The Emergence of the Swiss Tax Haven, 1816–1914

Sébastien Guex
2021 Business History Review  
There is general consensus that tax havens have long played a major role in the evolution of the capitalist system on a global scale. There is also no doubt that Switzerland is one of the first, if not the first, tax haven to have emerged, as well as one of the most important in the world. However, knowledge and understanding of the history, particularly the distant past, of tax havens remains lacking, despite the considerable volume of literature devoted to them. Therefore, this article
more » ... s to make two innovative contributions. The first is an attempt to explain the emergence of the Swiss tax haven, by analyzing the processes and factors whose intertwining led to its emergence. It thus improves the general understanding of the genesis of tax havens at an international level. The second contribution is to show that already on the eve of World War I, the Swiss Confederation possessed the necessary characteristics for a tax haven.
doi:10.1017/s0007680520000914 fatcat:m3yt3dqm5je5xepkey3kjs5vuq