The political economy of the abolition of wealth taxes in the OECD

Elizabeth Clark, Victoria Gronwald, Ricardo Guerrero Fernandez & Emmanuel Ramirez-Casillas

Wealth and Policy, Working Paper 123

09 Nov 2020

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Wealth taxes have been abolished in many OECD countries during the last three decades. This paper seeks to bring together the existing literature on theories of political power, with empirical evidence on the abolition of wealth taxes in Austria, Sweden and France. We develop an analytical framework to understand the political challenges that the implementation of a wealth tax may face. In doing so, we find that drift models, business structural power models and theories on the role of ideas hold significant merit in the wealth tax sphere. In contrast, we find limited evidence for median voter theories within the realm of wealth tax implementation and abolition.

DOI: 10.47445/123
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