The Danish Secret

What shaped the Nordic countries

20 minutes by car from downtown Copenhagen, Denmark, a local farm displays their daily fresh strawberries, potatoes, and honey at an unattended roadside stand. Using your phone, you pay for what you take and, so far, the farmer has never had anything stolen.

Along with the other Nordic countries, Denmark is usually in the top ten — if not top five — of international indexes of good country qualities: happiest people, high levels of trust, most livable cities, best for business, cultural capital, and much more. Denmark is not perfect, but it is remarkable. How did Denmark develop these qualities? What is the secret? Can this secret