Live: The Swedish Exception: Early Lessons from Sweden’s different approach to COVID-19

May 13, 2020

If you missed the seminar on The Swedish Exception: Early Lessons from Sweden’s different approach to COVID-19, you can see it here.

Hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs, the School of Public Policy and SITE at the Stockholm School of Economics

Sweden has been pursuing a different approach to suppressing the epidemic curve, relying mainly on voluntary measures and keeping more of the economy open. The main theory has been that the population would respond to advice from the government because of the strong level of trust in Swedish society – the citizens’ trust in government institutions, the government’s trust in the citizens, and the trust among citizens. Also, the approach of allowing the development of “herd immunity” got traction. Some aspects of this approach appear to have worked well, other aspects less so. The results so far point to a high death toll compared to other Nordic countries which have taken tougher measures, though the jury is still out on the long term outcome. The panel will draws early lessons from the Swedish experiment that could be relevant for emerging economies and developing countries that, for one reason or another, cannot afford massive lockdowns.


Professor Peter Baldwin, New York University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Sara Hagemann, Deputy Dean, LSE School of Public Policy. Professor Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Professor Lars Trägårdh, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University, Stockholm.

Chair: Professor Erik Berglof, Director, Institute of Global Affairs, LSE School of Public Policy.

This event is part of the LSE Series on COVID-19 Crisis Management and Post-Crisis Reconstruction – lessons from the past and early insights from the current crisis