OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden

English
Frequency
Every 18 months
ISSN: 
1999-0448 (online)
ISSN: 
1995-3380 (print)
DOI: 
10.1787/19990448
Hide / Show Abstract

OECD’s periodic surveys of the Swedish economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

Also available in French
 
OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2017

Latest Edition

OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2017 You do not have access to this content

English
Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/1017031e.pdf
  • PDF
  • http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/102017031f1.epub
  • ePUB
  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/economics/oecd-economic-surveys-sweden-2017_eco_surveys-swe-2017-en
  • READ
Author(s):
OECD
08 Feb 2017
Pages:
124
ISBN:
9789264269323 (EPUB) ; 9789264269316 (PDF) ;9789264269309(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/eco_surveys-swe-2017-en

Hide / Show Abstract

Sweden’s economy has fared well in recent years thanks to strong macroeconomic, fiscal and financial fundamentals, as well as a competitive and diversified business sector. Output has been lifted by an expanding labour force, investment and lately a pick-up in productivity. Unemployment is receding, although it remains high for vulnerable groups, notably the foreign-born. While income inequality is relatively low, it has risen more rapidly than in any other OECD country since the 1990s. Capital gains boosted top incomes, while benefits increased more slowly than wages. High labour market entry thresholds, spatial segregation, and bottlenecks in migrant settlement reduce opportunities and social mobility. Sweden is one of the world’s most gender-equal countries, even though foreign-born women are lagging behind. Women have a high employment rate, outperform men in education and are well represented in government and parliament. However, gender wage differences persist: women are under-represented on private company boards, in senior management positions, in many well-paid and influential professions and among entrepreneurs. This Economic Survey of Sweden assesses the country’s recent macroeconomic performance and prospects, and offers recommendations to foster more inclusive growth. In particular, reforms to housing, wage subsidies and migrant settlement and integration would raise the incomes and opportunities of the disadvantaged. So would a more systematic approach to benefits uprating. Better shared parental leaves would raise gender equality further. Fostering women entrepreneurship and promoting entry of women in senior management is also crucial.

Special Features: Income inequality; Gender inequality

loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Basic statistics of Sweden, 2015

    This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee (EDRC) of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Sweden were reviewed by the Committee on 5 December 2016. The draft report was then revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 5 January 2017.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Christophe André and Jon Pareliussen, with contributions from Hugo Bourrousse and Per Olof Robling, under the supervision of Vincent Koen. Research assistance was provided by Thomas Chalaux and Hyunjeong Hwang. Secretarial assistance was provided by Mercedes Burgos and Sisse Nielsen.The previous Survey of Sweden was issued in March 2015.Information about the latest as well as previous Surveys and more information about how Surveys are prepared is available at www.oecd.org/eco/surveys.

  • Executive summary

    Output has been lifted by an expanding labour force, investment and a recent pick-up in productivity. Unemployment is receding, although it remains relatively high for vulnerable groups, notably the foreign-born. Expansionary monetary policy is supporting growth and inflation is picking up. Macroprudential measures have been taken to cool the housing market. Even so, prices have reached high levels, boosted by rising income, low interest rates and supply shortages.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    Sweden weathered the global financial and economic crisis with limited damage, thanks to strong macroeconomic, fiscal and financial fundamentals, as well as a competitive and diversified business sector. Output has grown faster than in most other OECD countries over recent years (, Panel A). Population increases, to a large part related to immigration, have contributed significantly to growth (). Even so, the country’s GDP per capita has expanded faster than in most OECD countries (Panel B). Sweden’s export performance has remained steady since the 2008 global downturn with large current account surpluses persisting (Panel C). In a weak global environment, growth has been primarily driven by strong domestic consumption and investment (Panel D). Although residential construction contributes heavily to the investment boom, business investment has also picked up (Panel E). This has contributed to reviving labour productivity, which is now increasing rapidly (Panel F). Growth is expected to remain solid over the coming years, even though it will slow somewhat as the economy is now operating near full capacity ().

  • Progress in structural reform

    This annex summarises key recommendations made in previous Economic Surveys and Environmental Performance Reviews, and actions taken since the OECDEconomic Survey on Sweden published in March 2015.

  • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapters

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Income, wealth and equal opportunities in Sweden

      Sweden is an egalitarian society in international comparison, and has managed to combine equity with economic efficiency. Rapidly rising inequality and relative poverty from a historical low in the 1980s partly stem from ageing, changing family structures and migration. Living standards increased for all groups, but social benefits rose less than earned income. Incomes of newly-arrived immigrants and single mothers trailed the median. Bottlenecks in the migrant settlement process are costly to migrants and society, and high entry wages further slow integration. Spatial segregation leads to school segregation and potentially reduced social mobility for the least endowed, and rental regulations reduce the scope for settling where job opportunities are the best. Fast-growing capital incomes, likely linked to increasing wealth concentration and income shifting, increased inequality. Low intergenerational income mobility in the very top of the income distribution is a concern. Social benefits should be uprated more systematically and regressive housing-related taxation reformed to strengthen redistribution. Migrant settlement and integration need to be better coordinated and adapted to individual starting points. The number of wage subsidies and their administrative complexity should be reduced to ease labour market entry. Dysfunctional rental regulations should be reformed to increase mobility and limit spatial segregation.

    • Fighting gender inequality

      Sweden ranks among the best OECD countries in terms of gender equality. Women have a high employment rate, outperform men in education and are well represented in government and parliament. Nevertheless, without further policy measures, achieving parity is still a distant prospect in several areas. Wage differences between genders persist; women are under-represented on private company boards, in senior management positions, in many well-paid and influential professions and among entrepreneurs. Hence, there is scope to make further progress on gender equality. The share of the parental leave reserved for each parent should be increased further, as inequality in leave-taking and long parental leaves harm women’s career prospects. Fighting stereotypes in education is necessary to improve women’s access to professions where they are under-represented. Government programmes need to promote women’s entrepreneurship further. Special attention should also be paid to the integration of foreign-born women, whose employment rate is much lower than for their male counterparts.

    • Add to Marked List
 
Visit the OECD web site