“Solidarity” behind the success of the Nordic model

Here is a good read about the economies in Sweden and the countries in northern Europe, where, “befuddling Americans, economic growth is robust, and unemployment is lower than in most other European countries.”

So writes Stockholm-based businessman Daniel Sachs under the headline “The Nordic Model’s Economic Appeal” in the latest issue of “The Globalist.”

“The Nordic model leads to one great benefit: it promotes adaptability and openness to change…Openness to change is a core aspect of the competitiveness of the Nordic economies.”

Sachs, who was educated in Sweden and at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, writes that he believes in “incentives” but then uses a word seldom, if ever, used in the U.S. debate — “solidarity.”

“What the Nordic experience shows is that ‘individual’ incentives can be soundly balanced by solidarity on a ‘societal’ level. Solidarity makes good economic sense. Solidarity — that is, risk-sharing — is a key ingredient in being open to change…These aspects of the Nordic model — the relationship between state and individual, generous social protection, freedom of the individual and high levels of trust — all help foster risk-taking and openness to change.”

In turn, he ends, this has led to high levels of trust, fairness and transparency, low transaction costs and low corruption – all reasons why he as a businessman likes the Nordic model.

Anything to learn here?


2 thoughts on ““Solidarity” behind the success of the Nordic model

  1. Klas,

    I have been conviced since earlier times, that what you write is 101% TRUE.

    The price that countries like the USA are paying dearly, is due to the following FACT, documented in a WB study cited below:

    In countries with a “free market” growth, INEQUALITY increases MORE THAN PROPORTIONALLY (linearly) with GDP/per capita… unless appropriate economic policies are put in pace in order to MITIGATE such effect.These policies HAVE been implemented among the “northern” countries by the Scandinavian ones and Holland. NOT so in the USA, especially under REPUBLICAN administrations. Hence “rich are getting reicher and…”.

    The study I refer to (quite technical in its stasistical methods, yet with cristal clear conclusions) is: J. Humberto Lopez and Luis Servén (2006):”A Normal Relationship? Poverty, Growth, and Inequality.[ World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3814, January 2006].

    If you, or someone else, can read Italian, I have summarized it in plain language for an Italian paper. Do let me know if you want it.

    The best,

    Carlo Castelli.

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