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Strikes and Lockouts in Sweden: Reconsidering Raphael’s List of Work Stoppages 1859-1902

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  • Karlsson, Tobias

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

Abstract

This paper presents and discusses a recently digitized, dataset of strikes and lockouts in Sweden for the period 1859-1902. The dataset, which originally was collected by Axel Raphael by retrospectively browsing through newspapers, pre-dates the Swedish official statistics on work stoppages that began in 1903. Whereas Raphael’s data have been used to illustrate the long-run development of strikes, labour historians have been hesitant or completely dismissive towards the usefulness of his work. This paper reviews, and deepens previous assessments of Raphael’s data and compares his data with the official statistics for the period after 1903. This renewed assessment leads to three conclusions. Firstly, the coverage of the data is much better after 1885 than before. Trends and fluctuations in conflict frequency obtained from Raphael’s data for the later period are probably accurate. Secondly, there are also in the later period a lot of missing information in how conflicts are described, for example with regard to number of participants and outcomes. Thirdly, there are good opportunities to complement, and enhance, Raphael’s dataset by browsing through more newspapers or consulting other sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Karlsson, Tobias, 2019. "Strikes and Lockouts in Sweden: Reconsidering Raphael’s List of Work Stoppages 1859-1902," Lund Papers in Economic History 192, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huberman, Michael & Young, Denise, 2002. "Hope against Hope: Strike Activity in Canada, 1920-1939," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 315-354, July.
    2. Huberman, Michael & Young, Denise, 1999. "Cross-Border Unions: Internationals in Canada, 1901-1914," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 204-231, July.
    3. Roberto Franzosi, 2017. "A third road to the past? Historical scholarship in the age of big data," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 227-244, October.
    4. Card, David & Olson, Craig A, 1995. "Bargaining Power, Strike Durations, and Wage Outcomes: An Analysis of Strikes in the 1880s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 32-61, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    strikes; lockouts; work stoppages; statistics; Sweden; nineteenth century; labour history; digital newspapers; media history;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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