Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873–2006

38 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009

See all articles by Daniel Waldenström

Daniel Waldenström

Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Jesper Roine

Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract

We study wealth concentration in Sweden over 130 years, from the beginning of industrialization until the present day. Our series are based on new evidence from estate and wealth tax data, foreign and domestic family firm-wealth, and pension wealth estimates. We find that Swedish wealth concentration was high in the agrarian state, and changed little during early industrialization. From World War I until about 1950, the richest percentile lost ground to high-income earners in the rest of the top-wealth decile. This equalization continued postwar; the entire top decile lost-out relative to the rest of the population. Around 1980, wealth compression stopped and inequality increased. We approximate the effects of international flows and find that the recent increase in wealth inequality is probably larger than what official estimates suggest.

Suggested Citation

Waldenstrom, Daniel and Roine, Jesper, Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873–2006. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 111, No. 1, pp. 151-187, March 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1395485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2008.01558.x

Daniel Waldenstrom

Research Institute of Industrial Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/danielw

Jesper Roine

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

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