The Nordic model refers to the economic and social policies common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Sweden). This includes a comprehensive welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level with a high percentage of the workforce unionized while being based on the economic foundations of free market capitalism. The Nordic model began to earn attention after World War II.
The Scandinavian countries were all monarchies, with Finland and Iceland becoming republics in the 20th century. Currently, the Nordic countries have been described as being highly democratic. Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a universalist welfare state aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; a corporatist system involving a tripartite arrangement where representatives of labor and employers negotiate wages and labor market policy mediated by the government; and a commitment to private ownership (with some caveats), a mixed economy and free trade.
Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours. As of 2018, all of the Nordic countries rank highly on the Inequality-adjusted HDI and the Global Peace Index.
"The Nordic Model – Embracing globalization and sharing risks" characterises the system as follows:
- An elaborate social safety net, in addition to public services such as free education and universal healthcare in a largely tax-funded system.
- Strong property rights, contract enforcement and overall ease of doing business.
- Public pension plans.
- Free trade combined with collective risk sharing (social programs, labour market institutions) which has provided a form of protection against the risks associated with economic openness.
- Little product market regulation. Nordic countries rank very high in product market freedom according to OECD rankings.
- Low levels of corruption. In Transparency International's 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway were ranked among the top 10 least corrupt of the 167 countries evaluated.
- High percentage of workers belonging to a labour union. In 2013, labour union density was 88% in Iceland, 69% in Denmark, 67% in Sweden, 66% in Finland and 51% in Norway. In comparison, labour union density was 18% in Germany, 11% in the United States and 8% in France. The lower union density in Norway is mainly explained by the absence of a Ghent system since 1938. In contrast, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all have union-run unemployment funds.
- A partnership between employers, trade unions and the government, whereby these social partners negotiate the terms to regulating the workplace among themselves, rather than the terms being imposed by law. Sweden has decentralised wage co-ordination while Finland is ranked the least flexible. The changing economic conditions have given rise to fear among workers as well as resistance by trade unions in regards to reforms. At the same time, reforms and favourable economic development seem to have reduced unemployment, which has traditionally been higher. Denmark's Social Democrats managed to push through reforms in 1994 and 1996 (see flexicurity).
- The United Nations World Happiness Reports show that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe. The Nordics ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption. The Nordic countries place in the top 10 of the World Happiness Report 2018, with Finland and Norway taking the top spots.
- The Nordic countries received the highest ranking for protecting workers rights on the International Trade Union Confederation's 2014 Global Rights Index, with Denmark being the only nation to receive a perfect score.
- Sweden at 56.6% of GDP, Denmark at 51.7% and Finland at 48.6% reflect very high public spending. One key reason for public spending is the large number of public employees. These employees work in various fields including education, healthcare and for the government itself. They often have greater job security and make up around a third of the workforce (more than 38% in Denmark). Public spending in social transfers such as unemployment benefits and early-retirement programmes is high. In 2001, the wage-based unemployment benefits were around 90% of wage in Denmark and 80% in Sweden, compared to 75% in the Netherlands and 60% in Germany. The unemployed were also able to receive benefits several years before reductions, compared to quick benefit reduction in other countries.
- Public expenditure for health and education is significantly higher in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in comparison to the OECD average.
- Overall tax burdens (as a percentage of GDP) are high: Sweden (44.1%), Denmark (45.9%) and Finland (44.1%). The Nordic countries have relatively flat tax rates, meaning that even those with medium and low incomes are taxed at relatively high levels.
Labor market policyEdit
The Nordic countries share active labor market policies as part of a corporatist economic model intended to reduce conflict between labor and the interests of capital. The corporatist system is most extensive in Sweden and Norway, where employer federations and labor representatives bargain at the national level mediated by the government. Labor market interventions are aimed at providing job retraining and relocation.
The Nordic labor market is flexible, with laws making it easy for employers to hire and shed workers or introduce labor-saving technology. To mitigate the negative effect on workers, the government labor market policies are designed to provide generous social welfare, job retraining and relocation to limit any conflicts between capital and labor that might arise from this process.
The Nordic model is underpinned by a free market capitalist economic system that features high degrees of private ownership with the exception of Norway, which includes a large number of state-owned enterprises and state ownership in publicly listed firms.
The Nordic model is described as a system of competitive capitalism combined with a large percentage of the population employed by the public sector (roughly 30% of the work force). In 2013, The Economist described its countries as "stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies" while also looking for ways to temper capitalism's harsher effects, and declared that the Nordic countries "are probably the best-governed in the world". Some economists have referred to the Nordic economic model as a form of "cuddly" capitalism, with low levels of inequality, generous welfare states and reduced concentration of top incomes and contrast it with the more "cut-throat" capitalism of the United States, which has high levels of inequality and a larger concentration of top incomes.
Beginning in the 1990s, the Swedish economy pursued neoliberal reforms that reduced the role of the public sector, leading to the fastest growth in inequality of any OECD economy. However, Sweden's income inequality still remains lower than most other countries.
The state of Norway has ownership stakes in many of the country's largest publicly listed companies, owning 37% of the Oslo stockmarket and operating the country's largest non-listed companies including Equinor and Statkraft. The Economist reports that "after the second world war the government nationalised all German business interests in Norway and ended up owning 44% of Norsk Hydro's shares. The formula of controlling business through shares rather than regulation seemed to work well, so the government used it wherever possible. 'We invented the Chinese way of doing things before the Chinese', says Torger Reve of the Norwegian Business School".
The government also operates a sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund of Norway—whose partial objective is to prepare Norway for a post-oil future, but "unusually among oil-producing nations, it is also a big advocate of human rights—and a powerful one, thanks to its control of the Nobel peace prize".
Norway is the only major economy in the West where younger generations are getting richer, with a 13% increase in disposable income for 2018, bucking the trend seen in other Western nations of Millennials becoming poorer than the generations which came before.
Nordic welfare modelEdit
The Nordic welfare model refers to the welfare policies of the Nordic countries, which also tie into their labor market policies. The Nordic model of welfare is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.
While there are differences among the Nordic countries, they all share a broad commitment to social cohesion, a universal nature of welfare provision in order to safeguard individualism by providing protection for vulnerable individuals and groups in society and maximizing public participation in social decision-making. It is characterized by flexibility and openness to innovation in the provision of welfare. The Nordic welfare systems are mainly funded through taxation.
Despite the common values, the Nordic countries take different approaches to the practical administration of the welfare state. Denmark features a high degree of private sector provision of public services and welfare, alongside an assimilation immigration policy. Iceland's welfare model is based on a "welfare-to-work" (see workfare) model while part of Finland's welfare state includes the voluntary sector playing a significant role in providing care for the elderly. Norway relies most extensively on public provision of welfare.
The Nordic model has been successful at significantly reducing poverty. In 2011, poverty rates before taking into account the effects of taxes and transfers stood at 24.7% in Denmark, 31.9% in Finland, 21.6% in Iceland, 25.6% in Norway and 26.5% in Sweden. After accounting for taxes and transfers, the poverty rates for the same year became 6%, 7.5%, 5.7%, 7.7% and 9.7% respectively, for an average reduction of 18.7 p.p. Compared to the United States, which has a poverty level pre-tax of 28.3% and post-tax of 17.4% for a reduction of 10.9 p.p., the effects of tax and transfers on poverty in all the Nordic countries are substantially bigger. However, in comparison to France (27 p.p. reduction) and Germany (24.2 p.p. reduction) the taxes and transfers in the Nordic countries are smaller on average.
Religion as a factorEdit
Scandinavian countries have Lutheranism as their main religion. Schroder argues that Lutheranism promotes the idea of a nationwide community of believers and it promotes state involvement in economic and social life. This allows nationwide welfare solidarity and economic coordination. Currently, a large number of Scandinavians have been described as being irreligious.
The Nordic model has been positively received by some American politicians and political commentators. Jerry Mander has likened the Nordic model to a kind of "hybrid" system which features a blend of capitalist economics with socialist values, representing an alternative to American-style capitalism. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has pointed to Scandinavia and the Nordic model as something the United States can learn from, in particular with respect to the benefits and social protections the Nordic model affords workers and its provision of universal healthcare. According to Naomi Klein, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sought to move the Soviet Union in a similar direction to the Nordic system, combining free markets with a social safety net, but still retaining public ownership of key sectors of the economy—ingredients that he believed would transform the Soviet Union into "a socialist beacon for all mankind".
The Nordic model has also been positively received by various social scientists and economists. American professor of sociology and political science Lane Kenworthy advocates for the United States to make a gradual transition toward a social democracy similar to those of the Nordic countries, defining social democracy as such: "The idea behind social democracy was to make capitalism better. There is disagreement about how exactly to do that, and others might think the proposals in my book aren't true social democracy. But I think of it as a commitment to use government to make life better for people in a capitalist economy. To a large extent, that consists of using public insurance programs—government transfers and services". Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has noted that there is higher social mobility in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States and argues that Scandinavia is now the land of opportunity that the United States once was. American author Ann Jones, who lived in Norway for four years, contends that "the Nordic countries give their populations freedom from the market by using capitalism as a tool to benefit everyone" whereas in the United States "neoliberal politics puts the foxes in charge of the henhouse, and capitalists have used the wealth generated by their enterprises (as well as financial and political manipulations) to capture the state and pluck the chickens".
Economist Jeffrey Sachs is a proponent of the Nordic model, having pointed out that the Nordic model is "the proof that modern capitalism can be combined with decency, fairness, trust, honesty, and environmental sustainability".
George Lakey, author of Viking Economics, asserts that Americans generally misunderstand the nature of the Nordic "welfare state":
Americans imagine that "welfare state" means the U.S. welfare system on steroids. Actually, the Nordics scrapped their American-style welfare system at least 60 years ago, and substituted universal services, which means everyone—rich and poor—gets free higher education, free medical services, free eldercare, etc. 
In his role as economic adviser to Poland and Yugoslavia in their post-socialist transitional period, Jeffrey Sachs noted that the specific forms of Western-style capitalism such as Swedish-style social democracy and Thatcherite liberalism are virtually identical:
The eastern countries must reject any lingering ideas about a “third way”, such as a chimerical “market socialism” based on public ownership or worker self-management, and go straight for a western-style market economy...The main debate in economic reform should therefore be about the means of transition, not the ends. Eastern Europe will still argue over the ends: for example, whether to aim for Swedish-style social democracy or Thatcherite liberalism. But that can wait. Sweden and Britain alike have nearly complete private ownership, private financial markets and active labour markets. Eastern Europe today [in 1990] has none of these institutions; for it, the alternative models of Western Europe are almost identical.
In a speech at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen addressed the American misconception that the Nordic model is a form of socialism: "I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy".
Socialist economists John Roemer and Pranab Bardhan criticize Nordic-style social democracy for its questionable effectiveness in promoting relative egalitarianism as well as its sustainability. They point out that Nordic social democracy requires a strong labor movement to sustain the heavy redistribution required, arguing that it is idealistic to think similar levels of redistribution can be accomplished in countries with weaker labor movements. They note that even in the Scandinavian countries social democracy has been in decline since the weakening of the labor movement in the early 1990s, arguing that the sustainability of social democracy is limited. Roemer and Bardham argue that establishing a market socialist economy by changing enterprise ownership would be more effective than social democratic redistribution at promoting egalitarian outcomes, particularly in countries with weak labor movements.
Historian Guðmundur Jónsson argues that it would be inaccurate to include Iceland in one aspect of the Nordic model, that of consensus democracy. He writes that "Icelandic democracy is better described as more adversarial than consensual in style and practice. The labour market was rife with conflict and strikes more frequent than in Europe, resulting in strained government–trade union relationship. Secondly, Iceland did not share the Nordic tradition of power-sharing or corporatism as regards labour market policies or macro-economic policy management, primarily because of the weakness of Social Democrats and the Left in general. Thirdly, the legislative process did not show a strong tendency towards consensus-building between government and opposition with regard to government seeking consultation or support for key legislation. Fourthly, the political style in legislative procedures and public debate in general tended to be adversarial rather than consensual in nature".
In their paper "The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergeneration Mobility in Denmark and the U.S.", Rasmus Landersøn and James J. Heckman compared American and Danish social mobility and found that social mobility is not as high as figures might suggest in the Nordic countries. When looking exclusively at wages (before taxes and transfers), Danish and American social mobility are very similar. It is only after taxes and transfers are taken into account that Danish social mobility improves, indicating that Danish economic redistribution policies simply give the impression of greater mobility. Additionally, Denmark's greater investment in public education did not improve educational mobility significantly, meaning children of non-college educated parents are still unlikely to receive college education, though this public investment did result in improved cognitive skills amongst poor Danish children compared to their American peers. The researchers also found evidence that generous welfare policies could discourage the pursuit of higher-level education due to decreasing the economic benefits that college education level jobs offer and increasing welfare for workers of a lower education level.
Nima Sanandaji, a libertarian, has also criticized the Nordic model, questioning the link between the model and socio-economic outcomes in works of his such as Scandinavian Unexceptionalism and Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism.
Political ideologies in the Nordic countriesEdit
According to sociologist Lane Kenworthy, in the context of the Nordic model "social democracy" the ideology of the Nordic labour parties refers to a set of policies for promoting economic security and opportunity within the framework of capitalism rather than a replacement for capitalism.
- Bruhn, Anders; Kjellberg, Anders; Sandberg, Åke (2013). Sandberg, Åke, ed. "A New World of Work Challenging Swedish Unions" (PDF). Stockholm: 126–86.
- "The surprising ingredients of Swedish success – free markets and social cohesion" (PDF). Institute of Economic Affairs. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- James E. McWhinney (June 25, 2013). "The Nordic Model: Pros and Cons". Investopedia. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
The Nordic model is a term coined to capture the unique combination of free market capitalism and social benefits that have given rise to a society that enjoys a host of top-quality services, including free education and free healthcare, as well as generous, guaranteed pension payments for retirees. These benefits are funded by taxpayers and administered by the government for the benefit of all citizens.
- "Constructing Nordic welfare?" (PDF).
- Sachs, Jeffrey (2006). "Revisiting the Nordic Model: Evidence on Recent Macroeconomic Performance". Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies. Center for Capitalism & Society, Venice Summer Institute. pp. 387–412. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.456.340. doi:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015318.003.0012. ISBN 9780262015318.
First, like the Anglo-Saxon economies, the Nordic economies are overwhelmingly private-sector owned, open to trade, and oriented to international markets. Financial, labor, and product market forces operate powerfully throughout non-state sector. In short, these are capitalist economies...Second, there is no single Nordic model, and still less, an unchanging Nordic model. What has been consistently true for decades is a high level of public social outlays as a share of national income, and a sustained commitment to social insurance and redistributive social support for the poor, disabled, and otherwise vulnerable parts of the population.
- Hicks, Alexander (January 20, 2000). Social democracy and Welfare Capitalism: A century of Income Security Politics. Cornell University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0801485565.
By the late 1950s, labor had been incorporated alongside Swedish business in fully elaborated corporatist institutions of collective bargaining and policy making, public as well as private, supply-side (as for labour training) as well as demand side (e.g., Keynesian). During the 1950s and 1960s, similar neocorpratist institutions developed in Denmark and Norway, in Austria and the Netherlands, and somewhat later, in Belgium and Finland.
- Martin Sandbu. "What the Nordic mixed economy can teach today's new left". Financial Times. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- James E. McWhinney (June 25, 2013). "The Nordic Model: Pros and Cons". Investopedia. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
The model is underpinned by a capitalist economy that encourages creative destruction. While the laws make it is easy for companies to shed workers and implement transformative business models, employees are supported by generous social welfare programs.
- Lane, Kenworthy (3 December 2013). Social Democratic America. US: Oxford University Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780199322527.
- Andersen, Torben M.; Holmström, Bengt; Honkapohja, Seppo; Korkman, Sixten; Söderström, Hans Tson; Vartiainen, Juhana (2007). The Nordic Model: Embracing globalization and sharing risks (PDF). Yliopistopaino, Helsinki: Taloustieto Oy. ISBN 978-951-628-468-5. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Healthcare in Sweden". 2015-06-12.
- "Economy Rankings". Doing Business. The World Bank Group. 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Corruption Perceptions Index 2015". Transparency International. Full Table and Rankings. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Bruhn, Anders; Kjellberg, Anders; Sandberg, Åke (2013). Sandberg, Åke, ed. "A New World of Work Challenging Swedish Unions" (PDF). Stockholm: 126–86.
- "Trade Union Density". OECD StatExtracts. OECD. 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Kjellberg, Anders (4 April 2006). "The Swedish unemployment insurance – will the Ghent system survive?" (pdf). Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research. 12: 87–98. doi:10.1177/102425890601200109. ISSN 1024-2589. Retrieved 26 July 2016 – via Lund University.
- "The Nordic Model". In focus 2001. Nordic Labour Journal. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Anders Kjellberg (2017) ”Self-regulation versus State Regulation in Swedish Industrial Relations” In Mia Rönnmar and Jenny Julén Votinius (eds.) Festskrift till Ann Numhauser-Henning. Lund: Juristförlaget i Lund 2017, pp. 357-383
- Gregoire, Carolyn (1 August 2015). "The Happiest Countries In The World". The Huffington Post (published 10 September 2013). Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Rankin, Jennifer (20 March 2017). "Happiness is on the wane in the US, UN global report finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Wearing, David (22 May 2014). "Where's the worst place to be a worker? Most of the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "Index of Economic Freedom". The Heritage Foundation. 2008. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries. OECD. 2008. p. 233. doi:10.1787/9789264044197 (inactive 2019-02-16). ISBN 978-92-64-04418-0 – via Keepeek 360.
- OECD Revenue Statistics: http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=rev
- "The Nordic model is about more than high taxes – CapX". 15 January 2015.
- "How Scandinavian Countries Pay for Their Government Spending – Tax Foundation". 10 June 2015.
- Rosser, Mariana V. and J Barkley Jr. (July 23, 2003). Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy. MIT Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-0262182348.
Liberal corporatism is largely self-organized between labor and management, with only a supporting role for government. Leading examples of such systems are found in small, ethnically homogeneous countries with strong traditions of social democratic or labor party rule, such as Sweden's Nordic neighbors. Using a scale of 0.0 to 2.0 and subjectively assigning values based on six previous studies, Frederic Pryor in 1988 found Norway and Sweden the most corporatist at 2.0 each, followed by Austria at 1.8, the Netherlands at 1.5, Finland, Denmark, and Belgium at 1.3 each, and Switzerland and West Germany at 1.0 each…with the exception of Iceland all the Nordic countries have higher taxes, larger welfare states, and greater corporatist tendencies than most social market economies.
- "Norway: The rich cousin". The Economist. The Economist. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "The Nordic countries: The next supermodel". The Economist. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "The secret of their success". The Economist. 31 January 2013.
- Hopkin, Jonathan; Lapuente, Victor; Moller, Lovisa (29 January 2014). "Lower levels of inequality are linked with greater innovation in economies". London School of Economics. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- Lane, Kenworthy (3 December 2013). Social Democratic America. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 88–93. ISBN 9780199322527.
- Westerlund, Per-Åke (22 March 2014). "IS SWEDEN A MODEL TO FOLLOW?". Socialist Alternative. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Rozworski, Michal (27 February 2015). "Beyond the Swedish Model". Jacobin. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "Swedish riots rage for fourth night". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Higgins, Andrew (26 May 2013). "In Sweden, Riots Put an Identity in Question". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- "Norway: The rich cousin – Oil makes Norway different from the rest of the region, but only up to a point". The Economist. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "The secret of their success". The Economist. 2 February 2013.
- Savage, Maddy (July 10, 2018). "Unlike most millennials, Norway's are rich". BBC. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Esping-Andersen, G. (1991). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- The Nordic Council. "About the Nordic welfare model". Norden. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Drum, Kevin (26 September 2013). "We Can Reduce Poverty If We Want To. We Just Have To Want To". Mother Jones. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Compare your country – Income distribution and poverty". OECD.
- Schröder, Martin (2013). Integrating Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Research. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 157.
- Steinfels, Peter (February 27, 2009). "Scandinavian Nonbelievers, Which Is Not to Say Atheists". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- Mander, Jerry (24 July 2013). "There Are Good Alternatives to US Capitalism, But No Way to Get There". Alternet. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Sanders, Bernie (May 26, 2013). "What Can We Learn From Denmark?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Issenberg, Sasha (January 9, 2010). "Sanders a growing force on the far, far left". Boston Globe.
You go to Scandinavia, and you will find that people have a much higher standard of living, in terms of education, health care, and decent paying jobs.
- Aleem, Zeeshan (May 4, 2015). "Bernie Sanders Says the U.S. Could Learn a Lot From Scandinavia. Here's Why He's Right". Mic. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Klein, Naomi (2008). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Picador. p. 276. ISBN 978-0312427993.
- Whyman, Philip; Baimbridge, Mark; Mullen, Andrew (2012). The Political Economy of the European Social Model (Routledge Studies in the European Economy. Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 978-0415476294.
In short, Gorbachev aimed to lead the Soviet Union towards the Scandinavian social democratic model.
- Matthews, Dylan (9 January 2014). "This sociologist has a plan to make America more like Sweden". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- "'Scandinavian Dream' is true fix for America's income inequality". CNN Money. June 3, 2014.
- "After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here's Why". The Nation. January 28, 2016.
- "Prof Jeffrey Sachs' plea to the Nordic countries". Global Health Minders. November 18, 2015.
- Sales, Ben (23 May 2016). "Survey: Israeli Jews Want Broader Welfare State, Israeli Arabs Prefer 'American Model'". Haaretz.
- "The "Continuing Revelation" of Scandinavian Economies". americanmagazine.org. July 22, 2016.
- "What is to be done?". The Economist. January 13, 1990.
- "Denmark's prime minister says Bernie Sanders is wrong to call his country socialist". Vox. 31 October 2015.
- Bardhan, Pranab; Roemer, Johen E. (1992). "Market socialism, a case for rejuvenation". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 6 (3): 104. doi:10.1257/jep.6.3.101.
...we believe that social democracy requires rather special political circumstances that are absent in many countries for which our market socialism proposal may be feasible. Since it (social democracy) permits a powerful capitalist class to exist (90 percent of productive assets are privately owned in Sweden), only a strong and unified labor movement can win the redistribution through taxes that is characteristic of social democracy. It is idealistic to believe that tax concessions of this magnitude can be effected simply through electoral democracy without an organized labor movement, when capitalists organize and finance influential political parties. Even in the Scandinavian countries, strong apex labor organizations have been difficult to sustain and social democracy is somewhat on the decline now.
- Jónsson, Guðmundur (2014-08-08). "Iceland and the Nordic Model of Consensus Democracy". Scandinavian Journal of History. 39 (4): 510–28. doi:10.1080/03468755.2014.935473. ISSN 0346-8755.
- Landersøn, Rasmus; Heckman, James J. (2017). "The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the US". Scandinavian Journal of Economics. 119 (1): 178–230. doi:10.1111/sjoe.12219.
- Lane Kenworthy (January 2014). "America's Social Democratic Future". Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs (January/February 2014). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Booth, Michael (2015). The almost nearly perfect people: behind the myth of the Scandinavian utopia. London: Vintage Books. ISBN 9780099546078.
- Brandal, Nikolai; Bratberg, Øivind; Thorsen, Dag Einar (2013). The Nordic Model of Social Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137013262.
- Bucken-Knapp, Gregg (2009). Defending the Swedish model: Social Democrats, trade unions, and labor migration policy reform. Lanham: Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739138182.
- Christiansen, Niels Finn; et al. (2006). The Nordic model of welfare: a historical reappraisal. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 9788763503419.
- Hilson, Mary (2008). The Nordic model: Scandinavia since 1945. London: Reaktion. ISBN 9781861893666.
- Kenworthy, Lane (2014). Social Democratic America. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199322510.
- Kvist, Jon (2012). Changing social equality: the Nordic welfare model in the 21st century. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 9781847426604.
- Lakey, George (2016). Viking economics: how the Scandinavians got it right - and how we can, too. Brooklyn: Melville House. ISBN 9781612195360.
- Partanen, Anu (2017). The Nordic theory of everything: in search of a better life. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062316554.
- Sandberg, Åke, ed. (2013). Nordic lights: work, management and welfare in Scandinavia. Stockholm: SNS Förlag. ISBN 9789186949372.
- Tyler, Meagan (2016), "Ten myths about prostitution, trafficking and the Nordic Model", in Tankard Reist, Melinda; Norma, Caroline, Prostitution narrative: stories of survival in the sex trade, North Melbourne, Victoria: Spinifex Press, pp. 213–226, ISBN 9781742199863.
- See also: Tyler, Meagan (8 December 2013). "10 myths about prostitution, trafficking, and the Nordic model". feministcurrent.com. Feminist Current.
- The Nordic Way — World Economic Forum. Davos 2011.
- Utopia sustained: The Nordic model of social democracy. Dag Einar Thorsen, Nik Brandal, Øivind Bratberg. Fabian Society, April 8, 2013.
- The secret of their success. The Economist. 2nd Feb 2013.
- What Can We Learn From Denmark? Bernie Sanders, Huffington Post. 26 May 2013.
- What Is Scandinavia Doing Right? The New York Times. September 25, 2013.
- What Makes Scandinavia Different? Rune Møller Stahl & Andreas Møller Mulvad for Jacobin, August 4, 2015.
- Föreningen Norden: Organization working with the Nordic way in Sweden