Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2018:4: The Stockholm School in a New Age – Erik Lundberg and the Swedish Model

Lennart Erixon ()
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Lennart Erixon: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The Stockholm-school member Erik Lundberg is the economist who devoted most attention to the economic theory and policy of the Swedish postwar model. The established view is that Lundberg was a steadfast opponent of the so-called Rehn- Meidner model, an economic and wage policy program developed by two Swedish trade-union economists in the early postwar years. The model recommends fiscal policies in the medium term, extensive labor market programs and wage policies of solidarity to simultaneously obtain price stability, full employment, income equality and high growth. This article maintains that Lundberg shared many of the premises of the Rehn-Meidner model already at the beginning of his debate with Gösta Rehn in the early 1950s. Furthermore, in their debate, Lundberg approached Rehn’s policy program and underlying theory of the working of the Swedish economy. Despite his ideological qualms, Lundberg’s ambiguous attitude to the Rehn-Meidner model turned into a complete adoption of the model in the 1960s. By highlighting the innovative nature of the Rehn-Meidner theory, Lundberg also correctly downplayed the impact of the Stockholm School.

Keywords: Swedish model; Rehn-Meidner model; Stockholm School; Economic policy; Wage policy of solidarity; Labor-market policy

JEL-codes: B25; E31; E62; J23; J61; O43

39 pages, September 21, 2018

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