Straining the Middle: Economic Change and the Conflict on Tax Reforms
In many Western countries, governments have been reforming their tax systems since the 1980s. Inequality research shows that most countries have focused on unburdening the rich. However, closer examination reveals that many governments also exempted lower incomes. The group that has experienced the largest loss through the reforms is the middle class, who have received either none or only relatively minor tax cuts. Using an historical approach, the dissertation project examines the influence of voters, interest groups, and lobbies in Germany, the US, and Sweden. It aims to find out why the electorally well-represented middle class has lost out in the game of tax distribution vis-à-vis the rich and the poor. Project duration: October 2013 to March 2017.