This page collects scientific resources for anyone interested in Sweden and its interesting combination of high taxes and free economy. The closest thing to an english version of Den kapitalistiska välfärdsstaten is the following working paper:

Bergh (2011). The Rise, Fall and Revival of a Capitalist Welfare State: What are the Policy Lessons from Sweden? IFN Working Paper Series No 873.

Download it here!


Other recommended readings

The following a list of papers that are useful for anyone seeking to understand politics and economics in Sweden, and what it means for other countries. The list is aimed towards social scientist and contains some publications that require a subscription or access to a university library, but the aim has been to post links to freely accessible versions as well.

On the origin of social insurance in Sweden, a nice piece is Edebalk (2000), Emergence of a Welfare State-Social Insurance in Sweden in the 1910s. Journal of Social Policy, 29:537-552.

On the problems during the 1970 – 1995 period, a very good source is Lindbeck (1997), The Swedish Experiment. Journal of Economic Literature, 35:1273-1319. (link)

The use of social science in policy making and the pragmatic political culture in Sweden has been called “policy making Swedish style” after Anton (1969), Policy-Making and Political Culture in Sweden. Scandinavian Political Studies, 4:88-102. This is hard to find even in Swedish libraries, but a decent OCR-version is available.

A newer paper on the same theme, discussing the many reforms implemented in Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s, is Bergh and Erlingsson (2009), Liberalization without Retrenchment: Understanding the Consensus on Swedish Welfare State Reforms. Scandinavian Political Studies, 32:71-94. (Official link)


In 1976, Social democrats lost power i Sweden for the first time in 44 years. The right-wing governments that sat until 1982, did not change policy very much, but rather continued to expand the welfare state. On this, see the dissertation by Garme (2001). Newcomers to power: how to sit on someone else’s throne: socialists conquer France in 1981; non-socialists conquer Sweden in 1976: Statsvetenskapliga föreningen Uppsala. Available at a library in Uppsala (and possibly from the author).



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