The Political Economy of the Swedish Financial Market and the Creation of the Welfare Model, 1933-47

This project relates to the literature on the transformation of the Swedish model. The project takes its departure from the policy changes that were introduced after the Great Depression. In the literature, it has been argued by for instance Katzenstein (1993), Baldwin (1996) and Forsyth & Notermans (1997) that the stability of “relationship capitalism” depended upon a strong consensus among centrally organised and voluntarily bargaining interest groups and parties. However, this view has been challenged by for example Larsson et al. (2005), who claim that the left wing parties increased their market authority by elevating their initial willingness to assume responsibility for market stability into market rule. According to Larsson et al, the bargaining power between the interest groups and the parties were asymmetric in favour of the left wing parties. However, Larsson et al. stresses that the bargaining power varied between the market actors: members of private big business maintained their access and influence on the political arena, while the weight of smaller (presumably insignificant) firms and interest groups decreased, from which followed distributional conflicts. From the viewpoint of the business and market actors, the policy changes offered a possibility to gain competitive advantages by influencing the process of policy making.

In this project we analyse the experiences of the financial market actors in Sweden. We assume that the business actors grouped together and made alignment in order to influence the policy makers. This is analysed with regard to a) the development of the regulatory process, in which the actors were appointed on consultative basis; b) the development of regulations (the market regime); c) the strategies of the market actors vis-à-vis the policy makers; and d) the market structure.

Participants at Uppsala University (UCBH):

Peter Hedberg
Mikael Lönnborg (Project leader)

Selection of publications:

Pearson, R. and Lönnborg, M. (2008), “Regulatory Regime and Multinational Insurers Before 1914”, Business History Review, Harvard Business School (US), Vol. 82, No. 1, (Spring 2008), pp. 59-86.


Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse (Handelsbanken)

Contact persons:

Peter Hedberg, Department of Economic History, Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Phone +46 18 471 7313. Email:

Mikael Lönnborg, Södertörn University College, Department of Social Sciences, SE-141 89 Huddinge. Email:


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".