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How Regulatory Reforms in Sweden have boosted Productivity

  • Espen Erlandsen
  • Jens Lundsgaard

The economic crisis in the early 1990s prompted action on reforming the Swedish welfare state and its institutions, including deregulation of a wide range of product markets. In that way, Sweden took early action compared to other OECD countries currently struggling with how to make public finances more robust in an ageing context. The reforms that were implemented during the 1990s are now paying off in terms of productivity and GDP growth. Empirical evidence suggests that deregulation has delivered a considerable “productivity dividend”. Although significant progress therefore has been made, renewed regulatory reform is needed to safeguard Sweden’s ambitious public policy goals. Efforts should focus on improving enterprise formation and labour utilisation, as well as on providing better value for money in the public sector by raising its efficiency and delivering high quality services. Comment les réformes réglementaires en Suède ont stimulé la productivité La crise économique du début des années 90 a servi de catalyseur pour la réforme de l’État providence suédois, qui s’est aussi accompagnée par une vaste libéralisation de des marchés des produits. Ce faisant, la Suède a agi de manière précoce comparée à d'autres pays de l’OCDE qui peinent à trouver une solution pour assainir les finances publiques dans le contexte du vieillissement de la population. Les réformes mises en oeuvre au cours des années 90 se sont révélées payantes en termes de productivité et de croissance du PIB. Les données disponibles suggèrent que la déréglementation s’est soldée par un « dividende de productivité » considérable. Malgré d’importants progrès dans ce domaine, de nouvelles réformes réglementaires sont nécessaires afin de sauvegarder les objectifs de politique publique ambitieux de la Suède. Il faudrait se concentrer sur l’amélioration des conditions de création d’entreprise et une meilleure utilisation de la main d’oeuvre, en plus d’une meilleure valeur ajoutée dans le secteur public en augmentant son efficacité et la qualité des services fournis.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 577.

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Date of creation: 24 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:577-en
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