Long term patterns in Swedish growth and structural change, 1870-1990
The aim of this paper is to examine long-term patterns in growth and structural change in the Swedish economic development between 1870 and 1990. The analysis is based on a systematic quantitative analysis that previously has not been applied to the Swedish economic performance. The analysis includes an explicit measure of the rate of structural change and a time series analysis based on structural time series models. This methodology makes it possible to examine long-term trends of the growth and structural change process. The results of the analysis reveal that the Swedish long-term economic performance between 1870 and 1990 can be divided into four sub periods, with important changes occurring in the early 1920s and the late 1960s. The results are then contrasted with two perspectives on long-term economic performance. The first is the periodisation based on alternating periods of structural change and structural rationalisation that is specific for Swedish economic-historical research. The second perspective focuses on the role of technological shifts that lead to changes in the growth performance, making it possible to identify growth periods or growth regimes. The empirical results of the analysis of the Swedish development lend support to the growth regime approach, but as the analysis is based on highly aggregated data, it is not possible at his stage to reject one approach in favour of the other.
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