Social Europe
26. Jul, 2017

Sweden: From achievements to uncertainty

A quarter of a century ago the economic policies of Sweden’s Social Democrats faced harsh criticism from political opponents as well as from academics. The party had governed the country continuously from 1932 to 1976, mostly in minority government, and then again 1982-1991 (and yet again 1994-2006 and from 2014 to date). Some critics thought then that they had gone too far in their emphasis on increased equality of incomes at the expense of economic efficiency. Others claimed that the tax burden imposed on households and firms had become too heavy. Others still thought that trade unions had been given too much say in economic affairs. Official statistics suggested that Sweden was lagging behind several OECD countries as measured, for example, by national income per person. That was then.