Headlines 2014

New book: Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State

2014-07-31


In the newly published book Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State, Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund’s University, explains how a country can successfully combine increasing prosperity with a relatively egalitarian distribution. Unlike the French economist Thomas Piketty, Bergh shows that "the successful recipe of Sweden is not to tax capital highly, but rather to provide efficient, capitalist institutions that allow a redistributive welfare state".

In Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State (Edward Elgar Publishing 2014) Andreas Bergh tackles a number of controversial questions regarding Sweden’s economic and political development:

• How did Sweden become rich?

• How did Sweden become egalitarian?

• Why has Sweden since the early 1990s grown faster than the US and most EU-countries despite its high taxes and generous welfare state?

“Many are now reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. But Piketty is not very useful when it comes to the fundamental question: How does a country successfully and sustainably combine increasing prosperity with a relatively egalitarian distribution?” said Andreas Bergh.

Thomas Piketty’s answer is to tax the capital. But, explained Andreas Bergh, the case of Sweden suggests differently. In the book, Bergh shows that Sweden created prosperity and fostered equality by embracing capitalism. The successful recipe of Sweden is not to tax capital highly, but rather to provide efficient, capitalist institutions that allow a redistributive welfare state.

 

Read the first chapter and about the book

 

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