April 11, 2006

Nuancing the favourable assessments of the Nordic economies

The Nordic economies have performed well in recent years. Economic growth and labour market participation have been higher than in the euro area; the government budgets have been in surplus; the labour force is highly skilled, the education system leads to good qualifications and to smooth entry to the labour market; the risk of poverty is low.

Nordic countries are almost always in the top of country rankings, for instance in the IMD Competitiveness ranking (IMD, 2005). This good performance in recent years has led to favourable assessment of the Nordic economic model (see for instance Aiginger and Guger, 2006; Sapir, 2005; Dutch Ministry of Finance, 2005). This memorandum tries to nuance and qualify some of those favourable assessments of the Nordic economies.


Wim Suyker