Capital on the moral continuum: the UK, Sweden, and the taxation of inherited wealth

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Martin Eriksson
Asa Gunnarsson
Ann Mumford


In this comparative analysis of the UK and Sweden, we consider, if inherited wealth is most deserving of redistributive taxation, then what lessons, if any, may be learned from the difficult paths faced by this tax in these countries. We conclude that the political momentum behind the Swedish family business was distinct, and, possibly, capable of travel to the UK.


The research for this article is part of the FairTax EU project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme 2014-2018, grant agreement No. FairTax 649439.

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Author Biographies

Martin Eriksson, Umeå University

Martin Eriksson is a Researcher at the Unit for Economic History, Umeå University. He has published widely on economic history; and, in particular, on post-war Swedish economic history, the second earner bias in taxation, and Nordic regional development policy.

Asa Gunnarsson, Umeå University

Asa Gunnarsson is a Professor of Taxation Law at Umeå University. She served as the Coordinator of FairTax EU, a Research Consortium under the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. She has published widely on the topic of taxation and equality, and on feminist perspectives in law, and is a founding editor of the Nordic Journal of Law & Society.

Ann Mumford, King’s College London

Ann Mumford is a Professor of Taxation Law at King’s College London. Her research has focused on international, comparative, and socio-legal, feminist legal perspectives, particularly those that arise through taxation law. She is the author of three monographs.