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Reform Capacity and Macroeconomic Performance in the Nordic Countries$
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Torben M. Andersen, Michael Bergman, and Svend E. Hougaard Jensen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717102

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717102.001.0001

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A Crisis Not Wasted

A Crisis Not Wasted

Institutional and Structural Reforms Behind Norway’s Strong Macroeconomic Performance

Chapter:
(p.246) 10 A Crisis Not Wasted
Source:
Reform Capacity and Macroeconomic Performance in the Nordic Countries
Author(s):

Erling Steigum

Øystein Thøgersen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717102.003.0018

This chapter makes the connection between the Norwegian boom—bust cycle and banking crises in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the succeeding institutional and structural reforms, and the strong macroeconomic performance and stability of the last two decades. Comparisons are made to rather similar development patterns in Sweden and Finland and to the somewhat different developments in Denmark. The authors highlight various reasons underlying the ability of the Norwegian political system to learn from previous mistakes and to reach the necessary consensus to determine the implementation of necessary reforms. While the recent literature on financial crises indicates that a recession accompanied by a banking crisis may well lead to a ‘lost decade’, like in Japan in the 1990s, no signs are found of such a lost decade in the three Nordic economies that suffered from systemic banking crises in the early 1990s.

Keywords:   Nordic countries, welfare state, banking crises, economic reforms, institutional reforms, macroeconomic performance, economic policy, sovereign wealth fund

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