Political (Tax) Equity in a Global Context: Voting Rights Compared to Income Taxation and Welfare Benefits from the Swedish Perspective

Yvette Lind

Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review


This project focuses on the increasing global mobility across different taxpayer groups and examines how this mobility separates individual taxpayers and as such leads to deficiencies in social justice and political equity. Theories referable to social contract and citizenship are central to the project as they are often contrasted against each other, illustrating that it may be necessary to apply both in order to achieve political equity between individuals. To clarify, citizens may directly influence tax legislation and public spending through voting rights awarded due to their citizenship, resulting in political equity between non-taxpaying citizens and taxpaying citizens as they are equally entitled to vote regardless whether they have contributed to state finances or not. However, the application of citizenship as the requirement for voting privileges excludes taxpaying non-citizens from influencing regardless whether they have contributed to state finances through taxation or otherwise contributed to society. This suggests an antagonistic relationship between social contract and citizenship yet in this project it becomes evident that they are acting as safeguards supplementing weaknesses of the other. Both are as such necessary to be considered at tax policy level in order to strengthen political equity in a society where individuals are becoming more mobile, and as such less restricted by territorial affiliation or formal citizenship. The paper applies a case study comprising different (international) taxpayer groups in order to identify mismatches between legal frameworks dealing with taxation, access to welfare benefits and voting. These mismatches leads to deficient equity as taxpayers are treated differently with reference to their state of origin in addition to wealth and taxing ability.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMunich
PublisherMax-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesWorking Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance


  • International taxation
  • Mobile workers
  • Voting
  • Congruence
  • Social insurance law

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