This project studies the dramatic turn in Swedish ownership policy on ownership structure in the Swedish economy in the post-war period. After World War II, ownership policy was largely characterized by a socialist vision where the final goal was to de facto abolish private ownership. This policy came to an end at the beginning of the 1980’s. Since then, a large number of Swedish firms have been acquired by or merged with foreign forms. At the same time, there has also been an increase in the share of foreign ownership on the Swedish stock exchange.
Another important tendency is that there has been an increase in public ownership as well as in the control exercised by public or corporative funds over Swedish firms on the stock exchange. The old Swedish control model, which is characterized by individual families having a controlling influence over individual firms also when they are listed on the stock exchange, is mainly maintained through the system with differential voting rights. The above overview of the situation gives rise to several interesting questions that will be analyzed in this project:
To what extent is an ownership model built on family control, also applicable in the future? What effects can be expected from an increased share of direct public ownership, and from increased ownership by funds controlled by the government and from corporatist pension funds?
Can the emerging model with increasing ownership dispersion work without the kind of forceful incentive measures for firm managements that are so common in Aglo-Saxon countries?