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Liberalization without Retrenchment

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Andreas Bergh, Ekonomisk frihet, Företagandets villkor, Gissur Ó. Erlingsson, Liberalisering, Monopol, Pragmatism, Välfärd

Abstract

In 1980, Sweden was a highly regulated economy with several state monopolies and low levels of economic freedom. Less than twenty years later, liberal reforms turned Sweden into one of the world’s most open economies with a remarkable increase in economic freedom. While there is resilience when it comes to high levels of taxes and expenditure shares of GDP, there has been a profound restructuring of Sweden’s economy in the 1980s and 1990s that previous studies have under-estimated. Furthermore, the degree of political consensus is striking, both regarding the welfare state expansions that characterized Sweden up to 1980, as well as the subsequent liberalizations. Since established theories have difficulties explaining institutional change, this article seeks to understand how the Swedish style of policy making produced this surprising political consensus on liberal reforms. It highlights the importance of three complementary factors: policy making in Sweden has always been influenced by, and intimately connected to, social science; government commissions have functioned as ‘early warning systems’, pointing out future challenges and creating a common way to perceive problems; and, as a consequence, political consensus has evolved as a feature of Swedish style of policy making. The approach to policy making has been rationalistic, technocratic and pragmatic. The article concludes that the Swedish style of policy making not only explains the period of welfare state expansion – it is also applicable to the intense reform period of the 1980s and 1990s.

Related content: Working Paper No. 110

Bergh, A. & Erlingsson, G.Ó. (2009). ”Liberalization without Retrenchment: Understanding the Consensus on Swedish Welfare State Reforms.”Scandinavian Political Studies, 32(1): 71-93.

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Liberalization without Retrenchment
Artikel (med peer review)Publication
Bergh, A. & Erlingsson, G.Ó.
Publication year

2009

Abstract

In 1980, Sweden was a highly regulated economy with several state monopolies and low levels of economic freedom. Less than twenty years later, liberal reforms turned Sweden into one of the world’s most open economies with a remarkable increase in economic freedom. While there is resilience when it comes to high levels of taxes and expenditure shares of GDP, there has been a profound restructuring of Sweden’s economy in the 1980s and 1990s that previous studies have under-estimated. Furthermore, the degree of political consensus is striking, both regarding the welfare state expansions that characterized Sweden up to 1980, as well as the subsequent liberalizations. Since established theories have difficulties explaining institutional change, this article seeks to understand how the Swedish style of policy making produced this surprising political consensus on liberal reforms. It highlights the importance of three complementary factors: policy making in Sweden has always been influenced by, and intimately connected to, social science; government commissions have functioned as ‘early warning systems’, pointing out future challenges and creating a common way to perceive problems; and, as a consequence, political consensus has evolved as a feature of Swedish style of policy making. The approach to policy making has been rationalistic, technocratic and pragmatic. The article concludes that the Swedish style of policy making not only explains the period of welfare state expansion – it is also applicable to the intense reform period of the 1980s and 1990s.

Related content: Working Paper No. 110

The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector
Article (with peer review)Publication
Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Energies, 14(14), 4269.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to establish if Marshallian and Jacobian knowledge spillovers affect job creation in the green energy sector. Whether these two effects exist is important for the number of jobs created in related fields and jobs pushed away in other sectors. In the analysis, the production efficiency, in terms of jobs and job spillovers, from inventions in solar, wind and energy efficiency, is explored through data envelopment analysis (DEA), based on the Malmquist productivity index, and tobit regression. A panel dataset of American and European firms over the period of 2002–2017 is used. The contribution to the literature is to show the role of the spillovers from the same technology sector (Marshallian externalities), and of the spillovers from more diversified activity (Jacobian externalities). Since previous empirical evidence concerning the innovation effects on the production efficiency is yet weak, the paper attempts to bridge this gap. The empirical findings suggest negative Marshallian externalities, while Jacobian externalities have no statistical impact on the job creation process. The findings are of strategic importance for governments who are developing industrial strategies for renewable energy.

Aldieri, L., Grafström, J., & Vinci, C. P. (2021). The Effect of Marshallian and Jacobian Knowledge Spillovers on Jobs in the Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency Sector. Energies, 14(14), 4269.

Spin-in and spin-out for growth – On the acquisition and divestiture of high-tech firms
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

Purpose: This paper describes and discusses company spin-ins and spin-outs as a means to understand company growth in a dynamic context. The following question is asked: How can growth be understood in spin-ins and spin-outs of innovative firms? The paper suggests return on capabilities as a measure to understand growth in an open innovation context.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a single case study. Data was captured through interviews and secondary data sources.

Findings: The paper points to that resources alone do not explain strategic decisions by a company and how spin-ins and spin-outs result from the need for capabilities, changes in business foci and temporary solutions to deal with overcapacities or lack of alternatives.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to research by discussing contemporary issues in strategy and innovation and relating them to the resource-based view and the growth of the firm. Spin-outs, and acquisitions and divestitures as interlinked events have rarely been focused on in the literature, while they remain frequent phenomena in practice.

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