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Productivity and transition in Swedish iron and steel, 1870-1940


  • Houpt, Stefan


This paper would like to analyse how Swedish iron and steel entrepreneurs reacted to the strains of increasing competition on world markets which affected the industry between 1870 and 1940. It implicitly searches for readjustments taken by the sector as a whole in order to increase productivity. A first part of the paper presents the breakdown into periods and the background to the transitions we are going to examine. We then go on to describe the data we have assembled for the contrast both from national accounts and complementary sources. We contrast the coherence of the data series by estimating total factor productivity with a primal and a dual approach and by looking at factor substitution and relative prices. Next we examine the contribution to growth of the different inputs: labour, capital, resources and TFP. We find evidence for the industry reacting to competitive strains and overall we find TFP as the main responsible force.

Suggested Citation

  • Houpt, Stefan, 2007. "Productivity and transition in Swedish iron and steel, 1870-1940," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-10, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp07-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1994. "Expropriation and Inventions: Appropriable Rents in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 190-209, March.
    2. Arora, Ashish, 1996. "Contracting for tacit knowledge: the provision of technical services in technology licensing contracts," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 233-256, August.
    3. Barrell, Ray & Pain, Nigel, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment, Technological Change, and Economic Growth within Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1770-1786, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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