Comparative Economies: Sweden and Belize Essay

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Comparative Economies: Sweden and Belize
Karl Fredell, BS; Jeffrey Lucas, BA; Jeffrey Serpa, BA
Grand Canyon University
Economics 601-0101
March 27, 2013

Comparative Economies: Sweden and Belize
Think of your favorite sport. Now, picture the wide variety of teams that all come together to represent that particular sport. Many would argue that the best and worst teams are often determined by specific statistical representations such as total yards, 3-point shots, homeruns, goals, etc. Then, according to that data, these teams are compared and finally ranked in descending order. Where does your favorite team rank? Similar to sports teams, countries are also compared and valued against other countries across the world. Countries, however, achieve their rank according to outputs such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), population growth rate, Human Development Index (HDI), and per capita values.

Economists work diligently to compile endless lists of statistical data with the goal of accurately portraying a country’s respective rank within our global economy. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), population growth rates, and the Human Development Index (HDI) are a few of the paintbrushes economists use to portray a detailed picture of a country’s economy. Once the information has been gathered, scrutinized and explained, a summary of the current economic health of the country will have greater validity.
Sweden, comparatively speaking, enjoys greater overall economic health than Belize and most other countries worldwide. Sweden is a highly developed, export-oriented country with a rather diverse capitalistic economy. Sweden is known for their strong economic base, banking system, and overall high standard of living. This is due in large part to the fact that after World War II, Sweden did not have to undertake massive projects to rebuild their country as many other European countries did. (Steinmo, 2001) Successful Swedish companies such as Volvo (OMX: VOLV B), (which sold its car division to Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) in 1999) IKEA, and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) are rooted into culturally diverse global markets that will support the growth and advancement of Sweden for many years to come.
In our research, we found that the economic conditions in Sweden are among the best in the world based on their ranking of 10th on the HDI list. Sweden is also ranked amongst the highest in very high human development (, 2011). Population growth has been consistent between 2008 and 2011. There was only marginal growth in Sweden’s population in 2012; an increase of 0.17%.
Further research shows that Sweden’s GDP, currently ranked 35th fluctuated drastically between 2008 and 2011. These drastic increases in GDP have allowed Sweden to recover from the effects of the global economic recession in recent years. An economy’s ability to bounce back from a period of recession proves that its economy is stable and healthy. Sweden’s GDP per capita is US $ 40,000, which ranks as number 17.
Belize on the other hand, is still considered a developing country. It’s GDP is ranked at 168 or 125 times less than Sweden. Per capita GDP is US $8,400 and ranks as 149th. Many of Belize’s problems come from its economic and industrial sectors. Unfortunately for Belize, economic activities are not strongly supported due to high labor costs, and a small domestic market. While the HDI ranking for Belize is 93rd, they have still had consistent population growth rates between 2008 and 2012. All things considered, Belize displayed greater consistency during this 5 year comparison period, which could potentially identify a fairly stable economy of a developing nation. While many economic reports indicate Belize is progressing, it still has a long way to go towards becoming a developed nation. Despite a slowly progressing economy, Belize is widely acclaimed and recognized as one of the most picturesque places