Privatisation leads to profitability: report

Sweden's former state-owned enterprises have become more profitable and effective when privatised, according to a report from the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications (Näringsdepartementet).

The report, authored by Henrik Jordahl of the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, concludes that there are significantly more profits to be made for state-owned companies and employees by transitioning to private ownership – especially in conjunction with competitiveness-boosting reforms.

Minister for Local Government and Financial Markets Mats Odell backs Jordahl’s findings.

“Sales of state-owned enterprises undertaken by the government during this term have had positive effects for the public purse and to strengthen government finances,” Odell said in a statement.

The report also states that few studies have been done showing the effect of privatisation in Sweden.

“Despite comprehensive privatisation under both centre-right and Social Democratic governments since the beginning of the 1980s, there is a dearth of more comprehensive academic studies. This is a largely an uncharted area for Swedish academics that I believe deserves to be studied,” said Odell.

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Liberalisation fastest in Sweden: report

Sweden has had a quicker liberalisation than any other advanced economy in the world, in terms of privatisation and deregulation, according to conservative American think tank The Heritage Foundation.

“Among developed economies, Sweden’s climbed the ranks fastest since 1996,” said the think tank’s political analyst Anthony Kim to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Kim’s comments come in response to a study carried out by Heritage at the behest of SvD.

The newspaper wanted to know more about how the pace of liberalisation in Sweden compared with how the process had been carried out in other countries.

Liberalisation policies have been backed by previous social democratic governments as well as the current centre-right government.

Certain areas make Sweden stand out in the crowd, in particular labour migration, the country’s publicly funded, privately managed free schools, and the deregulated railroad.

Sweden’s regulations on labour migration, where being offered employment is enough to make the system one of the most open in the western world, according to OECD.

The Swedish school system is also one of the world’s most liberal. Only Chile’s school system is at a similar level. What’s completely unique is that the Swedish government doesn’t care who owns the school.

“In twenty years, we went from one of the world’s most regulated school systems to the world’s most liberal,” said national economist Jonas Vlachos to Svenska Dagbladet.