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Growth, Accumulation, Crisis: With New Macroeconomic Data for Sweden 1800-2000
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation has two main objectives. The first one is to construct historical macroeconomic series for Sweden using a consistent method throughout the relevant periods, and which rely on modern methods of national accounting. The second objective is to investigate patterns of economic growth, accumulation and crisis in Sweden 1800-2000, based on the constructed data series.

New annual data series of Gross Domestic Product and its division into activities (type of production) and expenditures (consumption, investment and foreign trade), Net Domestic Product, stocks of produced assets and consumption of fixed assets are constructed for the period 1800-2000; series of employment, wages, imputed labour income of self employed and surplus for the period 1850-2000; and series of worked hours for the period 1950-2000. Summary tables of the main aggregate variables are presented at the end of the dissertation. The intent is to make the data material available online (also at a more disaggregated level) at:

Although the present study criticises the somewhat deterministic vision of many long cycle theories, it also demonstrates that the concept of long cycle can be applied when studying long-term fluctuations in GDP per capita, provided that the notion of a fixed periodicity of long cycles is abandoned. Long-term economic fluctuations are irregular, but so is also the short-term business cycle.

Different historical tendencies and trends are investigated. The decline of the relative size of industrial activities in the last half of 20th century was not as dramatic, if unpaid household labour is considered and that many services are industry-related. The Marxist theory of a Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall is partly confirmed as a secular process up to the 1970s, but profitability has rebounded in the last two decades of the 20th century. During the 1990s, the investment ratio declined to historically low levels and the volume value of the net stock of buildings and structures fell for the first time since the 1830s.

A comparison is also made of depressions in Sweden since 1850. During the 19th century, depressions were largely induced by the agricultural sector, and during the 20th century by industrial activities. However, the transition to the modern business cycle was not sudden but rather protracted. Another finding is that the 1990s depression was somewhat deeper than the 1930s depression in terms of GDP contraction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2005. , 433 p.
Stockholm Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-8305 ; 41
Keyword [en]
GDP, employment, national accounts, Sweden, crisis, growth, capital, capitalism, accumulation, profit, surplus, economic history, growth theory, Marxism, long wave theory, business cycle, depression, recession
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-378ISBN: 91-22-02112-4OAI: diva2:193148
Public defence
2005-03-11, hörsal 5, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2005-02-18 Created: 2005-02-18 Last updated: 2012-07-05Bibliographically approved

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