Origins of the knowledge economy: Higher education and Scandinavia’s economic development

Project: Dissertation

Project Details


While there is much theoretical and empirical literature examining the role of education in long-term growth, less understood is how different types of education — and the specialisation of skills implicit in higher education — shape development.

The twin purposes of this project are to:
1) examine the role of higher education in Scandinavia’s industrialisation and long-term economic development from the nineteenth century onwards
2) develop and apply new techniques for the measurement of human capital (education) and the analysis of its effects.

I employ two sets of novel Scandinavian source material: grade lists, which track student performance in high school and university; and graduate biographies, which provide details of students’ background, education and post-study careers.

My dissertation will comprise a collection of four articles which build and apply a new skills-based measure of human capital to examine different aspects of the role of higher education in Scandinavian industrialisation.

Layman's description

How did changes in the supply of and demand for different types of higher education contribute to Scandinavia’s economic development from the nineteenth century onwards?
Short titleOrigins of the knowledge economy
Effective start/end date2020/08/312024/08/30

UKÄ subject classification

  • Economic History
  • Economics

Free keywords

  • economic history
  • economics
  • human capital
  • industrialisation
  • Scandinavia
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • education
  • higher education
  • tertiary education