Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

No 79: Market reform and food prices: Did the 1912 Slaughterhouse Reform affect meat prices in Stockholm?

Ulf Rämme , Sven-Olov Daunfeldt and Niklas Rudholm ()
Additional contact information
Ulf Rämme: WSP Sverige, Postal: 121 88 Stockholm-Globen, Sweden
Sven-Olov Daunfeldt: HUI Research, Postal: The Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI), Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden, and Department of Economics, Dalarna University, SE 781 88 Borlänge, Sweden
Niklas Rudholm: HUI Research, Postal: The Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI), Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden, and Department of Economics, Dalarna University, SE 781 88 Borlänge, Sweden

Abstract: In February 1912, the Slaughterhouse Reform was introduced by the city of Stockholm to address the unsanitary conditions prevalent in the production and sale of meat, and thereby improve food safety. However, opponents argued that the reform would lead to price increases, and that poorer households would therefore replace meat with cheaper products. We find that meat prices increased by 21% due to the introduction of the Reform, which meant that consumers had to pay a substantial cost for improved food safety within the boundaries of Stockholm.

Keywords: Food safety; Regulation; Meat prices; Sanitary revolution; Historical data

JEL-codes: I18; L51; N33; N73

12 pages, December 12, 2012

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