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Economic Growth and the Development of Real Wages: Swedish Construction Workers’ Wages in Comparative Perspective, 1831–1900


  • Ericsson, Johan
  • Molinder, Jakob


Using new and uniquely detailed data, we examine how construction workers’ wages in Sweden developed between 1831 and 1900. Wages grew rapidly from the 1850s, and comparisons with Northwestern Europe show that Swedish workers benefited more from growth than workers elsewhere. Globalization forces, most notably overseas migration, in combination with flexible and well-integrated labor markets—signified by strong regional convergence, falling skill differentials, and small urban-rural wage gaps—pushed up wages in Sweden.

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  • Ericsson, Johan & Molinder, Jakob, 2020. "Economic Growth and the Development of Real Wages: Swedish Construction Workers’ Wages in Comparative Perspective, 1831–1900," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 813-852, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:80:y:2020:i:3:p:813-852_6

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