Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Economic Performance and Market Work Activity in Sweden After the Crisis of the Early 1990s

In: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden

Contents:

Author Info

  • Steven J. Davis
  • Magnus Henrekson

Abstract

Following a severe contraction in the early 1990s, the Swedish economy accumulated a strong record of output growth coupled with a disappointing performance in the labor market. As of 2005, hours worked per person 20–64 years of age are 10.5 percent below the 1990 peak and a mere one percent above the 1993 trough. Employment rates tell a similar story. Our explanation for Sweden’s weak performance with respect to market work activity highlights the role of high tax rates on labor income and consumption expenditures, wage-setting arrangements that compress relative wages, business tax policies that disfavor labor-intensive industries and technologies, and a variety of policies and institutional arrangements that disadvantage younger and smaller businesses. This last category includes tax policies that penalize wealth accumulation in the form of owner-operated businesses, a pension system that steers equity capital and loanable funds to large incumbent corporations, and legally mandated job-security provisions that weigh more heavily on smaller and younger businesses. We describe these features of the Swedish institutional setup and provide evidence of their consequences based largely on international comparisons.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c5364.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Richard B. Freeman & Birgitta Swedenborg & Robert Topel, 2010. "Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free05-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 5364.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:5364

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006, 08.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Working Papers 12354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Agell, Jonas & Persson, Mats, 1997. "Tax Arbitrage and Labor Supply," Working Paper Series 1997:26, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains in Britain: Evidence From Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 2084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Olovsson, Conny, 2004. "Why do Europeans Work so Little?," Seminar Papers 727, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    7. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 25-42, March.
    8. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
    9. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 1997. "Explaining National Differences in the Size and Industry Distribution of Employment," NBER Working Papers 6246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Lallemand, Thierry & Rycx, Francois, 2005. "Establishment Size and the Dispersion of Wages: Evidence from European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Laura Bottazzi & Marco da Rin, 2003. "Financing Entrepreneurial Firms in Europe: Facts, Issues, and Research Agenda," CESifo Working Paper Series 958, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Lindbeck, Assar & Palme, Mårten & Persson, Mats, 2006. "Job Security and Work Absence: Evidence form a Natural Experiment," Seminar Papers 743, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    14. Svensson, Roger, 2006. "Innovation Performance and Government Financing," Working Paper Series 664, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Sep 2006.
    15. Hellmann, Thomas F. & Puri, Manju, 2000. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Research Papers 1661, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    16. Lindbeck, Assar, 1982. "Tax Effects versus Budget Effects on Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 473-89, October.
    17. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Vlachos, Jonas, 2006. "Cross-Border Acquisitions and Corporate Taxes: Efficiency and Tax Revenues," Working Paper Series 663, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    19. Henrekson, Magnus & Rosenberg, Nathan, 2000. "Designing Efficient Institutions for Science-Based Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the US and Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 410, Stockholm School of Economics.
    20. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
    21. Erik Norrman & Charles E. McLure Jr., 1997. "Tax Policy in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 109-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    23. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Individual Wage Setting, Efficiency Wages and Productivity in Sweden," Working Paper Series 205, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    24. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2007. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," Empirica, Springer, vol. 34(5), pages 427-451, December.
    25. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Employer Size and The Wage Structure in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 5393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Understanding Differences in Hours Worked," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 365-409, July.
    27. Peter Fredriksson & Robert H. Topel, 2010. "Wage Determination and Employment in Sweden Since the Early 1990s: Wage Formation in a New Setting," NBER Chapters, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 83-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    29. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "West Germany," NBER Chapters, in: The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pages 149-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
    31. Sherwin Rosen, 1996. "Public Employment and the Welfare State in Sweden," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 729-740, June.
    32. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number king84-1, May.
    33. Richard B. Freeman & Robert Topel & Birgitta Swedenborg, 1997. "Introduction to "The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model"," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
    35. Filip Palda, 1998. "Evasive Ability and the Efficiency Cost of the Underground Economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1118-1138, November.
    36. Strand,J., 2000. "Tax distortions, household production and black-market work," Memorandum 35/2000, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    37. Magnus Henrekson, 2001. "Swedish Economic Growth A Favorable View of Reform," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 44(4), pages 38-58, July.
    38. Richard B. Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2005. "Marketization of household production and the EU-US gap in work," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 6-50, 01.
    39. Agell, Jonas & Persson, Mats & Sacklen, Hans, 2004. "The effects of tax reform on labor supply, tax revenue and welfare when tax avoidance matters," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 963-982, November.
    40. Perman, Roger & Scouller, John, 1999. "Business Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198775249.
    41. Richard B. Freeman & Robert Topel & Birgitta Swedenborg, 1997. "The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free97-1, May.
    42. Cressy, Robert & Olofsson, Christer, 1997. " The Financial Conditions for Swedish SMEs: Survey and Research Agenda," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-94, April.
    43. Martin Feldstein, 2006. "The Effect of Taxes on Efficiency and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
    45. Per-Anders Edin & Robert Topel, 1997. "Wage Policy and Restructuring: The Swedish Labor Market since 1960," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 155-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Seppo Honkapohja & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2007. "Chapter 4: Scandinavia today: An economic miracle?," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 82-120, 02.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:5364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.