Sidney and Beatrice Webb and the Swedish Welfare State : a Preliminary Consideration

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The aim of this paper is to show the possibility of a comparative study of economic thoughts of welfare states, focusing on the influence of the Webbs on the architects of the Swedish welfare state. The Webbs' program of 'national efficiency' contained the 'national minimum' policy as a modernising strategy for Britain in the international free trade system. Although the Webbs' proposal was ignored in Britain because of strong Keynesian influences, Gustav Cassel at Stockholm University introduced their ideas in Sweden at an early stage. Later,two trade-union economists who graduated from Stockholm University, G. Rehn and R. Meidner, developed the Webbs' concepts into the combination of the 'solidarity wage policy' and 'active labour market policy'. Their intent was that the Swedish economy should be efficient to survive in the arena of international competition. This Webb-Swedish line of thinking was not subsequently accepted in Britain because of a mixture of Keynesian influence and the Labour party's domestic-oriented strategy.


  • 経済学論集

    経済学論集 46巻(1・2号), 227-248, 2011-12



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