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Inequality and bank debt in Sweden in 1919–2012
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2017 (English)In: European Review of Economic History, ISSN 1361-4916, E-ISSN 1474-0044Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study demonstrates a long-run relationship between inequality and the bank debt to GDP ratio in Sweden in 1919–2012. The findings suggest that much of the impact of the top income share on the debt ratio comes from changes in the profit share. Earlier research claims that the rich, via the banks, have lent their savings to the poor as a substitute for wage gains, but this description seems ill-suited for Sweden. An alternative explanation is that banks consider profits to be an indicator of the safety of a loan. This is more in line with the study’s findings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Debt, inequality
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148713DOI: 10.1093/ereh/hex019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148713DiVA: diva2:1155105
Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2017-11-08
In thesis
1. Financialization in Swedish Capitalism: Debt, inequality and crisis in Sweden, 1900-2013
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Financialization in Swedish Capitalism: Debt, inequality and crisis in Sweden, 1900-2013
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation adresses financialization – the increasing role of financial activities in the overall economy – in Sweden in 1900-2013. The focus is on the long run relationships between private debt, asset markets, inequality and financial crisis during this period. In line with established scholarship, the present study finds that changes in bank debt had a positive impact on the probability of financial crisis in Sweden. Functional income distribution between profits and wages was an underlying factor influencing the formation of bank debt levels through its impact on collateral in stock markets. Expenses related to the Swedish welfare state – the size of the public sector, government investment and housing construction – had a long run relationship with the wage share. The welfare state has been an effective counter-measure not just against a high profit share, but also against financialization. Moreover, the dissertation shows that the recent era of financialization in Swedish capitalism is not unique in kind. Rather, recent financialization is very similar to the macroeconomic situation during the early decades of the 20th Century. These findings are consistent with much of heterodox economic theory, in particular the Neo-Marxist approach. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economic History, Stockholm University, 2017
Series
Stockholm studies in economic history, ISSN 0346-8305 ; 67
Keyword
debt, inequality, financialization, financial crisis
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148711 (URN)978-91-7797-063-7 (ISBN)978-91-7797-064-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-22, hörsal 2 hus A, Universitetsvägen 10 A, 114 18 Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-11-29 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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