The Nordic-Baltic region has become highly integrated. The Nordic countries have been successful in balancing competitiveness and economic growth with social inclusiveness, while the Baltic States have grown economically but remain vulnerable with weak social systems and highly unequal income distribution. European Union (EU) membership and inter-linkages with the continental Nordic banking systems appear to have affected the 2008/09 crisis response of the Baltic States.
In spite of their strengths, including their social systems, continental Nordic states are faced with a challenging mix of large, cross-border banks and highly indebted households at a time of rather weak global growth. The Baltic States are challenged by slow economic growth post-crisis, security concerns, and large-scale outward migration of the youngest and most highly educated people.
It is now a decade since the Baltic States were hit by the global crisis. It is time to take stock of their progress and assess their relations with other countries in the region and with the EU. This book focuses on the Baltics and their Nordic partners pre- and post-crisis: successes, failures, lessons learned, and future challenges, examining and comparing the crisis response of these various small states that enjoy different income levels, operate different welfare and tax systems, and seek different levels of integration with the EU.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1 Theories and methodology; 2 Pre-crisis and post-crisis economic and social performance of the Nordic countries and the Baltic States: an overview; 3 The Nordic countries and the Baltic States - small states and multilateralism; 4 European integration and the Nordic-Baltic region, Schengen and NATO; 5 Exchange rate policy: fixed or floating?; 6 Challenges with the euro area: economic benefits versus security concerns and the euro area versus NATO; 7 Nordic-Baltic banking interconnectedness and the consequences; 8 International organizations as economic policy advisers for small states – the Baltic victims?; 9 The Nordic welfare model and the Baltic States’ Anglo-Saxon bias; 10 Fragile Baltic democracy and the challenges of outbound migration; 11. The extreme cases of Iceland and Latvia during the global economic and financial crisis; 12 The Nordic-Baltic region: Successes, failures, lessons learned and future challenges; 13 The Nordic countries and the Baltic States – the need for further research; Index
Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson is a Professor at the University of Akureyri, School of Business and Science, Iceland, where he teaches courses on international business and macroeconomics. He received his cand. oecon. degree in Economics from the University of Iceland in 1987, an MA in Economics from New York University in 1989, and a PhD in public administration and economic development from the American University in Washington, DC in 1992. He served as a Specialist and Coordinator with the World Bank Group in Washington, DC from 1990 to 1995, at the World Bank office in Riga from 1999 to 2003 and the World Bank office in Hanoi from 2003 to 2006. From 1995 to 1999 he served as a Special Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Iceland. Dr Hilmarsson has published over 70 scholarly articles and book chapters and has lectured and made presentations at more than 30 universities in Europe and the USA, including the American University in Washington, DC, Aalborg University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, the Stockholm School of Economics, the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Latvia, the University of Mauritius, the University of Porto, the University of Tartu, the University of Washington, Vytautas Magnus University, the University of York, and Yale University. He has travelled to about 60 countries.
Professor Hilmarsson has held visiting appointments at several top universities in the USA and Europe. He was a Visiting Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics during the fall semester 2013, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle in the spring semester 2014, a Visiting Professor at Cornell University during the fall semester 2015, a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley during the fall semester 2016 and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge during the fall semester 2017.
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'This is a timely book written by a macroeconomic expert with a broad theoretical and institutional knowledge of the region under consideration. The pivot question to be answered in this book concerns how small northern European countries came through the economic crisis, and what prospects they may experience should a new crisis hit them.' - Jesper Jerspersen, Nordicum Mediterraneum, 2019