‘To a great extent, the growth and development of civilized societies has been predicated on the development of infrastructure and institutions designed to separate what we eat from what we excrete. When such institutions and infrastructure have deteriorated under cultural and economic collapse, the result has been epidemics of disease which accompanied the dénouement of that society.‘
The article examines some varieties of controversial consumption in Sweden from the First World War to 1945. The focus here is on cosmetics, cigarettes, films, jazz music and dancing. All these types of consumption were growing. From a morally conservative position, they presented a threat. It was perceived that a new lifestyle had been emerging since the end of the World War, associated with the advance of the wild, the primitive, and the erotic. The theories of mass culture that were put forward can be seen as a rationalization of the fact that the élite experienced a loss of power over consumption and lifestyles. Nevertheless, as mass consumption developed, several goods and services had lost some of their controversial character by the end of the inter-war period.
This paper investigates the development of poverty in Sweden using micro data derived from tax files for the city of Göteborg for the years 1925, 1936, 1947 and 1958, as well as more recent (1983, 1994 and 2003) information. We define poverty as living in a household with a disposable income lower than a poverty line that represents a constant purchasing power all years, as well as poverty lines defined as 60% of contemporary median income. Clear reductions of poverty from 1925 to 1947, as well as from 1958 to 1983, are found. We argue that an important poverty-reducing mechanism during both periods was narrowing earnings disparities. Further, we claim that the poverty reduction from the end of the 1950s to the first half of the 1980s was the outcome of improved transfer systems as well as the establishment of pronounced characteristics of present-day Sweden: the dual earner system.
Environmental history has made the relationship between man and nature the object of historical research, one major theme of which is the development of environmental protection. In analysing environmental protection, the key issues are the changes in nature caused by man. The emergence of the problems and their solutions result from man's knowledge of the function of the eco-systems and his choices of values. Water supply and sewerage were long considered to be merely technical and economic matters in urban centres, until the ill effects of water pollution forced us to see how these issues were connected to our health. In the late 1940s, water began to be considered as a natural resource indispensable to humankind. Water became an international social issue, and this strengthened demands in the industrialised and urbanised countries in the northern hemisphere to reduce water pollution. Using a Finnish example, this paper studies the process by which knowledge of the condition of water resources made people gradually aware of the problem, how they began to exercise influence and to act, which in turn eventually led to an improvement in the aquatic environment.
Population statistics for pre-industrial Norway indicate that in many years deaths exceeded births; this was due to a sharp short-term increase in the number of deaths. Information about the reasons is usually unreliable or totally non-existent. Often the birth rate falls simultaneously, intensifying the effect; the marriage rate may be dropping as well. The later reversal of these trends produces some compensation.
It is a popular view among scholars that the modern time-concept of everyday life grew as a result of work-organisation and discipline in factories during industrialisation. This concept consists of a greater stress on punctuality and a greater general awareness of time. Without denying this, this essay argues that there might have been other social processes and reasons behind the modern time-concept. In a comparison of early-modern Swedish court evidence covering four different socio-economic milieus and two different decades - the 1650s and the 1730s - some interesting facts are revealed. There are differences between the local communities studied, but the greatest differences occurred over time. This can be explained by a growing demand from the central judicial institutions for clearly written records rather than by a more detailed organisation of time in the communities, since Sweden did not experience a revolution in working conditions over these periods but changes in the bureaucratic strata in the period. One may therefore draw the conclusion that the modern time-concept was not only a result of work-discipline but also of communication, and that its genesis is older than the industrial revolution.
The aim of this article is to contest the monocausal cultural explanation model for the existence of the eastern Finnish family system linked to an imaginary Hajnal line. By comparing two localities in the eastern part of Finland with common religion, language, political history and legislation but with different ecology and economy and household system, a case is made for the link between economic activity and household organisation.
Finland has an abundance of source materials for the study of historical demography. The best-known records are the two sets of tables: the census and mortality tables which were maintained by the parish clergy from 1749 onwards. These recorded the size of the population, to some extent its distribution, and the vital statistics of births, marriages and deaths. The various parish registers formed the basic material for these tables, and information about births and deaths was taken from the registers of births and deaths which exist for Finnish parishes in significant numbers after the Great Northern War (i.e. after 1721). Indeed, for some parishes such registers have survived from as early as the second half of the seventeenth century. Finland therefore has rich documentation available for research into fertility and mortality. However demographic research has previously concentrated upon the more accessible census data, while the registers of births and deaths have been relatively neglected.
Family firms played a very similar role in the industrialisation of both Britain and Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In both countries the relatively-low transaction costs of family and community in an uncertain world meant that family capitalism predominated, whilst trends in the late nineteenth century and inter-war period have reinforced this trend. Yet, even in this latter period, international differences dictated by differences in the institutional environment and in the relationship between industry and the state have led to differing characteristics of family firms and their capabilities in Britain and Italy. The article explores how far these long-term trends, combined with changes specific to the period since the Second World War, explain the survival of dominant large-scale family firms in Italy but not in Britain.
The early nineteenth-century factory laws are usually seen as the first steps towards the abolition of industrial child labour. It is here asked whether such appears to be the case only with hindsight, given that we know that industrial child labour eventually disappeared in the West. In all of nineteenth-century Finland has no legislator spoke up for the abolition of industrial child labour, despite the fact that they were well informed about the relevant laws in the leading European countries and even used them as a model when passing in 1889 the first labour Protection Act. It is argued below that part of the explanation lies in the fact that in a poor agricultural country, such as Finland then was, industrial child labour appeared as a remedy to pauperism and the "idleness" of urban boys. At a more general level it is also suggested that the increasing productivity-consciousness of employers may have been a principal reason for their declining interest in employing children.
The aim of this article is to identify the factors which lead some women to migrate to the town of Sundsvall in northern Sweden. Analysis of the life histories of a cohort of women born between 1815 and 1819 in parishes close to Sundsvall revealed that even before the middle of the nineteenth century, Sundsvall was beginning to emerge as an important destination but that it was service, rather than marriage, that motivated migration. It was also established that the social position of the woman's father was one of the important determinants of her migration, service and marriage histories. Daughters of farmers were more likely to marry than the daughters of non-farmers. They would also marry earlier. In respect of their record as a servant, daughters of farmers would enter service later, work for fewer employers and be less likely to re-enter the parental home having once left for a service post. Daughters of non-farmers were, however, more likely to move to Sundsvall implying that the weakness of the parental family economy may have fostered such migration. Inter-acting with social position was the place of the woman within the sibling set. Daughters who were the first or second born children of farmers, for example, were less likely to become servants but more likely to spend part of their adulthood in the town of Sundsvall. However, the departure of daughters from the parental household rarely resulted in a childless parental household. A number of (generally younger) siblings remained while many of the daughters, particularly of non-farmers, returned to their parents after a number of spells of service.
Present-day child labour in developing countries has brought new insight to historical child labour. It is with such ideas in mind that this article discusses the disciplining and experiences of first-generation factory children in nineteenth-century Finland, then a ‘peripheral’ or ‘developing’ country. The presentation is based mainly on oral history, and describes the process by which country children were made into factory workers. It covers recruitment of children, the dormitories for lone migrant child workers and children's life in cotton mills. The Finnish textile industry adopted its technical know-how and managerial practices largely from England, but did not adopt the system of internal subcontracting of children. Concerning the decline of child labour, Myron Weiner's argument attributing a crucial impact to compulsory education is found untenable in Finland. A hypothesis that a decline in the demand for child labour may have had some connection with improving managerial competence is tentatively submitted.
ExtractFertility declined fairly simultaneously in most western countries nearly a century ago. The question of which social groups were early in starting the decline is thought to have been answered: the common assertion is that the highest social groups started to control their fertility and, as time passed, that their new reproductive behaviour percolated down through the social layers. The current project on the secular decline in fertility in Norway has revealed that the families at the very top of the social hierarchy were the national pioneers in family limitation. The hypothesis in this article is, however, that family limitation in Norway also had an independent point of departure in the rural lower classes. In this article, I will therefore challenge the ‘general truth’ that there is always an inverse relationship between fertility and social status in the initial phase of the secular decline in fertility.
Cajsa Warg's old maxim ‘One eats what there is’ — apparently self-explanatory in its simplicity — has a different significance for the understanding of the historical development of food consumption and diet from what might be expected at first glance. The absolute food surplus which industrial and post-industrial society has generated during the last century has helped to conceal certain essential links between food consumption and more general economic and social development in fare-industrial society which was not characterised by self-generating and constantly increasing growth. The assumption of food scarcity in former times, allied to a paucity of research in this field, has among other things conjured up an image of a continual improvement and increase in food consumption coupled with the massive rise in productive capacity during the most recent centuries.
In recent years a number of studies have investigated demographic and social conditions among the slaves of the West Indies and the American mainland. A vital problem in many of these studies has been the fact that the source-data have been of more fragmentary character than in similar studies of European demographic and social history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, where population censuses and parish registers have been available to constitute a central core of material. In the case of slaves on the plantations it has been necessary to make do to a much greater extent with private types of sources and taxation records. Source-material of private origin is often limited to individual plantations, the representativeness of which is unknown, while taxation records by their very nature may have occasioned attempts to evade liability, so that these too can give a biased picture of the situation.
During the post-war period profound changes have occured in the cluster of institutions and organisations called 'The Swedish Model'. This article deals with those changes and with their interplay with other social changes. More specific, changes in the system for industrial vocational training, an early and cherished domain for the Swedish model-type of co-operation, are related to transforming industrial structure and to changes in industrial work organisation. The article results in an economic-historical explanation of how the very centrally managed model of the 1960s was transformed to a more local one.
Annual house price indices for four Norwegian cities are presented for the period from 1819 to 1989. The indices are constructed on the basis of nominal housing transaction prices compiled from the real property registers of the cities. Existing Norwegian house prices indices generally cover a few decades and usually start in the mid-1980s. Hence, we present new information about Norwegian house prices for more than 160 years. The house price indices seem to fit well in with historical events and available indicators of the Norwegian economy. The overall trend in nominal house prices is upward sloping over the two centuries. However, in real terms the picture looks different, in particular in the first half of the twentieth century.
We examine the case of an important outsider to the Cobden-Chevalier network of bilateral treaties in the second half of the nineteenth century. We attempt to explain this through a study of the structure of Danish trade and protection. We demonstrate, in contrast to previous accounts that have considered Danish trade policy somewhat irrational, that Denmark was right to remain outside. She had little to gain from concluding treaties, since her main trading partners offered free trade for her exports, agricultural goods, and she needed her own tariffs for revenue purposes.
This paper would like to analyse how Swedish iron and steel entrepreneurs reacted to the strains of increasing competition on world markets which affected the industry between 1870 and 1940. It implicitly searches for readjustments taken by the sector as a whole in order to increase productivity. A first part of the paper presents the breakdown into periods and the background to the transitions we are going to examine. We then go on to describe the data we have assembled for the contrast both from national accounts and complementary sources. We contrast the coherence of the data series by estimating total factor productivity with a primal and a dual approach and by looking at factor substitution and relative prices. Next we examine the contribution to growth of the different inputs: labour, capital, resources and TFP. We find evidence for the industry reacting to competitive strains and overall we find TFP as the main responsible force.
The working of the ”asset currency” provided by the Swedish note banking system in 1878–1901 is described. Natural and institutional conditions caused the demand for currency to peak in March and September, with troughs in July and January. The paper investigates how the Enskilda banks provided liquidity to solve the problem. This is done by describing how the volume of notes varied over the year, and how other balance sheet items co-moved with them. Strong seasonal co-variation is found particularly between lend-ing and foreign payments media, varying like communicating vessels over the sailing season in May–October (when the sea was ice free and shipments were made).
This paper presents disaggregated estimates of nominal and effective rates of tariff protection for Sweden 1885–1914. In a methodological part of the article I argue that the proper way to measure tariff protection is an output weighted average of tariff rates for a representative sample of commodities. In the empirical part of the paper, I show that Swedish tariff protection increased substantially in the period even though tariff income as a proportion of total imports decreased slightly. This seeming contradiction is explained by the restructuring of Swedish imports that took place in the period under review; the share in imports of highly protected consumer goods declined while the share of capital goods with lower protection rates and duty free raw materials and input goods increased. The result stands in contradiction to some recent views expressed in the international literature.
This paper presents long time series of stock and bond returns for Denmark
from 1922 to 1999. Average stock returns are low in an international context, but
returns (and volatility) have increased sharply since 1983 which may be explained by
major changes in economic policy and liberalizations of capital flows. On the other
hand, Danish bond yields are high in general, and in particular from the late 1960s to
the mid 1980s. Thus, there are several periods in which bonds have given higher
returns than stocks. Over the entire sample, however, equity clearly outperforms
New indices of manufacturing output in Norway for the years 1927 to 1948 are presented. The new output estimates show a trend rate of growth of output for the period 1927-1939 that is 0.8 per cent higher per year than the growth rate based on the official index. These findings reinforce the view that the 1930s were a period of surprisingly rapid output growth, equalling the growth rates of the 'Golden Age' of the 1950s and 1960s.
This paper presents a new index for Sweden computed using a new time-series of 60 years of monthly returns of real estate stocks from 1939 to the present. The computation of the index is explained along with some general statistics. We find that the financial crisis of 1990-92 and the subsequent economic turmoil had a devastating effect on the real estate stock market. The returns are subject to kurtosis and skewness, especially during the last decade of the period. The Swedish real estate stock market was less sensitive than the Swedish stock market index. This new index offers a valuable data set for future research in financial economics as well as other disciplines.
The Swedish finance company crisis was a kind of "run" that happened in September, 1990. It marked the beginning of the Swedish banking crisis of the early 1990's. The crisis was initially focused on the finance company Nyckeln. The specific negative information about Nyckeln is identified, as well as how it spread only very late, or not at all, to the supervisory authority and to the banks that were involved in lending to the finance companies. The paper then inquires whether there were warning signs of the forthcoming crisis in capital market information and other public information, by means of the usual event study methodology. The data that are used include indices for the banking industry and the real estate and construction industry, and share prices and trading volume for finance companies. The conclusion is that the crisis really came as a surprise, with very little advance warning.
Based on the methodology developed by Hodrick & Prescott (1980), it is shown that monetary activity in Norway by no means obeys the cyclical patterns described by Lucas (1983). By constructing annual time series covering monetary data from 1900 to 1992, combined with the use of varying filtering parameter values, it is demonstrated that only credit volume has followed a procyclical pattern. Furthermore, prices are found to be countercyclical during the post war period. Tests of relative volatility and cyclical skewness are presented as well as prospects for future studies of business cycles in Norway based on historical data.
After Wicksell in 1911 had published the second Swedish edition of his Lectures on Political Economy, a debate began in the Ekonomisk Tidskrift between Wicksell and his opponent Sven Brisman. The controversy was mainly about the concept of capital and the rate of interest, but the circumstances around the debate are at least as interesting as the theoretical issues. Wicksell was since long an internationally famous professor, his opponent a young and impetuous docent. Wicksell was a theorist, Brisman was an empiricist. Those facts determined the character of the debate, in which an echo of the conflict between Wicksell and Cassel is also present. On the theoretical level Wicksell now got another opportunity to clarify his concept of capital as saved-up labour and land, while his view on the casual relationship in the theory of interest is not so clear, taking into account his earlier writings.
When companies decide to engage in technology transfer through exclusive licensing to other firms, they have two basic options: to use standard licensing contracts or to set-up more elaborate partnership-embedded licensing agreements. We find that broader partnership-embedded licensing agreements are preferred with higher levels of technological sophistication of industries, with greater perceived effectiveness of secrecy as a means of appropriability, and when licensors are smaller than their licensees. Innovative differential between companies, innovative supremacy of the licensor and market and technological overlap between partners appear to have no effect on the preference for a particular form of licensing. Copyright 2009 , Oxford University Press.
This paper is concerned with the fact that the incidence of speculative attacks tends to be temporally correlated; that is, currency crises appear to pass contagiously from one country to another. The paper provides a survey of the theoretical literature, and analyzes the contagious nature of currency crises empirically. Using thirty years of panel data from twenty industrialized countries, we find evidence of contagion. Contagion appears to spread more easily to countries which are closely tied by international trade linkages than to countries in similar macroeconomic circumstances.
Price-earnings ratios are part of the toolkit that is used for assessing the valuation of individual firms on the stock market as well as the entire market itself. This paper presents consistent P/E series for the liquid Danish shares adjusted for share buybacks. The results show that over the period from 1969 to 2003, the average (trailing) P/E equals 13.5. The P/E reaches its lowest level in 1980, which is likely to be due to a soaring oil price, high wage increases and interest rates approaching 20 percent. Notwithstanding optimistic equity pricing also in Denmark in the late 1990s, the upturn in Danish valuations was more moderate than in the US. The correction that sets in subsequently reversed essentially the gains in the Danish P/E in the 1990s.
This paper presents empirical evidence of the international integration of Swedish economic historians. Contrary to the claims of a recent national evaluation of the discipline, the Swedish shares of international publications and conference presentations are robustly below available cross-country and cross-discipline benchmarks. Also considering levels of research inputs, the relative underperformance of the Swedish field is alarming. Four main explanations to this situation are forwarded: 1) Being among the largest economic history communities in the world, Sweden has become self-sufficient and almost independent of the international arena. 2) The dominating research language is Swedish. 3) The dominating publication format is monographs (in Swedish). 4) Swedish economic historians are reluctant to use modern economic theories and statistical analysis to complement the traditionally dominant qualitative research methods.
Europe provides a suitable scenario for testing empirical regularities of growth since, to a large extent, its countries share institutions, policies, and resource endowments. Patterns of development, which associate structural change with variations in GDP per head and population, are constructed for modern Europe (1850-1990) along the lines of Chenery and Syrquin's pathbreaking work. Thus, it is possible to discern whether a common set of development processes is observable for the whole continent and whether countries that had a late start exhibited, as suggested by Gerschenkron, a differential behaviour in terms of accumulation, resource allocation, and demographic transition. The results tend to confirm the different nature of latecomers' development.
In Denmark official quarterly national accounts are only available for the period since 1977. The paper constructs a set of summary non-seasonally adjusted quarterly national accounts for Denmark for 1948-2010 in current and constant prices as well as a set of other key quarterly macroeconomic indicators covering the Danish economy since 1948. As a first exploratory analysis of these two new data sets the paper reviews some of the stylized empirical evidence on the business cycle, the monetary transmission mechanism and shocks to financial stability that can be uncovered using filtering techniques and reduced-form vector autoregressive (VAR) models. The long-span data sets make it possible to estimate VAR models of a higher dimension than is usually found in the literature due to degrees-of-freedom problems. The results from the VAR analysis indicate a significant and long-lasting negative impact on real GDP following an exogenous shock to the banking sector’s write-down ratio.
In this contribution, we study the founding of large charities for the elderly during the Dutch Republic, demonstrating their number and nature, with an emphasis on how almshouses for the elderly were intricately bound up with the concern to preserve honour. Personal honour, being tied to community honour, formed a vital part of the processes of patronage and corporatism that defined early modern Dutch society. Through almshouse foundations the religious and civic communities to which patrons and clients belonged were strengthened. Within the fragmented religious landscape of the Dutch Republic these charities played an important role in strengthening both mainstream and dissenter communities, while providing a decent old age to Dutch citizens.
This article focuses on the importance of structural change on productivity growth and conditions in the labour market. From a productivity perspective, a positive relation is found between structural change and productivity growth from the industrial breakthrough until the first oil crisis. From the early 1970s, this positive relation weakened and eventually became negative as labour moved from high to low productive industries. From a labour market perspective, it is found that extent of sectoral reallocation of labour has become more intense over the twentieth century. The extent of job gains and losses seems to have been more intense during the postwar period than during the industrialization phase.
Roughly one million Swedes emigrated to the USA between 1870 and 1920. These emigrants gave rise to over four million individuals with a Swedish ancestry currently living in the USA. This study shows that Swedes have maintained the geographic concentrations chosen by their parents and grandparents. Also, Swedish migrants were on average less educated than the US-born white population, yet their descendants tended to be relatively better educated. The statistical analysis of the data shows that Swedish-born men had lower, and women much lower, earnings than the native born. However, this position was not carried over to the subsequent generations who performed similar to natives with similar characteristics.
This article introduces a new database, based on official statistics, of regional manufacturing industries in Sweden. We employ this database to examine the distribution of manufacturing activity across Swedish regions and cities, 1900–1960. Over this period we observe an increasing concentration of manufacturing activities, reaching a peak around 1940, across the northern, southern and western parts (NUTS-I areas) of Sweden. Over the same period, the North-South divide in terms of manufacturing employment grew larger. Across counties (NUTS-III) and cities we, however, observe two shorter periods of convergence of manufacturing activities, in the early twentieth century and in the post-war period, whereas the inter-war period was characterised by divergence. These developments occurred to the backdrop of the urbanisation of industry in Sweden, as the rural share of manufacturing employment declined from roughly 60 to 25% between 1900 and 1960. We also find that the regional patterns of individual industries over time followed different trajectories, suggesting that that the determinants of industry location differed significantly across industries.
This article addresses the importance of research and development (R&D) collaboration for environmental adaptation in the Swedish pulp and paper industry. It reviews the collaborative efforts initiated during the first half of the twentieth century, and investigates in particular how these efforts were influenced by the advent of modern environmental legislation in the late 1960s. We find that during the early period the underlying motives for environmental R&D collaboration were related to the presence of local resistance to pollution, over time turning into increased requirements from tightening environmental regulation. When the Swedish Environmental Protection Act was implemented in 1969, the long-lasting tradition of collaborative R&D activities facilitated the development and the adaptation of cleaner technologies in the sector. The article concludes that in the case of the Swedish pulp and paper industry, the significant environmental improvements witnessed during the 1960s and onwards can only be fully comprehended by acknowledging the role of the industry-wide collaborative activities in R&D. The positive outcomes of this collaboration were in turn reinforced by an environmental regulation system, which facilitated long-term investments in environmental R&D and, in contrast to their Finnish and American counterparts, encouraged internal process changes in the industry.