Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 55: Economic Freedom in Sweden 1950-2002

Richard Johnsson ()
Additional contact information
Richard Johnsson: The Ratio Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The Economic Freedom of the World Index (EFI) is presently available for the years 1970-2002 for Sweden. In this paper I present Swedish Economic Freedom Index (SEFI), an attempt to create a corresponding index for the period 1950-70. By combining EFI and SEFI, it is possible to see the changes in the economic freedom in Sweden for the longer period 1950-2002. On an aggregate level, the economic freedom seems to have been fairly constant 1950-80, then increasing somewhat 1980-95, but seems to have been falling slightly since 1995. The overall level is, however, rather moderate. The most conspicuous decline in economic freedom during the period is related to the size of government and it’s growth. A certain amount of stabilization has occurred in this area, but the overall level is still considerably lower than the already moderate level of 1950. The decline in economic freedom since 1995 is also associated with infringements of the freedom to exchange with foreigners. Only in one case has the economic freedom been increasing considerably from an earlier low level of economic freedom, namely when it comes to the less restricted foreign capital market exchange (i.e. possibilities to own foreign currencies, at home and abroad).

Keywords: Economic freedom; Freedom index; Sweden

JEL-codes: E60; H10; N10; O11

24 pages, November 18, 2004

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