24 January, 2013

Reform Statistics

The new Reform institute has compiled legislative reforms that have been implemented in Sweden. We have categorized these based on their impact on growth and employment, as well as how well they are founded on the research literature. We will continue adding to our comprehensive collection of reforms as we compile them for 2013.

An earlier version starting 2007 was compiled for Swedish legislative reforms that had a direct impact on the business climate. However, legislation that had an indirect impact on the business climate, such as reforms designed to improve education, the research environment, or national finances are not included for the years 2007-2012, as important as these have been.

As of 2013, we will include all legislative reforms affecting employment and growth, as well as for the educational system, or other policy areas. We have categorised our survey of reforms into 7 groups:

1. Passed by the Riksdag (as officially reported under “Laws and Ordinances” and “Votes and resolutions”).

2. Government bills to the Riksdag (as officially reported under “Government bills and communications”).

3. Public Commissions (as reported under Swedish Government Official Reports (SOU) http://www.sou.gov.se).

4. Proposals introduced by the Swedish Alliance coalition parties (the current governing centre-right coalition) (as described on the official website of each party, respectively, under their ‘News’ heading).

5. Proposals introduced by the Swedish Social Democratic Party of Sweden (as described on their official website, under the ‘News’ heading).

6. Proposals introduced by the Swedish Green Party (as described on their official website, under the ‘News’ heading http://www.mp.se/languages).

7. Proposals introduced by the Swedish Left Party (as described on their official website, under the ‘News’ heading).


We have only taken concrete legislative reform proposals for category 3 to 7. Formulations of objectives and goals, or proposals for “better coordination” are not considered. At other times proposals are made in more than one stage—as with the recent deregulation of the Swedish pharmacy monopoly, which was implemented in several steps. Our primary approach is to discuss the reform only once, unless any subsequent legislation introduces significant changes.

Public commissions usually offer a range of legislative proposals that can be combined into a single entry in our survey, as with proposals of the Retirement Age Commission, which are listed as “raising the retirement age”. Proposals mentioned only generally or summarily, as in a Budget Bill, but which require a separate government bill are not included in our survey. As well, we do not include legislation that the Riksdag has passed, but which will not be implemented within several years’ times, and which will require or be affected by future Riksdag action before actually being implemented.

Moreover, we currently exclude all proposals from the Sweden Democrats party.

The regulatory framework issued by implementing agencies also have significant impact on the legislative reforms we survey. But such regulation is not identified in the reform legislation. Despite this delimitation, our survey of Swedish reform legislation shows such a clear pattern over the years that it would barely be affected if we changed our methodology.

We also grade these legislative reforms in two dimensions, according to our assessment at the Reform institute, based on the research literature:

1. Impact on growth and employment:  Highly significant (5), some significance (4), little significance (3), slight negative significance (2) and strong negative significance (1).

2. Is the reform evidence based? How well documented is the effect of the reform within the research community? Alternatively, is the reform designed so it can be reasonably measured?

Evidence based to a high degree (5), Evidence based to a limited degree (4), Not evidence based (3), Conflicting to some degree with research literature (2), and fully conflicting with research literature (1).

Survey of recent legislative reforms and proposals for 2013

24 januari, 2013