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Labour market conflicts in Scandinavia, c. 1900–1938: The scientific need to separate strikes and lockouts

Author

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  • Hamark, Jesper

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

Abstract

Research on labour markets conflicts has come a long way. Today we know that conflicts vary over business cycles and with the design of labour market institutions; they tend to cluster around wars and return in longer waves; certain branches are affected by conflicts more than others, and conflicts in the last couple of decades have been feminised and tertiarised. Yet we could do better. With few exceptions quantitative studies are about conflicts, that is, strikes and lockouts in amalgamation. Analytically separating strikes and lockouts has the potential of shedding new light on several debates of historical and theoretical importance. While the distinction between the two types of conflicts has general implications, in this paper I make specific references to the three Scandinavian countries, namely Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Employers and employees struggle over influence and division of income. Occasionally the two parties use, or threaten to use, their respective tools: the lockout and the strike. The day the scientific community decides to treat employers and employees as a single entity, we should also do the same with lockouts and strikes. But not before.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamark, Jesper, 2020. "Labour market conflicts in Scandinavia, c. 1900–1938: The scientific need to separate strikes and lockouts," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunhis:0026
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/63624
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamark, Jesper & Turner, Russell, 2021. "Wage distribution within the Swedish State Railways, 1877–1951: Material and methods," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 28, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lockouts; strikes; labour market conflicts; cross-country comparisons; strike methodology; Scandinavia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation

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