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A Swedish Economic Policy - The Theory, Application and Validity of the Rehn-Meidner Model

The macroeconomic principles behind the Swedish model were developed by two trade union economists, Gösta Rehn and Rudolf Meidner, shortly after World War II. The Rehn-Meidner model respresents a unique third way between keynesianism and monetarism in its approach to combine full employment programs, a tight fiscal policy and wage policy of solidarity. This essay demonstrates the logic and comprehensive character of the Rehn-Mediner model, as well as the originality of its underlying economic theory. It aslo analyses the application of the model in Sweden during the post-war period. In the 1980s, the means of the model were largely abandoned. In the 1990s, the governments generally adopted the means of the model, but they were unable to combine low inflation with full employment. A renewed interest in the Rehn-Meidner model may emerge from recent declarations by the EU to prioritise full employment without giving up the objective of price stability.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2000:13.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2000_0013
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/Email:


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  1. Hibbs, Douglas Jr. & Locking, Hakan, 1996. "Wage compression, wage drift and wage inflation in Sweden," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 109-141, September.
  2. Per-Anders Edin & Bertl Holmlund, 1993. "The Swedish Wage Stucture: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anders Forslund & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "An Evaluation of the Swedish Active Labor Market Policy: New and Received Wisdom," NBER Working Papers 4802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, June.
  5. Layard, P R G & Nickell, S J, 1980. "The Case for Subsidising Extra Jobs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 51-73, March.
  6. Holmlund, B. & Zetterberg, J., 1989. "Insider Effects In Wage Determination: Evidence From Five Countries," Papers 1989a, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Why is the Unemployment Rate So Very High near Full Employment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 339-396.
  8. Christofides, Louis N & Oswald, Andrew J, 1992. "Real Wage Determination and Rent-Sharing in Collective Bargaining Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 985-1002, August.
  9. Arai, Mahmood, 1994. " An Empirical Analysis of Wage Dispersion and Efficiency Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(1), pages 31-50.
  10. Mahmood Arai, 2003. "Wages, Profits, and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 593-618, July.
  11. Johnson, G.E. & Layard, P.R.G., 1987. "The natural rate of unemployment: Explanation and policy," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 921-999 Elsevier.
  12. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
  13. Assar Lindbeck, 1997. "The Swedish Experiment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1273-1319, September.
  14. Richard Jackman & Christopher A. Pissarides & S Savouri, 1990. "Labour Market Policies and Unemployment in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0011, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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