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Economic Growth and Economic Policy in Sweden in the 20th Century: A Comparative Perspective

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Abstract

It is conventional wisdom that Sweden’s economic growth internationally seen was unusually rapid 1870-1970 and then very slow. In this paper Sweden is compared with three country groups viz. sixteen industrialised countries, six countries at the same income level as Sweden 1970, and European small industrialised countries. It is shown that as to relative growth another periodisation is relevant. 1890-1950 with Sweden’s industrial break-through and the world wars where Sweden was non-belligerent showed an exceptional growth. Then, already from the 1950s growth was slow internationally seen. It is hypothesised that this was due to institutional factors related to the so-called “Swedish Model”.

Suggested Citation

  • Krantz, Olle, 2004. "Economic Growth and Economic Policy in Sweden in the 20th Century: A Comparative Perspective," Ratio Working Papers 32, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0032
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    File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/ok_growth.pdf
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    1. Williamson Jeffrey G., 1995. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets since 1830: Background Evidence and Hypotheses," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 141-196, April.
    2. Henrekson, Magnus, 1996. "Sweden's Relative Economic Performance: Lagging Behind or Staying on Top?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1747-1759, November.
    3. Korpi, Walter, 1996. "Eurosclerosis and the Sclerosis of Objectivity: On the Role of Values among Economic Policy Experts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1727-1746, November.
    4. Dowrick, Steve, 1996. "Swedish Economic Performance and Swedish Economic Debate: A View from Outside," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1772-1779, November.
    5. Tanzi, Vito & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1997. "Reforming government: An overview of recent experience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 395-417, September.
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    Keywords

    economic growth; gdp comparisons; gdp calculations; historical growth; welfare state;

    JEL classification:

    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P17 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P47 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Performance and Prospects

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