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From extreme luxury to everyday commodity Sugar in Sweden, 17th to 20th centuries

Listed author(s):
  • Rönnbäck, Klas


    (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

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    This paper will focus upon the Swedish consumption of sugar, a product that illustrates the shift from being a luxury to being a mass-consumed commodity. Very little attention has been paid to the commodity of sugar by Swedish scholars, at least concerning the period prior to the introduction of the sugar beet in the late 19th century. The paper will try to answer three questions: - When did sugar experience a shift from luxury to everyday commodity? - What factors are important to explain the shift? - What impacts did the increasing sugar consumption have, at home and abroad? Regarding the last question, the paper most importantly presents a novel calculation of how large the ‘ghost acreage’ and slave labour population the Swedish consumption during the early modern era required.

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    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History in its series Göteborg Papers in Economic History with number 11.

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    Length: 354 pages
    Date of creation: 12 Nov 2007
    Date of revision: 29 Jan 2008
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunhis:0011
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    Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG

    Phone: 031-773 47 50
    Fax: 031-773 47 39
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