IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Swedish Model in Turbulent Times: Decline or Renaissance?

Listed author(s):
  • Anxo, Dominique


    (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))

  • Niklasson, Harald


    (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))

The main objective of this paper is to analyse the major transformations of the Swedish model. We argue that the current Swedish model appears today more in line with the three core components of the original Swedish model developed during the 1950s. In our view, the period 1975-1991 represents a clear deviation from the original Swedish model, a departure that culminated in the most severe crisis than Sweden has experienced since the 1930s. After this period of turbulence, the Swedish economy has undergone a particularly favourable development. Unemployment has been cut by half, inflation has been curbed and the country appears to have recovered from the deep economic crisis of the early 1990s. The changes in economic policy towards a more restrictive and anti-inflationary macro-economic policy, the reorientation of active labour market policies towards supply oriented measures and the structural reforms undertaken in the tax and social protection systems during the 1990s suggest a revival and renaissance of the traditional Swedish model. The modifications in Swedish industrial relations, in particular the clear tendency to a re-coordination of collective bargaining have also played a vital role in the Swedish recovery. These new developments appear to respond to a three-pronged objective: ensuring industrial peace; limiting the impact of transaction costs associated with the absence of coordination mechanisms and the negative externalities on employment and firm competitiveness of uncontrolled wage drift; and finally guaranteeing a principle of subsidiarity making it possible to adapt the provisions contained in industry-wide collective agreements to the productive and competitive constraints of Swedish companies. The various reforms of the social protection system undertaken during the 1990s have essentially taken the form of a temporary reduction of income replacement rates and, with the notable exception of the restructuring of the tax and pension system, have left the Swedish welfare state system almost intact. The Swedish welfare state remains, by international standards, still clearly universal and inclusive in nature and still enjoys a high level of across the board political and public support. The reshaping of the pension and the tax systems aiming at strengthening work incentives are also clearly in line with the general philosophy of the original Swedish model favouring integrative transitions instead of passive support and social exclusion. The recent modifications of the Swedish model constitute an interesting advance, creating an institutional framework favourable to the emergence of negotiated flexibility and a return towards a more balanced economic and employment growth. In our view, these developments reinforce the coherence of the Swedish Model and the robustness of its social cohesion.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University in its series CAFO Working Papers with number 2006:6.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:hhs:vxcafo:2006_006
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden

Phone: +46 470 70 87 64
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:vxcafo:2006_006. 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: (Andreas Mångs)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.