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Prices and the growth of the knowledge economy in Sweden and Western Europe before the industrial revolution
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, E-ISSN 1750-2837, Vol. 59, no 3, 250-272 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article uses long-term series of real prices for various goods and services to analyse the evolution of the knowledge economy before the Industrial Revolution by focusing on Sweden in comparison with other European countries. During the early modern period, the relative price of knowledge-intensive goods and services, such as iron, paper, salt, sea transports and silver, decreased relative to a Consumer Price Index. The increased productivity levels of these goods and services were caused by increased division of labour and accelerated diffusion of knowledge. However, the real price of foodstuff tended to increase, implying that living standards declined with increased population. Early modern Western Europe acquired a peculiar price structure, characterized by low prices of industrial goods relative to the price of food. Only with the advent of industrial society could the knowledge economy escape the Malthusian entrapment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 59, no 3, 250-272 p.
National Category
Economic History Globalization Studies
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63596DOI: 10.1080/03585522.2011.617575OAI: diva2:451220
Available from: 2011-10-25 Created: 2011-10-25 Last updated: 2011-12-27Bibliographically approved

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Edvinsson, RodneySöderberg, Johan
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