Research

Growth, Tradition and Renewal: The Economic History of Stockholm since 1945

From an economic perspective, today's Stockholm is by far Sweden's most important metropolitan area. Those economic activities that are considered to be of special importance for the country's future international competitiveness, such as information technology, pharmacology, bio-technology and finance, are to a large extent concentrated in Stockholm. In a time of accelerating globalization, when capital, manufactured goods and, to some degree, people are increasingly free to move across national boundaries, Stockholm's role as the center of the Swedish economy has become increasingly evident.

The development of Stockholm since World War II is a clear indication of the transformation of Sweden from an industrial to a service and information society. In fact, already during the inter-war period, Stockholm was replaced by Gothenburg as the country's most important industrial center. Shortly thereafter, Malmo also passed Stockholm in terms of industrial activity. Instead the Capital experienced an increasing concentration of corporate headquarters, new service firms and, not least, government administration. Together with the traditional manufacturing activities that were able to recreate themselves, such as telecommunications and pharmacology, Stockholm has experienced something of an economic metamorphosis during recent decades. In other words, it can be said that Stockholm has led the way in the third industrial revolution of the Swedish economy.

Remarkably enough, there exists no overall survey of Stockholm's industrial and economic transformation during the post war period - in other words, no Economic History of Stockholm. Many other cities, including the country's second and third largest, Gothenburg and Malmö, and even a number of medium sized ones, such as Uppsala, Norrköping and Västerås, have been the subject of comprehensive economic-historical studies. Thus, the absence of any historical study of Stockholm is all the more striking.

The intent of the project, "Growth, Tradition and Renewal: The Economic History of Stockholm, 1945-2005" is to describe and explain, from an historical and comparative perspective, how the Stockholm region has handled the change from an industrial to a service and information based economy. The goal is to produce an integrated series of monographs that will provide a comprehensive picture of Stockholm's economic development during the post-war period. The planned component studies will, among other topics, deal with the financial markets, the media and news market, the information technology and life sciences industries, the private construction industry and the tourism and entertainment industries, as well as the political economy of Stockholm.

This is a joint project between the Uppsala Center for Business History at Uppsala University, The Institute of Economic and Business History at the Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholmia Publishing and the Committee for Research on Stockholm.

Participants

Camilla Elmhorn fil. dr. ekonomisk-historia, Stockholms Universitet
Stad under förändring. Stockholms ekonomiska och sociala utveckling, 1945-2010

Carina Gråbacke docent i ekonomisk-historia, Göteborgs Universitet
Flärd, kläder och shopping. Modebranschen i Stockholm efter 1945

Mats Larsson professor i ekonomisk-historia, Uppsala Universitet
Stockholm som centrum för mediemarknaden

Jonathan Metzger UCBH samt Nordic Centre for Spatial Dev.
Kunskapsekonomins barnmorskor: konsultbranschen i Stockholm efter 1945

Jan Ottosson professor i ekonomisk-historia, Uppsala Universitet
Från läkemedelsindustri till Life Science i Stockholm 1945-2005

Tom Petersson docent i ekonomisk-historia, Uppsala Universitet
Kapitalets koncentration. Stockholm som centrum för den svenska finansiella sektorn efter 1945

Thomas Pettersson fil. dr. ekonomisk-historia, Umeå Universitet
IKT-branschens omvandling i Stockholmsregionen efter 1945

Anders Waxell fil. dr. kulturgeografiska inst., Uppsala Universitet
Från läkemedelsindustri till Life Science i Stockholm 1945-2005

Karin Ågren fil. dr. ekonomisk-historia, Uppsala Universitet
Stockholm i världen – världen i Stockholm

Selection of publications:

Lindgren, H. & Petersson, T. (2008) (red.), Tillväxt & tradition. Perspektiv på Stockholms moderna ekonomiska historia. Stockholmia förlag, Stockholm.

Lindgren, H. & Petersson, T. (2008), Stockholm i och efter övergången från industri- till tjänstesamhälle. I Lindgren, H. & Petersson, T. (red.), Tillväxt & tradition. Perspektiv på Stockholms moderna ekonomiska historia. Stockholmia förlag, Stockholm.

Petersson, T. (2008), Huvudkontorens lokalisering. Stockholm som makt- och beslutscentrum för svenskt och internationellt näringsliv. I Lindgren, H. & Petersson, T. (red), Tillväxt & tradition. Perspektiv på Stockholms moderna ekonomiska historia. Stockholmia förlag, Stockholm.

Finance:

Different financiers

Contact persons:

Docent Tom Petersson, Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen, Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Phone +46 18 471 1232. Tom.Petersson@ekhist.uu.se

Calender

Seminars will take place in Ekonomikum, room K425, 1315-1500

29 August

Margrit Müller, Universität Zürich. "The impact of multinationalization on the firms, their home economy and the host countries. The case of Switzerland during the 20th century"

12 September

Amanda Scardamaglia, Swinburne Law School, Melbourne. Presentation of research project on  "Colonial trademarks".