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SN S FÖ R L AG

»Det är viktigt att ifrågasätta de anspråk på en total omvälvning av historieskrivandet som den postmoderna ansatsen faktiskt uppställer. Richard Evans bok är den första mer omfattande uppgörelsen med dessa idéer och är oundgänglig för alla dem som tycker det förflutna är tillräckligt viktigt för att inte falla offer för allsköns irrationalitet med långtgående och synnerligen tveksamma moraliska konsekvenser.« Ur Lars Magnussons förord

Lennart Schön Sweden’s Road to Modernity

Vad kan vi egentligen lära oss av det förflutna? Går det att lära sig någonting över huvud taget? Finns det ens en historisk sanning och en verklighet som kan rekonstrueras av eftervärlden? Efter postmodernismens kritik av den etablerade historieskrivningens metoder och utgångspunkter har tilltron till traditionella begrepp som källor, objektivitet och historisk kunskap allvarligt rubbats. Distinktionen mellan fakta och fiktion, mellan historia och litteratur, har medvetet och omedvetet undergrävts i takt med att historikernas verksamhet avfärdats som subjektiva partsinlagor eller falska pretentioner. Till historiens försvar är en engagerad och nyanserad plädering för historieskrivningens möjligheter att ge oss äkta insikt om det förflutna.

Sweden’s Road to Modernity An Economic History

Richard J. Evans är professor i historia i Cambridge. Bland hans tidigare böcker märks Death in Hamburg och Rituals of Retribution. Andra upplagan isbn 978-91-85695-73-7 PRISGRUPP

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Lennart Schön


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Sweden’s Road to Modernity: An Economic History Lennart Schön Translation Ken Schubert

sns förlag


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SNS Förlag Box 5629 114 86 Stockholm Telefon: 08-507 025 00 Telefax: 08-507 025 25 info@sns.se www.sns.se

SNS — Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle — är ett fristående nätverk av opinionsbildare och beslutsfattare i privat och offentlig sektor. SNS vill genom forskning, bokutgivning och möten bidra till debatt och rationella beslut i samhällsfrågor.

The book was awarded the Pro Lingua Prize in 2007 – inaugurated by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education – to enable the translation into English.

Sweden’s Road to Modernity: An Economic History Lennart Schön First edition First printing © 2010 The authour and SNS Förlag The original title: En modern svensk ekonomisk historia. Tillväxt och omvandling under två sekel (2000, 2007) Translation: Ken Schubert Front cover: Lena Eklund Graphic design: Sture Balgård Print: TMG Sthlm, Stockholm 2010 isbn 978-91-86203-42-9


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Content

Preface

9

chapter 1

Growth and transformation during two centuries

11

Growth and transformation 13 · Pillars of growth 15 · The question of transformation 18 · Complementarity and development blocks 21 · A pattern in long-term social development 22 · A structural cycle 29 · Foreign trade and Swedish transformation 32 · How this book is organised 34 · Background in previous research 36

chapter 2

The Transformation of Agriculture and Early Industrialisation, 1790–1850

the european background

37 37

The foundation of the Industrial Revolution is laid 37 · The decades of revolution 40

the transformation of agriculture and early industry in sweden until the mid-19th century 43 Population growth 46 · New economic growth 49 · The transformation of agriculture 52 · Market growth and industrialisation in the agrarian society 66 · Growth of the markets and institutional change 94 · Epilogue in the first wave of transformation 102

chapter 3

Railway Construction and Expanded Industrialisation, 1850–1890

104

spread of industrialisation and transformation in europe

104

Development block surrounding the railways 105 · International integration 107 · Political transformation 111 · The Long Depression and rationalisation 114


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sweden and the breakthrough of industrialisation, 1850–1890

116

A breakthrough for modern growth 117 · Why didn’t Sweden become an underdeveloped country? 125 · Institutions and the liberal breakthrough 128 · Industrial transformation 142 · A new working class 156 · 1870s — culmination and crisis 159 · Rationalisation and new conditions in the 1880s 163

chapter 4

The Breakthrough of Industrial Society, 1890–1930

the second industrial revolution

178 178

Development blocks surrounding engines 178 · The greater importance of human capital and the degradation of labour 182 · Industrial transformation 183 · Uneven development 185

the breakthrough of industrial society in sweden in the 1890s and afterwards

187

Swedish growth accelerates after 1890 190 · Structural change, 1890–1930 193 · Forces of growth 206 · The capital market, venture capital and industrial transformation 219 · New institutions 227 · The situation before World War 1 231

war profits, crisis and rationalisation, 1910–1930

233

World War 1 and expansion in the 1910s 233 · The crisis of the 1920s and the breakthrough of industrial society 246 · Rationalisation and new forces of growth in the 1920s 262 · Women’s labour market and middle-class femininity 277 · The situation around 1930 279

chapter 5

The Peak of Industrial Society, 1930–1975

from crisis and war to all-time records

281 281

Development blocks and a new economic policy 282

the swedish economy in transformation, 1930–1950

286

In the front ranks of international growth 287 · Growth, productivity and employment, 1930–1950 288 · The crisis of the 1930s 293 · The Social Democrats and new economy policy 296 · Why did Sweden cope with the crisis of the 1930s so well? 299 · The Swedish economy during the World War 11 308 · The post-war programme 312


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a golden age of growth in the western world, 1950–1975

314

Institutional solutions 315 · The technology gap 318 · Supply of factors of production 320

a golden age of industrialism in sweden, 1950–1975

321

Growth, productivity and employment, 1950–1975 322 · The expansion of foreign trade and a new generation of exports 326 · Investment and development blocks 329 · A Swedish model for the welfare state 344 · Large companies and groups of shareholders in industry 355 · Industrial growth culminates 360 · The rationalisation of agriculture and forestry 367 · The outlook in 1970 371

chapter 6

The Third Industrial Revolution and the Breakthrough of the Service Economy, 1975–2010

transformation and globalisation

373 373

Structural crisis, stagflation and the new economic policy regime 374 · The electronic revolution 381 · From industrial society to service economy? 391

the swedish economy in crisis and transformation since the 1970s

402

No longer in the lead 403 · Two perspectives on Sweden’s relative decline until the 1990s 404 · The main components of structural transformation 408 · The structural crisis during the 1970s 417 · Transformation in the 1980s and 1990s 426

epilogue

Perspectives from the Third Industrial Revolution

446

References Index of persons General index

453 473 475


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Preface to the First Edition

This study of growth and transformation in the 19th and 20th centuries traces Sweden’s road to modernity while offering a new, indepth analysis of economic trends. The rapid economic and social change of recent years makes the perspective of economic history more relevant than ever. The book stems from many years of instruction and research on growth and structural change at the Lund University Department of Economic History. Grants from research foundations have been vital to such a long-term effort. Riksbankens Jubileumsfond has been a major source of financial support for International Integration of Sweden in the 19th and 20th Centuries, European Perspectives on Economic Growth Since 1870 and other projects. Inspiration and ideas for following Sweden’s road to modernity have arrived from many quarters – instruction and conversation with students, seminars with colleagues at the department, and visits to other departments of economic history around the country. Several people read late drafts of the manuscript and offered valuable feedback. I want to extend a special word of gratitude to Jan Glete at the Stockholm University Department of History, whose contributions were particularly numerous and generous. I would also like to thank Göran Ahlström, Jonas Ljungberg and Lars Svensson at the department in Lund. All responsibility for the final manuscript and any errors it may contain rests with me alone. Lund, April 2000 Lennart Schön

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Preface to the Second Edition The final chapter of this edition covers events up to the first decade of the 21st century. While only a modest addition from the horizon of 200 years, it nevertheless illuminates the turn of the century from a long-term perspective. Lund, January 2007 Lennart Schön

Preface to the English Edition The translation follows earlier editions closely. The only extensions are references to recent development up to 2010, which was in line with the major long term perspectives of the book. Lund, December 2010 Lennart Schön

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