Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 179: The Social Democratic Party and the Question of Public Ownership 1982-1991

Henrik Lindberg ()
Additional contact information
Henrik Lindberg: The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 3203, SE-103 64 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The paper studies the shift in managing the state or public enterprises from a perspective of policy learning during the period 1982-1991 in Sweden. There was a significant reversal in the policy around state enterprises sector from 1982 towards a more market oriented business approach. The aim here is to investigate whether this transformation is a case of policy learning. How and where are policies formulated, and which sources are relevant to detect evidence of a possible learning process? If this shift could be described in terms of learning: When, how and why did the elite among the bureaucrats and politicians learn? The results seem to indicate that there is no specific event or paradigmatic shift that happened during the actual mandatory period 1982-1991. It was rather more of a gradual adaptation on the issue of state enterprises, mostly triggered by earlier experiences as well as the last major economic crisis in the 1970s and early 1980s. The actual learning that took place had its sources mainly from within the party.

Keywords: Social Democratic Party; public ownership; privatization; state enterprises; policy learning; knowledge

JEL-codes: L32

26 pages, September 29, 2011

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