New Economist has been indulging himself (actually, truth be known he wants us to indulge him) with three posts on the Nordic Model (here, here and here).

Two things strike me. Firstly the fact that the UK presidency has been an absolute non-event (except for getting the Turkey negotiations started) since we were promised an ambitious programme of debate about precisely the topic of the EU social and economic model.

Secondly, as the last paper cited by New Economist makes clear:

The analysis also provides strong support for so-called absolute β-convergence among the Nordic countries. Thus, initial differences between the countries, in terms of real output per employee, real output per hour, and real wage per employee, slowly fade away over time. This finding tells us that the Nordic countries are not that different when it comes to saving rates, levels of the technology, and government policies.

Which means, of course, that these countries would have been ideal candidates for forming a currency union. Oh well, things that might have been! (Also it is perhaps worth making a mental note to check out more about that Nordic recession in the early 90s and what happened next).

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".