I Milken Review har jag en lite längre artikel om den svenska modellen. Den innehåller inte bara "det vanliga", utan är också ett försök att säga något om varför och hur det gick till under vissa formativa skeenden i den kapitalistiska välfärdsstatens utveckling. Det visar sig då att slumpen, omständigheter och oavsedda konsekvenser spelat en betydande roll.
The winding road Sweden has taken has made it difficult to say whether being more like Sweden involves increasing taxes and government intervention in the economy – or whether it means liberalization, deregulation and welfare-state retrenchment. So, before other countries try too hard to become more like Sweden, it is wise to look back at how Sweden came to be Sweden.
Ett exempel, hämtat från min Lundakollega Thor Bergers forskning:
Historians point to the early introduction of mass public education, with the adoption of the 1842 Elementary School Act. The law, which stipulated that every parish must have at least one school, is often mentioned by contemporary politicians as a shining example of Sweden's long commitment to investment in human capital. The policy implication is seemingly clear: political decisions promoted growth early on by mandating public education. That may well be the case. But before jumping to that conclusion it is worth considering the analysis offered by the economic historian Thor Berger of Lund University. [...]
In short, education promoted economic development in Sweden, but democracy at the time did not promote education. Knowing more about what actually happened in Sweden hardly leads to clearer recommendations for other countries.