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"The interesting question is *how* the Nordic countries accomplish this feat, and that's what the post was about."

In the case of Norway, the really rich of the Nordics, I think it has something to do with its vast amounts of oil. Sweden and Denmark on the other hand have long lagged the rest of the Western world in growth. They were third and fourth richest among the OECD countries in 1970 (Up until the 1950s, Sweden actually had lower level of government spending than the U.S.), but slipped since significantly. In the last few years they have managed to again see growth rise, but this is in part due to housing bubbles and in part due to recent tax and spending cuts.

I've heard that the Scandanavian countries, although they have massive welfare states, have quite liberal foreign trade and capital markets, as well as liberalized labour and product markets internally.

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