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Sweden's Welfare State: Can the Bumblebee Keep Flying?

Author/Editor: Thakur, Subhash Madhav | Keen, Michael | Horváth, Balázs | Cerra, Valerie
Published: May 1, 2003
Electronic Access: Link to Abstract

Summary: Sweden has long been viewed as epitomizing a particular approach to economic and social policy. To its advocates, the Swedish welfare state builds on a strong social consensus favoring extensive state intervention to ensure a high quality of life for all Swedes. To its critics, the Swedish system is marked by excessive government intervention and attendant inefficiencies. These contrasting views are captured in imagery used by Prime Minister Göran Persson: "Think of a bumblebee. With its overly heavy body and little wings, supposedly it should not be able to fly--but it does." The Swedish welfare state is the bumblebee that has managed to fly. This book draws on many years of IMF surveillance and policy advice to explain how it has done so, to assess the challenges that the Swedish model faces in the new century, to propose a strategy for dealing with those challenges, and to draw lessons for the many other countries that face similar challenges from globalization and demographics.
 
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Subject(s): Economic policy | Labor | Pensioners | Sweden | Tax rates
 
English  
    Published:   May 1, 2003        
    ISBN/ISSN:   978-1-58906-158-3   Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   SWSCEA   Pages:   152
    Price:   US$23.50 (Academic Rate: US$23.50 )
       
     
Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org.