Growth and Crisis
Edited by Matilde Mas and Robert Stehrer
Chapter 7: Growth in the Nordic Market Economy
* Hans-Olof Hagén 7.1 INTRODUCTION During the last decade the US economy accelerated substantially and left most European economies behind. With respect to European economies, economic growth has been quite diverse across countries and it seems that the Nordic economies considered here, that is, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, have performed distinctly better than most of the Central European ones over this period. However, on the one hand these countries seem to have been more vulnerable with respect to the recent crises as the fall in export demand has been much stronger compared to the Eurozone average. On the other hand, these countries are recovering rather fast and Sweden has already passed the Eurozone on the way back to before-crises levels. So these economies definitely differ from the Central European economics. This makes it very interesting to study the growth patterns and the relationships between these economies in more detail. In this chapter we apply the growth accounting technique, which is a very useful instrument to study the growth performance of nations and industries. In Section 7.2 we focus on the growth patterns and industrial similarities and differences in the three Nordic countries. Additionally, in Section 7.3 we study price developments and particularly the impact of technological change and competition on prices. In Section 7.4 we study three distribution industries that play an important role in productivity growth: trade, transport and communication, and compare the development in the Nordic countries to the performance of these industries in the US. Finally, Section...
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