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"Flexisecurity" is more hype than anything else. Not because the Scandivanian countries are not economically successful (they undeniably are, and spectacularly so), but that their success is supposedly yet another example of free markets at work.

Let's look at the alleged differences between the Nordic countries and other models:

Government Spending and Taxes?

                                      Gov't     Social Security
                  Revenues    Spending      Transfers

Scandinavia      57%         53%            17%
Rhineland         47%         49%            17%
Anglo               38%         38%            11%

Source OECD (2004)

Labor Market Regulation?

Employment Protection Index              

                    1960s 1970s 1980s 1998

Mediterranean     98     93     98     77      
Rhineland           35     66     71     59  
Scandinavian      61     66     71     51
Anglo                 16     21     21     21

As I have said before, there's not a whole lot of difference between the Rhineland and Scandinavia on these measures - much closer to each other than they are to the "Anglo" economies.

That makes intuitive sense, since the Rhineland and Scandinavian models have much in common - powerful labor movements, institutions of social partnership that give labor and the public a much stronger voice in economic policy making and in how firms are run compared to the "Anglo" world (where shareholder value rules all), and generous welfare states.

But Scandinavia is undeniably successful, so that model has to be stuffed into a neoliberal box, no matter how ill-fitting, when it should be seen as a direct refutation of neoliberal orthodoxy.

by TGeraghty on Sun Nov 27th, 2005 at 12:36:14 AM EST
Why do the Nordic countries have high growth and low unemployment while France and Germany don't?  There must be some explanation.
by tyronen on Thu Dec 1st, 2005 at 05:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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