© 2018

Worlds of Taxation

The Political Economy of Taxing, Spending, and Redistribution Since 1945

  • Gisela Huerlimann
  • W. Elliot Brownlee
  • Eisaku Ide

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Gisela Huerlimann, W. Elliot Brownlee, Eisaku Ide
    Pages 1-16
  3. Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Cathie Jo Martin
    Pages 17-48
  4. Shintaro Kurachi
    Pages 99-129
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 349-357

About this book


This book provides a historical understanding of current debates over tax reform and offers a comparative framework for discussing the relationship between fiscal policy and the distribution of income and wealth. Topics covered include the evolution of income taxation since World War II; the turn toward value added taxation; the relationship between tax reform and the construction of welfare states; the impact of globalization on tax and fiscal policy; the social forces shaping tax consent; and the political economy of tax and fiscal reform. These topics are covered in case studies that focus on significant episodes in the fiscal history of Denmark, Sweden, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Japan.



Public spending Tax policy Financial crisis Public investment Inequality Wealth Income distribution Welfare state Public debt Social integration 20th Century 21st Century

Editors and affiliations

  • Gisela Huerlimann
    • 1
  • W. Elliot Brownlee
    • 2
  • Eisaku Ide
    • 3
  1. 1.ETH Zurich Institute of HistoryZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of California, Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CAUSA
  3. 3.Keio UniversityTokyoJapan

About the editors

Gisela Huerlimann is a Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland.

W. Elliot Brownlee is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Eisaku Ide is a Professor of Economics at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Worlds of Taxation
  • Book Subtitle The Political Economy of Taxing, Spending, and Redistribution Since 1945
  • Editors Gisela Huerlimann
    W. Elliot Brownlee
    Eisaku Ide
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance Economics and Finance (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-90262-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07978-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-90263-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 357
  • Number of Illustrations 20 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Financial History
    Public Finance
    International Political Economy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Deploying a concept of ‘varieties of fiscal welfarism,'’the authors investigate 20th century tax policy from political, sociological and economic history perspectives. Current debates over fiscal policy and debt will benefit from the case studies, reminding us of the importance of historical research for understanding the endurance of national characteristics in a globalized economy.” (Catherine Schenk, Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford)

“Both taxation and welfare systems can be more or less redistributive, and the contributors in this excellent collection of essays explain the interrelationships between how revenue was raised and spent in a wide range of countries. The results are of great interest to anyone grappling with major issues of our time.” (Martin Daunton, Emeritus Professor of Economic History, University of Cambridge)

“This excellent collection treats taxation as the truly global phenomenon that it is. With revisionary interpretations, this distinguished team of editors and authors has produced an compelling argument for the centrality of taxation in the shaping of the modern world—a welcome addition to every library.” (Julia Laura Rischbieter, Professor of Global Economic History, University of Konstanz)

“This timely, well-conceived volume brings together an impressive array of studies on the political and economic forces that have shaped the evolution of fiscal systems across the developed world since 1945. Particularly recommended for its attention to lesser-known cases such as Denmark, Spain, and Switzerland that add significant analytical power.” (Carl-Henry Geschwind, author of A Comparative History of Motor Fuels Taxation, 1909-2009)