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The Power of Economists within the State$
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Johan Christensen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781503600492

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503600492.001.0001

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Economic Experts in the Social-Democratic State

(p.107) Chapter 5 Norway
The Power of Economists within the State

Johan Christensen

Stanford University Press

Contrary to conventional notions about social-democratic tax policies, Norway adopted a major market-oriented reform of taxation in the early 1990s. This chapter connects this surprising turn toward market principles to the role of economists within the Norwegian state. Economists were granted a powerful position in the bureaucracy during the Keynesian era. Paradoxically, the close links established between the finance ministry and the economics discipline in this period made the bureaucracy highly receptive to the later shift toward neoclassical economics. New economic ideas were brought into the ministry by U.S–trained economists hired to key positions in the organization. This spurred the formulation and advocacy of a broad efficiency–oriented reform program, which had a major impact on the economic policies enacted by Norwegian governments from the late 1980s onwards.

Keywords:   Norway politics, Norway economic policy, Norway tax policy, Norway economics, Norway public administration, Norwegian Ministry of Finance, Norwegian Labor Party, social democracy, labor parties, Oslo School of economics

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