Searching for Optimal Inequality/Incentives
This paper examines the evolution of economic inequality in Sweden before, during and after the major macro-economic recession in the early 1990s. Earnings and income inequality increased after the downturn, but government safety net programs buttressed disposable income for those with low income, and despite the rise in inequality, Sweden remained one of the most egalitarian economies in the world. The rise in inequality raised the return to observable skills, but the returns are still too low to explain that Sweden moved to the top of the league tables in knowledge intensive activities. Our analysis of attitudes to inequality shows that more Swedes expressed more concern over the inequity in inequality after the rise in inequality in the 1990s than in the past. Further, more Swedes expressed greater dissatisfaction with wages and working conditions. On the other hand, the rise in unemployment did not reduce overall subjective well being, probably because individuals adapted to higher levels of unemployment.
|Date of creation:||May 2008|
|Publication status:||published as Searching for Optimal Inequality/Incentives , Anders Björklund, Richard B. Freeman. in Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden , Freeman, Swedenborg, and Topel. 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2002.
"Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States,"
Review of Income and Wealth,
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-469, December.
- Aaberge, Rolf & Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Palme, Mårten & Pedersen, Peder & Smith, Nina & Wennemo, Tom, 1996. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 98, Stockholm School of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
- Rolf Aaberge & Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & Mårten Palme & Peder J. Pedersen & Nina Smith & Tom Wennemo, 1996. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Discussion Papers 168, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
- Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
- Richard B. Freeman & Robert Topel & Birgitta Swedenborg, 1997. "The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free97-1, November.
- Markus Jäntti & Eva Österbacka & Oddbjörn Raaum & Tor Eriksson & Anders Björklund, 2002. "Brother correlations in earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 757-772.
- Björklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor & Jäntti, Markus & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Österbacka, Eva, 2000. "Brother Correlations in Earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden Compared to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 158, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2005. "Income Inequality and Growth: A Panel Study of Swedish Counties 1960-2000," Working Paper Series 2005:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2005. "Income Inequality and Growth: a Panel Study of Swedish Counties 1960-2000," Arbetsrapport 2005:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
- Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way," NBER Chapters,in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 33-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, The Swedish Way," NBER Working Papers 4945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- A Bjorklund & Richard Freeman, 1995. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty the Swedish Way," CEP Discussion Papers dp0228, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Magnus Gustavsson, 2007. "The 1990s rise in Swedish earnings inequality -- persistent or transitory?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 25-30.
- Dan Devroye & Richard B. Freeman, 2001. "Does Inequality in Skills Explain Inequality in Earnings Across Advanced Countries?," NBER Working Papers 8140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dan Devroye & Richard Freeman, 2002. "Does Inequality in Skills Explain Inequality of Earnings Across Advanced Countries?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0552, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Dan Devroye & Richard B. Freeman, 2002. "Does inequality in skills explain inequality of earnings across advanced countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20058, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Matthew J. Lindquist, 2005. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality in Sweden," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 711-735, December.
- Lindquist, Matthew J., 2005. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
- Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)