Efficiency and solidarity : the origin of the Swedish model

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Joint director, Veblen Institute for economic reforms

Seminar Economy and meaning | Thursday September 22, 2011 - 9h - 11h30

The reason there has been so much talk about the Swedish economic model is because Sweden seems to have found a happy medium between demands which are often considered contradictory. On the one hand, it is a country where differences in equality are very small, the social welfare system is very good, and public services are very well developed. On the other hand, it has one of the most dynamic and competitive economies with well-balanced public finances and innovative, export industries. What are the reasons for this success ? Can it inspire us ? Those who say ‘no’ say that the model is so specific to Swedish history and culture that it cannot be applied elsewhere. However, according to Wojtek Kalinowski, the balance is above all the result of the formation of original institutions and rules which started in the 1930s as a reaction to serious social problems. France should be capable of doing what Sweden has achieved. French culture can change.

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