Report | 2012

Sweden's Position in the Global Economy

by Christian H.M. Ketels

Abstract

In the spring of 2012, the Swedish economy is, as many of its peers, facing a difficult and uncertain economic environment. While these challenges are real, the Swedish economy looks much better prepared to deal with them than many of its peers. Following its own financial crisis in the early 1990s, subsequent Swedish governments have made policy choices that reversed the country's previous economic decline. The objective of this report is to look ahead and identify what new challenges Sweden has to address in order to retain and enhance its ability to achieve high standards of living in global competition. As a "base report" for the Globalization Forum's work, the intention is to go wide rather than deep: we want to identify areas that are a priority for policy action but also further analysis, not develop specific recommendations for any individual policy field. The methodological framework used in this report is similar to the Nordic Globalization Barometer and related analyses of country competitiveness (Ketels, 2011). At its core is a definition of competitiveness as "the expected level of output per working-age individual, given the overall quality of a country as a place to do business" (Delgado et al., 2012). This definition is focused on understanding the broad range of drivers of locational prosperity amenable to policy action. The report aims to cover this large range of issues in a way that is accessible and concise: it is comprehensive in its coverage of policy areas but provides detail only where important to establish a specific argument. It draws largely on existing data and analysis rather than significant primary research. It wants to provide overall orientation and identify critical issues, not answer detailed policy questions in a particular field.

Keywords: Economy; Financial Crisis; Government and Politics; Policy; Globalization; Competitive Advantage; Sweden;

Citation:

Ketels, Christian H.M. "Sweden's Position in the Global Economy." Globaliseringsforum Rapport, Entreprenörskapsforum, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012.