Equality in the Nordic World (Paperback)
Rising inequality is one of the most prominent characteristics of the modern age of globalized economies. To some observers, inequality is a natural consequence of economic growth that ought to be accepted to ensure a prosperous future. To others, rising inequality is a cause for alarm—not just because it is unfair, but also because, as Pope Francis has said, “inequality is the root of social evil.”
By most measures, the Nordic countries consistently rank among the best not only when it comes to equality, but also when it comes to business friendliness. Political scientist Carsten Jensen delves into what is exceptional about equality in the region, and outlines “the four equalities” that set it apart: economic (the distance between the poor and rich is relatively low), inter-generational (success in life is not dependent on the status of one’s parents), gender (women are highly integrated into the labor market and independent from the family), and health (the poor have access to the same medical treatments as the well-off).
All four types of equalities have their origins in unique political settlements made in the 20th century. The resulting special social market economies of these countries affect their growth and levels of equality even today.