Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Stefan Karlsson

Are free markets the secret to Sweden's success?

Sweden stopped outperforming other countries after a dramatic leftist shift in economic policies, Karlsson writes.

By Guest blogger / September 12, 2012

In this July 2012 file photo, Volvo Chief Executive Olof Persson is silhouetted as he attends a news conference in Stockholm. Karlsson writes that Sweden led the world in per capita economic growth between 1870 and 1950, when free-market policies dominated its economy.

Erik Martensson/Scanpix/Reuters/File

Enlarge

Nima Sanandaji has written an interesting paper about Sweden. It largely points to the same historical facts that I have mentioned in my previous writings, namely that Sweden during its most free market oriented era, from 1870 to 1950, had the highest rate of per capita economic growth in the world. After massive tax and spending increases during the 1950s and 1960s, Sweden stopped outperforming other countries, and after a dramatic leftist shift in economic policies implemented by Socialist Olof Palme after he became prime minister in 1969, Sweden started to seriously lagg other countries. However, free market reforms implemented in the 1990s, and in recent years, have enabled Sweden to once again outperform other Western countries in growth.

Skip to next paragraph

Stefan is an economist currently working in Sweden.

Recent posts

He also discusses possible cultural factors, and also points out that Sweden in 1920 had a relatively low level of economic inequality, despite the fact that government spending and taxation at that time was only 10% of GDP.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on stefanmikarlsson.blogspot.com.

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!