Growth Accumulation Crisis
With New Macroeconomic
Data for Sweden 1800-2000

By Rodney Edvinsson
August 2005
Almqvist & Wiksell International
ISBN: 9122021124
456 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$110.00 Paper Original


This doctoral thesis has two main objectives. The first one is to construct historical macroeconomic series for Sweden using a consistent method throughout time and relying 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 are constructed for Gross Domestic Product and its composition, Net Domestic Product, stocks of produced assets, employment, labor income, surplus and worked hours. Summary tables of the main aggregate variables are presented at the end of the dissertation.

Although the present study criticizes 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 late 20th century was not as dramatic, if unpaid household labor 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 by rather protracted. Another finding is that the 1990s depression was somewhat deeper than the 19030s depression in terms of GDP contraction.

Economic History
Stockholm Studies in Economic History, No. 41

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