Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Seminar Papers,
Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies

No 645: Swedish Lessons for Post-Socialist Countries

Assar Lindbeck ()
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Assar Lindbeck: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, Postal: Stockholm University, S-106 69 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Sweden experienced exeptionally fast economic growth during the century-long period 1870-1970. This illustrates that a decentralized market economy, highly open to international transactions, may be quite conductive to sustained productivity growth if the government fulfills its "classical" functions well. The subsequent period of centralization and large government, 1970-1985/90, was characterized by considerable social achievements. But the rate of economic growth was quite low as compared to other developed countries. The last period discussed in the paper, after about 1985/90, may be characterized as a "period of transition" away from the centralized and highly interventionistic system of the 1970s and 1980s. A number of transition problems are discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Sweden; lessons for post-socialist countries; transition economies

JEL-codes: H00; N00; P10; P20

48 pages, August 1, 1998

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