Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Lund Papers in Economic History,
Lund University, Department of Economic History

No 152: Swedish GDP 1300-1560: A Tentative Estimate

Olle Krantz ()
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Olle Krantz: Department of Geography and Economic History, Postal: Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: This study presents a reconstruction of historical national accounts for Sweden 1300-1560. The source material for this period is very scanty and, therefore, many estimates and approximations were necessary. For agriculture the so called demand approach was used, implying utilization of price series and assumptions on price, income and cross elasticities. Furthermore, population figures had to be estimated. For the other sectors estimations of various kinds also had to be made. Nevertheless, the series for GDP and GDP per capita give a fairly reasonable picture of the economic performance. Sweden’s GDP per capita in relation to some other countries is also discussed. The country seems to have been at about the same level as England. A forward glance indicates that Sweden’s economy stagnated in the 18th century and became backward compared to England and Holland. It was first after some decades of the 19th century that a recovery came and a fast economic growth started.

Keywords: historical national accounts; GDP; demand approach; deflating

JEL-codes: N13; O10; O47

33 pages, February 7, 2017

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