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The Rehn-Meidner Model in Sweden: Its Rise, Challenges and Survival


  • Lennart Erixon


The Rehn-Meidner model recommends active labor-market policies, tight macroeconomic policies and solidarity wage policies to combine price stability, growth, full employment and equity. The golden age for the model in Sweden began in the late 1950s and ended in the early 1970s. The following postwar period was characterized by obvious deviations from the Rehn-Meidner model but also by the survival of parts of the model. The rise and partial fall of the model in Sweden is explained by changes in political institutions, wage bargaining systems, trade union power, economic policy makers and economic thinking and by experiences of economic policy in the past. However, there is weak evidence that the departure from the Rehn-Meidner model is ultimately explained by globalization and new technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lennart Erixon, 2010. "The Rehn-Meidner Model in Sweden: Its Rise, Challenges and Survival," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 677-715.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:3:p:677-715 DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440306

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moritz Cruz & Edmund Amann & Bernard Walters, 2006. "Expectations, the business cycle and the Mexican peso crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(5), pages 701-722, September.
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    3. Chwieroth, Jeffrey, 2007. "Neoliberal Economists and Capital Account Liberalization in Emerging Markets," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 443-463, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jon D. Wisman & Michael Cauvel, 2016. "Why Has Labor Not Demanded Guaranteed Employment?," Working Papers 2016-02, American University, Department of Economics.
    2. Torben M. Andersen, 2011. "Social policies and activation in the Scandinavian welfare model: the case of Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2011-10, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    3. Robert Pollin, 2013. "Theses on Weisskopf," Chapters,in: Capitalism on Trial, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Erixon, Lennart, 2016. "Building a path of equality to economic progress and macroeconomic stability - the economic theory of the Swedish model," Research Papers in Economics 2016:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    5. Francesco Vona & Luca Zamparelli, 2010. "Centralized Wage Setting and Labor Market Policies: the Nordic Model Case," Working Papers 5/10, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    6. Jan O. Jonsson & Carina Mood & Erik Bihagen, 2016. "Poverty trends during two recessions and two recoveries: lessons from Sweden 1991–2013," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, December.
    7. Torben Andersen, 2010. "Why do Scandinavians Work?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3068, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Francesco Vona & Luca Zamparelli, 2014. "Centralized Wage Setting and Active Labor Market Policies in Frictional Labor Markets: The Nordic Case," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 349-364, June.
    9. Markus Leibrecht & Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2014. "Social Partnership and Macroeconomic Performance," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 87(8), pages 555-567, August.
    10. Erixon, Lennart, 2011. "Under the influence of traumatic events, new ideas, economic experts and the ICT revolution - the economic policy and macroeconomic performance of Sweden in the 1990s and 2000s," Research Papers in Economics 2011:25, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development


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