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Harvests, prices and population in early modern Sweden

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Abstract

Today, one of the greatest challenges facing macroeconomic history is to quantify economic growth in the early modern period. This paper presents and discusses a series of total and per capita harvest production in Sweden within present borders for the period 1665-1820. The series is based on three main indices: grain prices, subjective harvest assessments and tithes. To calculate per capita production the size of population must be known. In this paper, population growth in Sweden during the 17th century is revised downwards compared to recent studies. The basic finding is that per capita harvests stagnated during the studied period. The annual fluctuations were substantial. Another finding is that, in the short-run, grain prices were more affected by domestic harvests than foreign prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Edvinsson, Rodney, 2008. "Harvests, prices and population in early modern Sweden," Stockholm Papers in Economic History 1, Stockholm University, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:suekhi:0001
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    1. Robert W. Fogel, 1989. "Second Thoughts on the European Escape from Hunger: Famines, Price Elasticities, Entitlements, Chronic Malnutrition, and Mortality Rates," NBER Historical Working Papers 0001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
    3. Edvinsson, Rodney, 2005. "Annual Estimates of Swedish GDP in 1720-1800," Ratio Working Papers 70, The Ratio Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chris Hudson, 2016. "Witch Trials: Discontent in Early Modern Europe," IHEID Working Papers 11-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic history; agriculture; price history; GDP; early modern period; historical demography; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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