Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Lotta Björklund Larsen
    Pages 1-47 Open Access
  3. Lotta Björklund Larsen
    Pages 49-73 Open Access
  4. Lotta Björklund Larsen
    Pages 75-98 Open Access
  5. Lotta Björklund Larsen
    Pages 99-121 Open Access
  6. Lotta Björklund Larsen
    Pages 123-131 Open Access
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 133-136

About this book


This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book takes a taxpayer's perspective to the relations taxation creates between people and their state. Larsen proposes that in order to understand tax compliance and cheating, we have to look beyond law, psychological experiments and surveys to include tax collectors and taxpayers' practices. The text explores the view of taxes seen as citizen’s explicit economic relation to the state and implicit economic relation to all other compatriots. Larsen suggests how to build and increase tax compliance if we take the idea of taxation creating reciprocal relations seriously. 

The empirical cases are based on ethnography from two opposing tax practices in Sweden. Firstly, from a study of analysts, auditors, legal experts and managers at the Swedish Tax Agency and how they, quite successfully, strive for legitimacy in their tax collecting activities in society. Secondly, from fieldwork among a group of middle-aged Swedes and how they justify their tax-cheating when purchasing work off the books. Sweden is a modern society seen as particularly rational and the least prone to worry about survival issues; they trust their government and fellow citizens. Sweden is therefore an important country to look at as an example of tax compliance and whether other countries showing a continuous inclination towards these values will follow their lead.


Tax compliance Reciprocity Ethnography Economic anthropology Welfare Exchanges Taxpayer Marcel Mauss Swedish Tax Agency quid-pro-quo exchange Fiscal anthropology Swedish tax Behavioural economics Economic exchanges and reciprocity Tax as a gift Public economics Progressive marginal tax Contributive and distributive balancing Open Access

Authors and affiliations

  • Lotta Björklund Larsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Thematic Studies: Technology and Social ChangeLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-69771-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-69772-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site