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The Swedish economy in the early modern period: constructing historical national accounts


  • Lennart Schon
  • Olle Krantz


A new GDP series per capita for Sweden during 1560-1800 is presented, linked to slightly revised data for 1800-2000. Long-term stagnation up to the nineteenth century is revealed but with secular changes. Growth characterized much of the seventeenth century with modernization of state administration, industry and trade. In the next century, stagnation and even retrogression followed. Wars in the seventeenth century may have stimulated growth, but also exhausted resources. Despite stagnation, the structure of the economy shifted and created preconditions for the modern economic growth that took off in the nineteenth century. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lennart Schon & Olle Krantz, 2012. "The Swedish economy in the early modern period: constructing historical national accounts," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 529-549, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ereveh:v:16:y:2012:i:4:p:529-549

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandra M. de Pleijt & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2016. "Accounting for the “Little Divergence”: What drove economic growth in pre-industrial Europe, 1300–1800?," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 387-409.
    2. Roger Fouquet & Stephen Broadberry, 2015. "Seven Centuries of European Economic Growth and Decline," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 227-244, Fall.
    3. Rosés, Joan R. & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2018. "Regional Economic Development in Europe, 1900-2010: a description of the Patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 12749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Hendrickson, Joshua R., 2020. "The Riksbank, emergency finance, policy experimentation, and Sweden’s reversal of fortune," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 312-332.
    5. Kerstin Enflo & Anna Missiaia, 2020. "Between Malthus and the industrial take‐off: regional inequality in Sweden, 1571–1850," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(2), pages 431-454, May.
    6. Kathryn E. Gary & Cristina Victoria Radu, 2019. "The impact of border changes and protectionism on real wages in early modern Scania," Working Papers 0166, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    7. Fredrik N G Andersson & Jason Lennard, 2019. "Irish GDP between the Famine and the First World War: estimates based on a dynamic factor model," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 50-71.
    8. Broadberry, Stephen N, 2021. "Accounting for the Great Divergence: Recent Findings from Historical National Accounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 15936, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Anonymity, efficiency wages and technological progress," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 379-394.
    10. Jerven, Morten, 2019. "African Economic Growth 1900-50: Historical National Accounts for British Colonial Africa," African Economic History Working Paper 50/2019, African Economic History Network.
    11. Chris Hudson, 2016. "Witch Trials: Discontent in Early Modern Europe," IHEID Working Papers 11-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    12. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2015. "Japan and the Great Divergence, 725-1874," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 230, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    13. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2019. "Japan and the great divergence, 730–1874," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-22.
    14. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2015. "Pre-industrial population and economic growth: Was there a Malthusian mechanism in Sweden?," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 17, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
    15. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro & Rodríguez-Caballero, Carlos Vladimir, 2020. "Growth, War, and Pandemics: Europe in the Very Long-run," CEPR Discussion Papers 14816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Gary, Kathryn E. & Olsson, Mats, 2019. "Men at work: Real wages from annual and casual labour in southern Sweden 1500–1850," Lund Papers in Economic History 194, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    17. Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime, 2019. "From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Economic Growth, 1527–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 477-506, June.
    18. Nuno Palma, 2019. "American Precious Metals and their Consequences for Early Modern Europe," Working Papers 0174, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    19. Karlsson, Tobias & Kok, Joris & Perrin, Faustine, 2021. "The Historical Gender Gap Index: A Longitudinal and Spatial Assessment of Sweden, 1870-1990," Lund Papers in Economic History 217, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    20. Nils‐Petter Lagerlöf, 2019. "Understanding Per‐Capita Income Growth In Preindustrial Europe," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(1), pages 219-240, February.
    21. Palma, Nuno Pedro G. & Reis, Jaime Brown & Rodrigues, Lisbeth, 2021. "Historical gender discrimination does not explain comparative Western European development: evidence from Portugal, 1300-1900," CEPR Discussion Papers 15922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Piotr Koryś & Maciej Tymiński, 2013. "Polish and Swedish Fiscal Policy in the Years 1772-1792. A Short-Run Analysis," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 33.
    23. Kerstin Enflo & Anna Missiaia, 2018. "Regional GDP estimates for Sweden, 1571–1850," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(2), pages 115-137, April.
    24. Jaime Reis, 2016. "The Gross Agricultural Output of Portugal: A Quantitative, Unified Perspective, 1500-1850," Working Papers 0098, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    25. Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson, 2017. "The response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations in pre-industrial Sweden," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 245-268, May.

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