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The Scandinavian Model – Prospects and Challenges

By Torben Andersen


Scandinavian countries are often portrayed in policy debates as model examples having shown how to square concerns for efficiency and equity. The core principle of the Scandinavian welfare model is an individual entitlement to public sector provisions combined with collective financing via taxes. However, a high employment rate is needed to ensure financial viability of this model. The Scandinavian model faces several challenges which affect the possibilities of maintaining a high employment ratio, namely, demographic changes, a growth dilemma and globalization. This paper discusses how these challenges affect the need and scope for reforms of the Scandinavian welfare model.fiscal sustainability, welfare state, demographics, globalization

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