Globalization and the societal consensus of wealth tax cuts

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Hanna Lierse

Wealth taxes are redistributive policies, which tap into the accumulation of wealth at the top. As the financial burden of these taxes affect a small elite, standard political science arguments suggest that they are popular instruments. Yet, democratic governments have increasingly cut wealth taxes. This paper sheds light on the reasons for their decline. It is the main argument that in the context of financial globalization not only right-wing but also left-wing governments cut wealth taxes as they undermine economic competitiveness, which is in the interest of the whole society. The societal consensus is particularly pronounced under corporatism, where capital and labour establish a reliable agreement not to tax wealth in return for long-term growth and employment. Based on a database for inheritance and net wealth taxes in up to 18 countries since 1970, the findings illustrate the emergence of a societal consensus of wealth tax cuts.

ZeitschriftJournal of European Public Policy
Seiten (von - bis)748-766
Anzahl der Seiten19
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 04.05.2022
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
I am very grateful for the funding received as part of my John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship 2016-2017, which allowed me to spend time on collecting data for the transformation of net wealth taxes. I am grateful to the comments and ideas that I received for this paper by the participants of the Bremen Political Economy Workshop on Inequality and Social Policy, of the SASE workshop ?Mind the Wealth Gap?? and of the Special Issue workshop ?The Politics of Taxing the Rich? held throughout the year 2020. A particular thanks goes to Pablo Beramendi, Patrick Emmenegger and Laura Seelkopf, who provided very detailed and thorough comments. All errors remain the author?s.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.