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  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Sweden's 1993 Competition Act (CA) remains the foundation of a broad policy approach that includes prohibitions against restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance, control of concentrations, advocacy and support for academic research. Enforcement of this legislation by the Swedish Competition Authority (SCA) marked a shift towards a judicial, rules-based approach.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Regulatory reform contributes to promoting sustained economic growth, complementing sound macro-economic policies. While Sweden has made significant progress on regulatory reform since the early 1990s and enjoyed major productivity gains as a result, it should instil more competition in the public sector, cut red tape and liberalise labour markets if it is to meet the challenge of an ageing population and maintain its high standards of social welfare.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Sweden enjoys excellent macroeconomic performance with high rates of growth, low unemployment and stable inflation expectations. Early steps in regulatory reform, taken in the 1990s, are paying off in terms of productivity and GDP growth. However, tensions are visible at the margin. Employment rates have not recovered to traditionally high levels since the crisis of the early 1990s. Joblessness is widespread among immigrants and youngsters, and disability and sickness rates are comparatively high. As well, renewed regulatory reform is needed, inter alia to address the low rate of enterprise formation and enterprise growth that may weaken the economy's ability to venture into new business fields.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Author: Felix Hufner
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid- 1990s. Three supply-side factors help to explain this phenomenon, all related in some sense to increased global integration. First, a shift towards imports from low-cost producing countries has resulted in falling import prices. Second, deregulation and increased product market competition with foreign companies entering the market has led to price falls in some sectors, notably in retailing. Third, wage growth has lagged productivity and kept unit labour costs down. This paper reviews these factors and analyzes the policy options for the central bank.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Monetary Policy, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden, Scandinavia
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Swedish economy has undergone impressive changes and has delivered a remarkable surge in productivity since the mid-1990s. Consequently, per capita incomes are slowly making up the ground lost in earlier decades. Labour market performance, however, has been less inspiring. Employment rates have yet to recover to their 1990 peaks and hours of work need to increase to support the welfare state.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Sweden
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: With sound monetary and fiscal frameworks and a good macroeconomic position, Sweden is better placed to face the longer-term challenges of an ageing population than many other OECD countries. As elsewhere, these demographic trends will put downwardpressure on growth in potential output and increase burdens on public expenditure over time. Managing this situation effectively within the welfare state approach while enjoying the highest possible living standards will be easier if the country can raise productivity growth, expand the effective labour supply, and get public finances quickly back onto their intended medium-term path. Productivity growth could be boosted further by increasing the pressures from competition in all parts of the economy, building on earlier liberalisation efforts. Effectively addressing cartels and other anti-competitive behaviour, removing regulatory obstacles and further exposing the large public sector to competition would all help. Productivity growth could also be raised if workers and capital moved more quickly and easily in response to shifts in costs and demand for different outputs. However, taking the rewards for productivity improvements in the form of lower working hours diminishes the tax base; further reductions in high marginal tax rates would reduce the incentive to do so. Although employment rates are already high overall, more could be done to get young people qualified and into the workforce earlier and to improve the integration of immigrants. Reducing the numbers of people drawing sickness and disability benefits will not only boost effective labour supply but also help ease expenditure pressures. More generally, tight expenditure restraint will be necessary to attain the government's surplus target. The budget framework could be refined in ways that would help to ensure that public finances are sustainable in the long term, while also providing room to moderate marginal tax rates in order to boost incentives to work, save and invest. Further progress towards environmental sustainability could focus on improving the cost-effectiveness of policies. Ultimately, creating faster growth and maintaining the welfare state depend on continuation of far-sighted economic management.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Human Rights, International Organization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Sweden