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Assessment and recommendations

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All four Småland‐Blekinge counties recorded growth rates above the OECD average for TL3 regions from the mid‐1990s until the crisis year of 2008. Moreover, GDP per capita in the four counties was already above the OECD average in 1995, meaning that the four counties are both relatively wealthy and dynamic by OECD standards. The area is known to be one of the most business‐friendly parts of Sweden, with several well‐known industrial clusters. The world's largest furniture retailer, IKEA, originated in Småland, and one of the most active industrial districts in Scandinavia, the Gnosjö district, is located over four small municipalities in Jönköping County. Employment rates in the region have been fairly high by both Swedish and OECD standards. This, along with high wages and a comprehensive welfare state, has provided the foundation for high levels of welfare and quality of life in the region.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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