Social Democracy and the Swedish welfare model: Ideational analyses of attitudes towards
competition, individualization, privatization
Gothenburg Studies in Economic History 13 (2015)
Author: John Lapidus
Doctoral Dissertation in Economic History at the Department of Economy and Society,
School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 625, SE-405
30 Gothenburg, Sweden. (Written in English)
Distribution: Department of Economy and Society (address as above)
This dissertation consists of an introduction and five research papers dealing with institutional change and how different actors, mainly Social Democracy and its related trade
unions, have interacted with the same. Sweden was one of the countries that developed a
welfare model able to combine economic growth with increasing universalism and equality
both on the labour market and in the welfare state arena. During the last decades, however,
the model has undergone a lot of change. This includes developments such as the introduction of a new competition policy, the greater use of individual wage setting, the rise of private
health insurance and the new state-subsidized topping up possibilities within major welfare
services. By using different types of ideational analysis, these are the four areas investigated
in the papers of this thesis. Papers 2-5 deal with more recent developments, while paper 1
focuses on a time before the emergence of this type of welfare regime.
Paper 1 examines why Social Democracy had such a permissive attitude towards cartels
in the 1920s. It is found that the idea of socialization was the main factor behind the permissive attitude, i.e. that monopolistic associations were seen as suitable targets for future socialization.
Paper 2 investigates how different actors have viewed competition legislation over time.
One of the findings is that a new consensus on competition policy became possible only
after Social Democracy abandoned the idea to give the public sector a unique position in
terms of competition legislation.
Paper 3 reviews and examines the arguments for individual wage setting brought forward by the largest Swedish trade union. I find a lack of sustainability in the arguments
for individual wages.
Paper 4 analyzes the discrepancy between political rhetoric and practice with regard to
the rapid rise of private health insurance. I also investigate the relation between privatized
delivery and privatized funding.
Paper 5 describes the new state-subsidized topping up possibilities within three major
welfare services. It is argued that it represents a departure from the idea of universal welfare
services, which aimed to get rid of means-tested, selective elements.||sv
|dc.relation.ispartofseries||Gothenburg studies in economic history||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||1. Lapidus, J. Why such a permissive attitude towards monopolistic associations? Social
Democracy up to the first Swedish law on cartels in 1925. Scandinavian Journal of History. 2013; (38) 1: 65-88. ::doi::10.1080/03468755.2012.755133||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||2. Lapidus, J. Towards a fragile consensus: Political left and right on Swedish competition legislation. Published in Karlsson, Birgit (ed): Organiserad samverkan: svenska karteller under 1900-talet. Gidlunds Förlag (2014).||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||3. Lapidus, J. An odd couple: Individual wage setting and the largest Swedish trade union. Labor History. Published online 20 December 2014. ::doi::10.1080/0023656X.2015.991556||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||4. Lapidus, J. The rise of private health insurance in Sweden.||sv
|dc.relation.haspart||5. Lapidus, J. Reversed selectivity: Means-testing for the wealthy by subsidized topping up of Swedish welfare services. (Submitted for publication)||sv
|dc.subject||privatization, individualization, competition, Social Democracy, Scandinavian welfare model, institutional change, trade unions, competition policy, cartel legislation, the idea of socialization, solidaristic wage policy, private health insurance, individual wage setting, ideational analysis||sv
|dc.title||Social Democracy and the Swedish welfare model. Ideational analyses of attitudes towards competition, individualization, privatization||sv
|dc.type.degree||Doctor of Philosophy||sv
|dc.gup.origin||Göteborgs universitet. Handelshögskolan||sv
|dc.gup.department||Department of Economy and Society ; Institutionen för ekonomi och samhälle||sv
|dc.gup.defenceplace||Fredagen den 30 januari 2015, kl. 10.15, Hörsal Sappören, Sprängkullsgatan 25||sv