Tax avoidance and state ownership — The case of Sweden

Axel Hilling, Frederik Lundtofte, Niklas Sandell, Amanda Sonnerfeldt, Anders Vilhelmsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


We propose a simple theoretical model for how a company with both private and state shareholders decides on its optimal tax policy. The model predicts that even in the absence of state shareholding, a company will not always pick a tax policy that minimizes taxes. Conversely, majority state ownership will generally not result in zero tax avoidance. Using panel regressions on the entire population of state-owned as well as publicly listed Swedish companies from 2000–2019, we find that a one standard deviation increase in state ownership increases corporate tax payments by around 14%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110063
JournalEconomics Letters
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Ownership structure
  • State ownership
  • Tax avoidance


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