Citation

Limits to State Intervention into the Private Sector Economy

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Abstract:

The recent reform in Norway on the gender composition of boards of directors in listed firms inevitably raises general questions concerning state intervention and regulation of the economy. What are the normative limits to state interventions? And practically: how far could and should such interventions go? This question may be attacked from a variety of angles. The angle suggested here is to look into recent history in the Scandinavian countries – the most state-friendly of all existing democracies – to analyze the differences between successful political interventions and those that failed or were never put into practice. The successful reforms introducing employee representatives into the boards of private enterprises in Scandinavia will be the backdrop of the analysis of the failed cases.
Despite similar normative underpinnings, Norwegian and Swedish politics of the 1970s and 1980s followed different paths. In Norway quasi-socialization of commercial banks was enacted in the second part of the 1970s. Simultaneously suggestions were made to increase employee representation on enterprise boards from one third to one half of the seats. These policies were rejected in Sweden; instead the Swedish social-democratic party put its energy into channeling a part of enterprise profits into the so-called Wage-Earner Funds. Thus, in Norway focus was set on changes in the composition of enterprises’ governing bodies, whereas the Swedish reform implied a direct regulation of investment decisions. However, none of these reforms showed itself to be viable in the long run. The Norwegian bank reform was reversed after a few years, the Wage-Earner Funds lasted a decade. In the paper these failures will be explained both on economic and normative grounds. Finally, the results will be used to throw light on the viability of the affirmative action reform of 2008.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

reform (81), board (73), employe (63), polit (46), compani (43), case (40), democrat (35), may (32), bank (31), enterpris (30), repres (29), democraci (28), right (28), decis (27), committe (27), sharehold (27), one (26), gender (24), properti (24), make (23), privat (23),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400769_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Engelstad, Fredrik. "Limits to State Intervention into the Private Sector Economy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400769_index.html>

APA Citation:

Engelstad, F. "Limits to State Intervention into the Private Sector Economy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <PDF>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p400769_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The recent reform in Norway on the gender composition of boards of directors in listed firms inevitably raises general questions concerning state intervention and regulation of the economy. What are the normative limits to state interventions? And practically: how far could and should such interventions go? This question may be attacked from a variety of angles. The angle suggested here is to look into recent history in the Scandinavian countries – the most state-friendly of all existing democracies – to analyze the differences between successful political interventions and those that failed or were never put into practice. The successful reforms introducing employee representatives into the boards of private enterprises in Scandinavia will be the backdrop of the analysis of the failed cases.
Despite similar normative underpinnings, Norwegian and Swedish politics of the 1970s and 1980s followed different paths. In Norway quasi-socialization of commercial banks was enacted in the second part of the 1970s. Simultaneously suggestions were made to increase employee representation on enterprise boards from one third to one half of the seats. These policies were rejected in Sweden; instead the Swedish social-democratic party put its energy into channeling a part of enterprise profits into the so-called Wage-Earner Funds. Thus, in Norway focus was set on changes in the composition of enterprises’ governing bodies, whereas the Swedish reform implied a direct regulation of investment decisions. However, none of these reforms showed itself to be viable in the long run. The Norwegian bank reform was reversed after a few years, the Wage-Earner Funds lasted a decade. In the paper these failures will be explained both on economic and normative grounds. Finally, the results will be used to throw light on the viability of the affirmative action reform of 2008.


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