SNS Economic Policy Council 2019

The SNS Economic Policy Council 2019 examines the current Swedish municipal model and its ability to fulfil its commitments.

Swedish municipalities are not only facing great challenges when it comes to financing, competence provision, an aging population and an increasing stream of refugees. They also need to handle falling school achievement among their youth and an increasing number of sick leaves among eldercare employees.

The SNS Economic Policy Council 2019 examines the current Swedish municipal model and its ability to fulfil its commitments. Is the model sustainable? What authority can the government undertake without inferring with the municipalities’ autonomy? To what extent can voters hold their local politicians accountable? How should the local democratic system be organized?

Deriving from economic theory the authors contrast the ideal image of municipal governance with empirical evidence on how the Swedish municipal model has been developing. Following this is a detailed description of the challenges facing two of the biggest municipal sectors – education and eldercare. The report includes suggestions for improving policies on organizational structure, public governance and financing strategies. In addition, the authors present four alternative municipal models and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.


Eva Mörk, Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and director of Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies (UCFS), Uppsala University. Chairman of the council.

Gissur Ó Erlingsson, Associate Professor at the Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture (ISAK) and the centre for Municipality Studies (CKS), Linköping University.

Lovisa Persson, researcher at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Jørn Rattsø, Professor of Economics at the departments of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


Research Director: Stefan Sandström,, phone +46 8 507 025 64.

Time Schedule

The report will be published in January 2019.

SNS Economic Policy council report 2018. How should capital be taxed? A Swedish perspective

Capital is needed for investments in production, housing and infrastructure, and for private consumption and saving. In 2015 taxes on capital accounted for one-eighth of the tax revenues in Sweden. While the importance of capital increases, so does the concern that unequal distribution of wealth will lead to rifts that can cause serious social and political unrest.

Sweden faces several choices when it comes to the taxation of capital in the future. However, these issues have, to a large extent, been neglected in the Swedish political debate. The purpose of this report is to put forward proposals as to how Sweden, as a small open economy, can structure its capital taxation without causing problems for growth and without leading to the emigration of capital.

The SNS Economic Policy Council 2018 examines the amount and distribution of capital in Sweden. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of the attitudes of Swedes towards the distribution of wealth and the taxation of capital. More specifically, the Council examines proposals for capital taxes, drawing from economic theory and empirical studies of the design of capital taxes.

Time schedule

The report presentation took place at a conference on January 17 2018.


Stefan Sandström,, +46 8-507 025 64.


Daniel Waldenström

Spencer Bastani

Åsa Hansson

The SNS Economic Policy Council 2017: Challenges for the Swedish Labour Market

Starting from a description of the current situation on the Swedish labour market, strengths and weaknesses are highlighted. The SNS Economic Policy Council 2017 shows that problems are concentrated to some especially vulnerable groups. There are no indications that the labour market does not function properly for core groups. Rather, the labour market has trended towards a sharper division between the vast majority and marginal groups, the latter of which are facing great difficulties in entering the labour market.

Principles for Policy Reform Design

A number of general principles that can guide labour market policy are identified and discussed in the report. One example is that measures towards unemployment should be introduced quickly, since employers may be hesitant to hire people who are long-term unemployed.

Reform Measures Addressing Specific Groups

The report contains proposals of specific reform measures directed towards marginal groups: foreign-born, focussing on newly arrived refugees, young people who have not finished upper secondary school, and older people, often low-educated, who have lost their jobs through redundancies due to industry closures or shortage of work.


The research team consists of three economists. Professor Oskar Nordström Skans, Uppsala University, is chairman. The other members of the team are Lena Hensvik, Ph.D. and Researcher, Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), and Stefan Eriksson, Associate Professor, Uppsala University.

Project Research Director

Stefan Sandström,, phone +46 8 507 025 64

Time Schedule

Report presentation took place at a conference on January 25, 2017.

What is the SNS Economic Policy Council?

Since 1974, SNS annually appoints a group of academic researchers that, going under the name of the SNS Economic Policy Council, analyses how various key aspects of the economy function over time. Based on its conclusions, the Council makes recommendations to politicians and, occasionally, also to other decision-makers.

In the past, Councils have thrown light on, for example, debt and financial stability, government spending on transport infrastructure, and the financing of the welfare state. These reports and proposals are presented and discussed at SNS seminars in Stockholm and in local SNS chapters in Sweden and abroad. Sweden’s Minister of Finance and other ministers – relevant for the theme of the report – are invited to comment on the Council’s conclusions.

SNS’ purpose is to ensure that the public debate is based on high scientific quality research; the Economic Policy Council reports usually attract a good deal of attention in the media. The authors take full responsibility for the analysis, conclusions and proposals in the report to which SNS as an organisation adopts a neutral stance.