Excellent interview with Dan Klein, a George Mason economist bound by family and professional ties to Sweden, where his wife and daughter live. Among other things, confirms what I’ve been saying for years about comparative litigation climates:
Klein: Sweden does pretty well in the economic freedom ranking, currently 43rd of 162 in the Fraser ranking and 19th of 169 in the Heritage ranking. Incidentally, a significant advantage of Sweden over the US is civil law and litigation. The US system is terrible, as it does not have loser-pays and generally makes for shakedowns and extortion. Like most countries Sweden has loser-pays and no exorbitant and capricious damages. I believe that the freedom indexes do not pick up this advantage to Sweden, but I’m not sure. I’ll bet that per capita the US has ten times as much litigation and ten times as many lawyers as Sweden does. A sane court system shows up in ordinary life in Sweden, where trust and flexibility make possible things you don’t see in the US from fear of legal shakedown.
He goes on to recount a tale of emergency medicine that would very likely have gone differently in the United States. [Anders Ydstedt, interviewer, Svensk Tidskrift]