Rodney Edvinsson


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för ekonomisk historia och internationella relationer
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Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 A, plan 9
Rum A970
Postadress Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2018. Rodney Edvinsson, Christoffer Tarek Gad. Scandinavian Economic History Review 66 (3), 226-245

    This paper presents a newly constructed database on foreign trade of Sweden–Finland 1738–1805, consisting of all exports and imports that were recorded by the custom houses in this period, and is made available at foreign trade 1738_1805.xlsx. The traditional view as presented by Eli Heckscher, who was very critical of the mercantilist policies of the time, was that the overseas trade of Sweden-Finland saw a trend of secular stagnation during the course of the eighteenth century. By contrast, we show that in conjunction with a substantial expansion of the population, total trade nearly increased twofold during the period of study. Despite that, there was a small decrease in the value of exports in relation to GDP, mostly explained by a drop in the relative price of bar iron. The degree of specialisation of Swedish exports saw a declining tendency in this period. While exports from Sweden had a higher degree of specialisation than Finnish exports, imported goods to Finland were more concentrated than Swedish imports. Lastly, the composition of imports did not markedly alter, meaning that a consumer revolution did not take place in either Sweden or Finland.

  • 2018. Rodney Edvinsson (et al.). Ekonomisk Debatt 46 (7), 55-57
  • Kapitel Introduction
    2018. Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson, Daniel Waldenström. Sveriges Riksbank and the History of Central Banking, 1-25
  • 2018. Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson, Daniel Waldenström.

    Written in celebration of its 350th anniversary in 2018, this book details the history of the central bank of Sweden, Sveriges Riksbank, as presented by Klas Fregert. It relates the bank's history to the development of other major central banks around the world. Chapters are written by some of the more prominent scholars in the field of monetary economics and economic history. These chapters include an analysis of the Bank of England written by Charles Goodhart; the evolution of banking in America, written by Barry Eichengreen; a first account of the People's Bank of China, written by Franklin Allen, Xian Gu, and Jun Qian; as well as a chapter about the brief but important history of the European Central Bank, written by Otmar Issing.

  • 2018. Rodney Edvinsson, Erik Hegelund. Journal of European Economic History (1), 33-60

    We present an estimation of quarterly GDP for Sweden stretchingback to 1913, using higher frequency series on manufacturing andprivate consumption as indicators and standard methods for tem-poral disaggregation from annual GDP data. Deseasonalization isperformed using JDemetra+ software. We use the Bry-Boschan al-gorithm to identify peaks and troughs, based on which we presentvarious chronologies of the business cycle in Sweden, indicating apartially new picture of the country’s economic growth over the last100 years.

  • 2017. Rodney Edvinsson, Therese Nordlund Edvinsson. Scandinavian Economic History Review 65 (2), 169-188

    This study shows that the Swedish ‘housewife era’ roughly occurred in 1930–1970. During the 1950s, the ratio of women’s worked hours to men’s worked hours reached a low point. In the early 1970s, it rose to above 50%. We argue that models of joint utility maximisation, assuming equal gender power relations unrestrained by cultural and institutional settings, cannot alone explain this era. The two principal structural mechanisms behind the rise of the breadwinner household were the decline of the farm household and the increased proportion of married women. Both weakened the bargaining position of women. Three results in our study weaken the claims of the joint utility maximisation model. Firstly, marriage was much more important than motherhood in determining the probability of women’s labour force participation, although the age of the child is then not taken into account. Secondly, the labour force participation of married women was similar across different social strata outside of the farm and top income households, indicating a prevalent capitalist patriarchal structure. Thirdly, women’s leisure was valued less than men’s, demonstrating that the preferences of the husband were prioritised over those of the wife.

  • 2017. Rodney Edvinsson, Therese Nordlund Edvinsson. Journal of European Economic History XLVI (2), 77-113

    The official statistics on GDP and the labour market exclude unpaid domestic services. Yet there are good theoretical reasons why historians should study unpaid work. This paper reconstructs annual estimates of time use in Sweden from 1950 to 2012 among women and men. It finds substantial convergence between the genders in time use from the 1960s to the early 1980s. During the pe-riod of inquiry, the gender difference in total working time vanished. The double burden for women did not increase when they entered the labour market. The reduction in the time women spent on unpaid work is explained about equally by the shortening of the total amount of unpaid work and by increasing male participation inhousehold chores. In 1950-1963, the reduction was explained mainly by the decline in the making and mending of clothes at home and the spread of domestic appliances. In the 1963–1984 period, instead, it was due chiefly to men’s greater participation in household work. These mechanisms were largely historically contingent, suggesting that it is impossible to single out just one factor to explain why Sweden today has less gender inequality than other countries.

  • 2017. Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson. Cliometrica 11 (2), 245-268

    This study examines whether there was a Malthusian equilibrium mechanism in Sweden in the pre-industrial period. A unique data set on harvests, deaths, marriages and births going back to 1630 is used to calculate cumulative elasticities of vital rates with respect to harvest. While earlier studies have mostly focused on the impact of real wage, this study uses the calorie content of per capita harvests as an indicator of living standards. It finds that there indeed was a response of vital rates to harvest fluctuations, but there were important structural breaks. While positive checks attenuated after 1720, preventive checks were strengthened. After 1870 preventive checks disappeared, and possibly also positive checks. The results are robust to different models and trend specifications, with one crucial difference: while the distributed lag model shows that positive checks were significant up to 1920, the SVAR model shows that positive checks disappeared after 1870.

  • 2016. Rodney Edvinsson. Methods in world history, 227-250
  • 2016. Rodney Edvinsson. Historisk Tidskrift för Finland 101 (2), 157-182
  • 2016. Rodney Edvinsson. Scandinavian Economic History Review 64 (3), 202-218

    A common method to reconstruct historical national accounts is the demand approach, which calculates agricultural consumption from the development of wages and prices of agricultural and non-agricultural products assuming constant income, own price and cross price elasticities of demand. This study uses agricultural data for Sweden 1802–1950, which is more reliable than for other countries, to put the approach to test. Time series analysis shows that the demand approach could be modelled as a cointegrating relationship between per capita demand and the deflated wage. Income elasticity is estimated to +0.4. Using the estimated parameters to extrapolate Swedish agricultural consumption back to the Middle Ages accords quite well with other indicators. However, out-of-sampling shows that the 90% confidence interval is as large as ±0.15–0.25 natural logarithms.

  • 2015. Rodney Edvinsson. Långa linjer och många fält
  • 2015. Rodney Benjamin Edvinsson. Cliometrica 9 (2), 167-191

    The world population growth increased in the eighteenth century, which caused real wages to decline in most countries. Eli Heckscher held the view that Swedish population growth was quite low in the seventeenth century, similar to the development in the rest of Europe, and that there was a substantial acceleration after 1720. Recent data for Sweden by Lennart Andersson Palm entail that population growth was stronger in the seventeenth century than in the eighteenth century. However, this is at variance with other types of economic data. For example, Swedish real wages increased during the seventeenth century and fell in the eighteenth century. This study attempts to resolve the anomaly and argues that Palm's estimates of Swedish population and mortality rates are too low for the seventeenth century. It presents revised annual demographic data for Sweden for the pre-census period, back to 1630. The new data indicate that there was a small acceleration in early modern population growth, due to the decreased occurrence of mortality crises, but the acceleration was not as pronounced as in the rest of the world.

  • 2015. Rodney Edvinsson, Bo Franzén. Historisk Tidskrift (S) 135 (3), 377-400

    Föreliggande uppsats analyserar framväxten av ett formellt penningväsende i Sverige 995–1525. Ett av de tidigaste tecknen på monetarisering inträffade under andra halvan av 1200-talet och innebar att betalningar i bevarade källor huvudsakligen anges i mynt som räknats i stället för att vägas. Skillnaden mellan ett mynts nominella värde och dess värde som silver utgjordes av slagskatt. Myntförsämringen under 1300- och 1400-talen motverkades av att silvrets köpkraft ökade kraftigt.

  • 2014. Rodney Edvinsson, Sölvi Blöndal, Johan Söderberg. House prices, stock returns, national accounts and the Riksband balance sheet 1620-2012, 63-100
  • 2014. Therese Nordlund Edvinsson, Rodney Edvinsson.
  • 2014. Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson, Daniel Waldenström.
  • 2014. Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson, Daniel Waldenström. House prices, stock returns, national accounts and the Riksband balance sheet 1620-2012, 9-25
  • 2014. Rodney Edvinsson, Anders Ögren. House prices, stock returns, national accounts and the Riksband balance sheet 1620-2012, 293-338
  • 2014. Rodney Edvinsson. House prices, stock returns, national accounts and the Riksband balance sheet 1620-2012, 101-182
  • 2013. Rodney Edvinsson. Economic history review 66 (4), 1101-1126

    Although the historical national accounts of Sweden are among the most detailed in the world, there is scope for improvement. This study revises previous historical estimates of Swedish GDP. Agricultural output is upgraded for the nineteenth century following recent research by Swedish agrarian historians on the underestimation of official statistics. Estimates of annual fluctuations before 1861 are significantly improved by using new sources on yield ratios of harvests. For manufacturing, home industries are added, in accordance with modern international guidelines (2008 SNA). The study concludes that early nineteenth-century Sweden was not as poor relative to other West European countries as previously thought.

  • 2013. Rodney B. Edvinsson. Cliometrica 7 (1), 37-60

    This paper reconstructs an annual volume series of GDP and GDP per capita for Sweden within present borders 1620-1800, extending the annual series that exist from 1800 onwards. Annual fluctuations of GDP are estimated from the annual fluctuations of harvests, which in the nineteenth century were strongly correlated with each other. Long-term trends are determined based on estimates of the values added of various activities for a few benchmark years. The paper shows that the long-term trend of GDP per capita increased modestly during the studied period, a different development from real wages that fell substantially. Henceforth, available data on real wages are at best a quite weak indicator of the development of GDP per capita. If Sweden is representative of Western Europe, the new data indicate a somewhat slower growth than assumed by Maddison. The increase in GDP per capita occurred in the seventeenth century and came entirely from non-agricultural activities, especially mining, public services, trade and transports. The lack of dynamism in the aggregate economy is explained by the dominance of agriculture. Per capita agricultural production displayed a stagnating tendency. Nevertheless, the expansion of the population in the eighteenth century was largely made possible by the increased use of iron tools in agriculture. Without technological progress, the strong population growth would probably have led to decreased per capita production.

  • 2012. Rodney Edvinsson. Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift 114 (4), 553-574

    The political economy of human nature – Kropotkin’s application of the theory of evolution on society

    This paper presents a rational reconstruction of Kropotkin’s view on human nature, institutional change and economic development. Kropotkin shows that mutual aid among animals as well as in human society is far more important than recognized by contemporary individualist interpretation of Darwinism on society. His major contribution to political economy is that he offers an endogenous model of why institutions exist. However, his biological determinism and ethical naturalism imply that he disregard historical context, which leads him to de facto apply the perspective of historical idealism. The rise of the modern state, for example, he explains by the spread of the “idea of the state” and not by the economic development.

  • 2012. Rodney Edvinsson. European Review of Economic History 16 (4), 408-429

    In 16241776, Sweden implemented a complicated trimetallic monetary system. Five different copper, silver, and gold currencies circulated. The heaviest copper coins weighed 20 kg. Greshams law worked differently for various coins. Swedish trimetallism was asymmetric. Copper money could not replace silver and gold coins. When the latter became undervalued they circulated at a premium. Due to high transaction costs in using copper coins at a premium, they were sometimes driven out when becoming dear money. However, complaints about money shortage and Swedens monopoly position at the European copper markets implied that the copper standard was not abandoned until 1777.

  • 2012. Rodney Edvinsson. Agricultural History Review 60, 1-18

    This paper investigates the impact of harvests and international markets on Swedish grain prices, 1665-1870. The paper finds that harvests at a national level had a greater impact on domestic grain prices than international grain prices. However, at a regional level, grain prices tended to be affected more by harvests outside the region. Furthermore, in the long term, foreign prices became a more important determinant of national grain prices. The conclusion is that, under certain circumstances, grain prices can be used as an indicator of harvest fluctuations and to construct historical national accounts, at least at a sufficiently aggregated level. Such an endeavour needs to be combined with a careful analysis of the impact of prices in the surrounding area.

  • 2012. Rodney Edvinsson. Explorations in economic history (Print) 49 (3), 303-315

    In 1624-1776 Sweden minted intrinsic value copper coins, alongside silver coins. One purpose behind introducing the copper standard was to use its monopoly position at the European markets to manipulate the international copper prices, implementing a kind of copper mercantilism. This paper presents a model of an early modern copper monopolist that could price discriminate between two different uses for copper: copper for export and copper for minting. The paper concludes that authorities did not completely conform to this rent-seeking model, since there were also other considerations behind minting policy, such as providing a stable monetary system. The model shows that under profit-maximisation minting should have been even higher and the price of copper money lower, but at periods minting and prices approached the optimal state. In the 17th century, the market for copper money was probably too small relative the huge copper production, but by the 17205 and 1730s, when copper production had declined, the copper standard functioned more smoothly.

  • 2011. Rodney Edvinsson, Johan Söderberg. The Review of Income and Wealth 57 (2), 270-292

    This paper presents a Consumer Price Index for Sweden 1290–2008. Constructing an index that covers more than seven centuries poses conceptual and empirical problems, and demands some methodological innovations. For example, during numerous occasions the currency unit was changed, and in some periods multiple currencies were used at floating exchange rates relative to each other. This paper also presents two different price indices, one that mainly serves the purposes of estimating real prices and real wages, and another that provides a measure of inflation. While the former follows the main currency unit, the latter also takes into account that debased coins were devalued during recoinage.

  • 2011. Rodney Edvinsson. Journal of Economic History 71 (3), 812-813
  • 2011. Rodney Edvinsson. Scandinavian Economic History Review 59 (2), 166-183

    Although high inflation is associated with the spread of paper monies, rapid price increases are well known under the metallic standard from several countries, caused by the debasement of coins. The exact mechanism is still a puzzle. If agents were rational, why did they accept inferior coins at par with better ones? This paper compares five debasement cycles that occurred in Sweden-Finland 1350-1594. During the initial phase of such cycles coins tended to circulate by-tale, while by-weight circulation was most common towards the end of the cycles. A premium on the heavier coins implied that they were not driven out of circulation. The seignorage rate was significant during the initial phases of the cycles, while it decreased when prices and exchange rates adjusted in response to the debasement, prompting a recoinage, when the monetary unit was strengthened. It is this shift from by-tale to by-weight circulation that explains the high inflation rates that could occur before the rise of paper money.

  • 2011. Rodney Edvinsson, Johan Söderberg. Scandinavian Economic History Review 59 (3), 250-272

    This article uses long-term series of real prices for various goods and services to analyse the evolution of the knowledge economy before the Industrial Revolution by focusing on Sweden in comparison with other European countries. During the early modern period, the relative price of knowledge-intensive goods and services, such as iron, paper, salt, sea transports and silver, decreased relative to a Consumer Price Index. The increased productivity levels of these goods and services were caused by increased division of labour and accelerated diffusion of knowledge. However, the real price of foodstuff tended to increase, implying that living standards declined with increased population. Early modern Western Europe acquired a peculiar price structure, characterized by low prices of industrial goods relative to the price of food. Only with the advent of industrial society could the knowledge economy escape the Malthusian entrapment.

  • 2011. Rodney Edvinsson. Financial History Review 18 (3), 309-329

    The decline of interest rates during the early modern period is considered an important factor in the subsequent rise of capitalist society. This article uses unique empirical material based on bills of exchange in Stockholm between 1660 and 1685 to estimate underlying ‘shadow interest rates’. It shows that annual rates ‘according’ to Stockholm were very high, mostly above 10 per cent, an indication of underdeveloped financial integration between Stockholm and the main European centres. There are also indications of a decline in these rates during the period studied, reflecting improved efficiency in Swedish financial markets.

  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. The Review of Radical Political Economics 42 (4), 465-484

    Using Swedish historical national accounts, this paper shows that, up to the 1970s, there has been a secular rise in the national capital/output ratio and a secular fall in the rate of exploitation, which tended to depress the profit rate. In Sweden, the nominal capital/output ratio increased fastest during the transition from primitive to accelerated accumulation in the 19th century. Since the 1970s, these secular trends have been reversed, which is connected to flexible accumulation that slims down the inventory stock to a minimum and destroys old consensus between capital and labor.

  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Historisk Tidskrift (S) 130 (4), 665-687
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson, Tor Jacobson, Daniel Waldenström.
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Exchange rates, prices, and wages, 1277-2008, 291-339
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277-2008, 11-25
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Scandinavian Journal of History 35 (4), 403-426

    This article uses historical national accounts to compare major recessions in Sweden from 1850 to 2000. A major recession is defined as an event when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in one year is below the level two years earlier. The sharpest declines in GDP coincided with the World Wars, crop failures and contractionary economic policies. One important distinction to be made is between pre-capitalist and modern types of crises. While the former were crises of underproduction, brought about by declines in agriculture and consumption, the latter were overproduction crises usually generated by declines in investment and industrial production. The article shows that in Sweden the transition from the one type to the other was a prolonged process.

  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson, Bo Franzén, Johan Söderberg. Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277-2008, 67-132
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277-2008, 26-66
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Monetary boundaries in transition, 37-54
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson, Johan Söderberg. Exchange Rates, Prices, and Wages, 1277-2008, 412-452
  • 2010. Rodney Edvinsson. Exchange rates, prices, and wages, 1277-2008, 133-237
  • 2009. Rodney Edvinsson. Historisk Tidskrift (S) 129 (1), 5-26
  • 2009. Rodney Edvinsson. Scandinavian Economic History Review (1), 2-25

    Today, one of the greatest challenges facing macroeconomic history is to quantify economic growth in theearly modernperiod.Thisarticlepresentsand discusses a series of total and per capita harvest production in Sweden within present borders for the period 16651820. The series is based on three main indices: grain prices, subjective harvest assessments and tithes. Various sources of harvests are more reliable as indicators of relative changes than of absolute levels. For example, tithes probably only taxed between 15 and 60 per cent of the actual harvests, but seem to capture annual harvest fluctuations reasonably well. To estimate the absolute level ofpercapita harvests,the index of the per capitaharvestproduction is linked to data for the early nineteenth century, which are more reliable. The article argues that harvests stagnated during the studied period, which is in line with several other studies for various European countries. The annual fluctuations were substantial.

  • 2009. Rodney Edvinsson, Lotta Leijonhufvud, Johan Söderberg. Agrarhistoria på många sätt, 115-136
  • 2007. Rodney Edvinsson, Johan Söderberg.

    The purpose of this study is to describe the construction of a Consumer Price Index for Sweden 1290-2006. The focus is not to present any new empirical material, but rather to use the very rich empirical material collected in earlier studies on the price history of Sweden to construct a price index that as far as possible use a consistent method through time. This paper also discusses some theoretical and conceptual problems in relation to constructing a historical consumer price index.

  • 2006. Rodney Edvinsson. Ekonomisk debatt (7), 59-61
  • 2005. Rodney Edvinsson. Ekonomisk debatt 33 (8), 16-29
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Senast uppdaterad: 18 december 2019

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