Media release: Is Sweden a socialist economy?

19 October, 2012

Dr Christian Sandström will talk in Wellington on 24 October, on Sweden’s economic position and whether the country really has a socialist economy.   With taxes and labour market regulation the only exceptions, Sweden is today in many regards a capitalist economy. Extensive privatisation and deregulation combined with sound fiscal policies have given back Sweden some of its competitiveness over the last two decades.

The Swedish economy emerged from the financial crisis as one of Europe’s strongest economies making it one of the most competitive and globalised in the world today. Dr Sandström, Researcher at the Ratio Institute in Stockholm Sweden, said from 1935 Sweden had developed into a social democratic country.

“Sweden has one of the most developed welfare states in the world and is famously a high-tax economy. This leads people to believe Sweden is a thoroughly socialist country. Maybe once that was even true, but is it still true today?”

According to Dr Sandström, with the exceptions of taxes and labor market regulation, Sweden is among the most liberal countries in the Western world.

“At this Initiative@home event I will examine contemporary social, economic policies and trends, and explore whether perceptions of social democratic Sweden are actually a modern reality,” Dr Sandström said.

The event, hosted by The New Zealand Initiative, is one of the think tank’s regular Initiative@home events that aim to encourage public policy debate.

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