• Benny CarlsonEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


In times of crisis, demand for government action in general and economic planning in particular is sure to surge. The interwar era is a classic example. After the outbreak of the Great Depression in 1929, demand for planning—in contrast to capitalist market “anarchy”—was voiced in many quarters. And not only voiced. The 1930s was an era of populism, nationalism, protectionism, government intervention and attempts to create planned economies. With the Great Recession of 2008, structural change due to globalization, waves of migration and impending climate change, a new era of populism, nationalism, protectionism and demand for planning has begun. The ambition of this book is to survey the arguments for and against economic planning as they were put forward by leading Swedish economists in the 1930s and to put these arguments into a context of events and inspirational sources. Developments in Sweden were, according to political scientist Leif Lewin’s classic exposition of the debate on economic planning in Sweden, “something extraordinary also from an international perspective”.


Economic planning 1930s Great Depression Great Recession Swedish economists 



I am grateful to professors Lars Jonung and Mats Lundahl for their reviews of my manuscript. For any remaining errors, I have to thank myself.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lund UniversityLundSweden

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