Shaping the Fiscal Policy Framework: Lessons from Fiscal Consolidations in Denmark and Sweden

Ulf Michael Bergman, Michael M. Hutchison, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen

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This chapter provides an overview of experiences with fiscal and structural reforms in Denmark and Sweden. The focus is on the experiences with large-scale fiscal consolidations in Denmark, the record of national fiscal rules with fiscal councils and gradual improvement of public finances in Sweden, and the experiences with occupational pension schemes in Denmark. It is found that (a) longer-term debt sustainability requires symmetry in counter-cyclical fiscal policies, with public saving during upturns that creates room for manoeuvre for a more active policy during bad times; (b) fiscal and structural reforms are easier to move forward when the economy is under severe pressure; and (c) there is no easy way to copy successful fiscal frameworks, as the effects of and political support for budget consolidations typically differ across countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReform Capacity and Macroeconomic Performance in the Nordic Countries
EditorsTorben M. Andersen, U. Michael Bergman, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9780198717102
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Denmark and Sweden
  • Fiscal sustainability
  • Fiscal rules
  • Expansionary fiscal contraction
  • Pension reform

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