Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Göteborg Papers in Economic History,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History

No 7: Protectionism, agricultural prices and relative factor incomes: Sweden’s wage-rental ratio, 1877-1926

Jan Bohlin () and Svante Larsson ()
Additional contact information
Jan Bohlin: Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 720, SE 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
Svante Larsson: Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Box 720, SE 40530 Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract: Trends in wage-rental ratios have figured prominently in the recent literature on factor price convergence and globalisation in the late nineteenth century. In that literature Sweden has been described as a free trade country whose wage-rental ratio exhibited a distinguished upward trend before World War I. This article presents a new series of land prices which indicates an increase in land rentals and an evolution of the wage-rental ratio more in line with other European protectionist countries. We explore the determinants of the Swedish wage-rental ratio and assess the relative importance of protectionism and the change in the product mix from arable to animal products in Swedish agriculture.

Keywords: Economic History; Land prices; wages; wage-rental ratio; protectionism; Sweden

JEL-codes: F20; N13; N53; O47

36 pages, December 1, 2006

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