Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2019:19: Ingemar Ståhl 1938-2014. A Portrait of a Political Economist in the Swedish Welfare State

Lars Jonung ()
Additional contact information
Lars Jonung: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: For many decades, Ingemar Ståhl was a well-known economist in Sweden. He introduced new perspectives into research, teaching and public debate. He made his presence felt in areas as diverse as housing policy, defense economics, energy policy, financial economics, industrial policy, higher education, union controlled wage earner funds, law and economics, health-care economics and taxation. He advocated a public choice perspective which in his view provided a more realistic interpretation of the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats than that provided by traditional welfare economics. As an active participant in the public debate, he provided a pungent commentary on a wide range of issues. He contributed to the shift in Swedish economic policy from interventionist controls and collectivist systems inspired by Social-Democratic ideology to market-oriented and liberal solutions. Several of his proposals, most prominently the present system of student finance remain part of current Swedish public policy.

Keywords: Public choice; welfare economics; property rights; socialism; liberalism; welfare state; Sweden

JEL-codes: A11; B21; D51; D72; H43; I22; J51; L51; P48; Q18

17 pages, December 4, 2019

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