Northern Lights

The Positive Policy Example of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway

By Andrew Scott

The nations of Scandinavia and Finland, or Nordic Europe, continue to provide living proof that economic prosperity can be combined with social equality and environmental responsibility. This book, written from an Australian perspective, explores previous outside/English-speaking nations' policy interests in the Nordic nations, and it shares these lessons, in particular, to learn from the achievements of the four main Nordic European countries. In terms of income distribution, Sweden is much more equal than Australia and Britain and twice as equal as the United States. Workforce participation in the Nordic nations is high, but working hours remain within reasonable limits, promoting genuine work-life balance. Child poverty there is very low. Finland has produced stunning educational success since the 1990s. Denmark invests in comprehensive skills training as part of providing security with flexibility at work. In Norway, the taxation approach ensures that natural resources are used sustainably for the entire nation's long-term wealth. All of these achievements are relevant to the question of future policy directions for countries outside of Nordic Europe. *** "The 'magic of the markets' philosophy that has failed so miserably wherever it has been tried is not the only option open to us. Northern Lights tells us how the Nordic nations have adopted people-focused and economically sustainable ways of operating." -- Professor Peter Doherty, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine *** "This brilliant book, written in a journalistic style, is one of the most engaging books on economic and social policy I have read. It is rare and positive for an academic writer to write in such an understandable way for a general audience." -- Susan Cahill, Presenter and Producer, Talking Books, Newstalk FM Radio, Dublin, Ireland (Series: Public Policy) [Subject: Nordic Studies, Public Policy, Economics]

Publication Date: 11/24/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781921867927