Did the Productivity Growth Go? Inflation Dynamics and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 11842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peter H. Lindert, . "Three Centuries Of Inequality In Britain And America," Department of Economics 97-09, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  10. Lindbeck, Assar, 2006. "The Welfare State -- Background, Achievements, Problems," Working Paper Series 662, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Apel,M., 1994. "An Expenditure-Based Estimate of Tax Evasion in Sweden," Papers 1, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  12. Björklund, Anders & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "The Evolution of Income Inequality During the Rise of the Swedish Welfare State 1951 to 1973," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0450, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 07 Jun 2001.
  13. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
  14. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 200-205, May.
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Reported Incomes and Marginal Tax Rates, 1960-2000: Evidence and Policy Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 117-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gustafsson, Bj rn & Johansson, Mats, 2003. "Steps toward equality: How and why income inequality in urban Sweden changed during the period 1925 1958," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 191-211, August.
  17. A. B. Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2005. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in New Zealand," CEPR Discussion Papers 503, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  18. Fabien Dell, 2005. "Top Incomes in Germany and Switzerland Over the Twentieth Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 412-421, 04/05.
  19. Ian Dew-Becker & Robert J. Gordon, 2005. "Where Did Productivity Growth Go? Inflation Dynamics and the Distribution of Income," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 67-150.
  20. Anthony B. Atkinson & Wiemer Salverda, 2005. "Top Incomes In The Netherlands And The United Kingdom Over The 20th Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 883-913, 06.
  21. Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2005. "Top Incomes in Sweden over the Twentieth Century," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 602, Stockholm School of Economics.
  22. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2005. "Comparing the Distribution of Top Incomes Across Countries," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 393-401, 04/05.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. ”Arbetslinjen” medför barnfattigdom
    by Fred in Fred Torssander on 2012-05-31 16:43:31
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0625. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helena Lundin).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.