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2008 OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2008

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2008

This 2008 edition of OECD's periodic survey of Sweden's economy addresses key economic challenges being faced in Sweden including the current economic crisis and fiscal policy, tax reform, education and easing impediments to youth employment, and the next phase of privatisation.

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Privatisation

The next phase

For many years, public ownership has been relatively widespread in Sweden – even in sectors where, typically, private companies operate on market conditions. Recently, privatisation has become a policy priority. Empirical evidence suggests that privatisation leads to improved firm performance and higher productivity growth. However, the benefits are contingent on enhancing the degree of competition – privatisation in itself is not enough. This chapter reviews these links and considers what steps to take next. Recent financial market turmoil may require some deals to be postponed, but that aside, privatisation should continue. After completing the current first wave of sales, the way to proceed would be a combination of further privatisation and market liberalisation together with consideration of other methods for providing government support where a market failure or social objective remains.

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