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Finland and Sweden: a Nordic response to the Chicago School


  • Alan Duhs


Chicago School economics emphatically endorses individualism, antipathy to government intervention, and a minimalist approach to the welfare state. It features continuing calls for lower taxes and unrestricted markets. Nordic countries, on the other hand, have followed a different path towards socio-economic prosperity, favouring large welfare states, high taxes and high levels of government expenditure as a proportion of GDP. The Nordic countries have stressed reducing inequality and preserving social security. Despite these departures from free-market teachings, a scrutiny of a wide range of socio-economic indicators reveals that the Nordic countries tend to outperform other countries - including the USA and Australia - on many of these indicators, including perceived happiness levels. This paper thus addresses the universalist claims of Chicago School economics, and proceeds backwards from an examination of some empirical results to some evident implications for the (pluralist) teaching of economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Duhs, 2015. "Finland and Sweden: a Nordic response to the Chicago School," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(2), pages 165-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijplur:v:6:y:2015:i:2:p:165-180

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Knight, Frank H., 2000. "Selected Essays by Frank H. Knight, Volume 1," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226446950 edited by Emmett, Ross B..
    2. Jon D. Wisman & James F. Smith, 2011. "Legitimating Inequality: Fooling Most of the People All of the Time," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 974-1013, October.
    3. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1996. "Happiness surveys: Some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-27, May.
    4. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
    5. Jon Wisman, 2003. "The Scope and Promising Future of Social Economics," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 425-445.
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