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Swedish historical national accounts: The fifth generation


  • Bohlin, Jan


The study of economic growth is arguably the central object of economic history. Our most comprehensive measure of economic growth relies on historical national accounts (HNA). The theoretical underpinnings of present day national accounts have evolved since the first attempts by Gregory King in the seventeenth century and have now become standardised according to the rules of the UN's system of national accounts (SNA). Though grounded in economic theory the SNA system rests in many cases on quite arbitrary definitions that are far from obvious or involve theoretical inconsistencies, as has been pointed out for example by Eisner (1988) and Shaikh and Tonak (1994). This arbitrariness concerns such issues as how to draw the boundary between economically productive activities and forms of private and social consumption, how to account for non-marketed economic activities and how to handle the ‘services’ provided by durable goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohlin, Jan, 2003. "Swedish historical national accounts: The fifth generation," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 73-97, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:7:y:2003:i:01:p:73-97_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Rodney Edvinsson, 2013. "New annual estimates of Swedish GDP, 1800–2010," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 66(4), pages 1101-1126, November.
    2. Svante Prado, 2014. "Yeast or mushrooms? Productivity patterns across Swedish manufacturing industries, 1869–1912," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(2), pages 382-408, May.
    3. Hortlund, Per, 2005. "Does Inflation and High Taxes Increase Bank Leverage?," Ratio Working Papers 69, The Ratio Institute.
    4. Bohlin, Jan, 2007. "Structural Change in the Swedish economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century – The role of import substitution and export demand," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 8, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
    5. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2005. "Annual Estimates of Swedish GDP in 1720-1800," Ratio Working Papers 70, The Ratio Institute.
    6. Hortlund, Per, 2005. "Do Inflation and High Taxes Increase Bank Leverage?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 612, Stockholm School of Economics.

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