The Scandinavian Welfare States
Achievements, Crisis and Prospects
This paper examines the development, achievements and mid-1990s crisis of the Scandinavian welfare states. Although the main focus is social policy, the author argues that it is impossible to understand the development of the latter without consideration of complementary economic policies which produce growth and thus employment. According to him, welfare state entitlements have made little if any direct contribution to the economic problems of the Scandinavian countries; on the contrary, many of these entitlements may actually have created competitive advantages. He sees the problem in that the Scandinavian growth and employment model, which was successful during the post-war period and up to the mid-1970s, is much less effective in the contemporary world.
© 1995 United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
John D. Stephens