Fattigvård, socialbidrag och synen på fattigdom i Sverige 1918-1997

Daniel Rauhut

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The purpose of the study is to analyse the poverty norm for single adults without children in Sweden between 1918 - 1997. The study analyses the full norm, not support given as an income supplement. The poverty norm is defined as the minimum level of a socially acceptable standard of living. The study investigates two problems: how has the poverty norm changed during the period 1918-1997 and why has the norm changed during this period? To examine the changes of the poverty norm in Sweden 1918-1997 a hypothesis is tested: the poverty norm is linked to the standard of living of the low-income earners. By linking different forms of compensation rates it is possible to estimate the poverty norm for the studied period. This study has its theoretical point of departure in the social affinity hypothesis. Social affinity is seen as a subjective feeling of social solidarity with other individuals based on income. Given that the subjective feeling of social solidarity is formed around income, the gap between the low-income earners and the middle-income rank and the gap between the middle-income ranks and the high-income earners play a central role. Thus, this assumes that the poverty norm is determined by the changes in the income situation of the low-income earners. The hypothesis tests positive for the periods 1940-1972 and 1985-1997. During the first part of the period the poverty norm is determined by market related factors, such as income and wage. But at for the period 1985-1997 the poverty norm became a political-administrative budget line determined by politicians and bureaucrats. The poverty norm has also been the subject of ideological changes during the whole period of study. During the Inter-war period the view on poverty is determined by an absolute view on poverty. Since 1939 poverty has been regarded as something relative, which has had an impact on the poverty norm. The political left advocate a relative view on poverty.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Economic History
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 May 23
Print ISBNs91-22-01965-0
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-05-23
Time: 15:15
Place: Ekonomihögskolan, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Herlitz, Urban
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Institutet för Socialt arbete, Göteborgs universitet


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History


  • fattigdomsnorm
  • Fattigdom
  • Social and economic history
  • lägsta socialt accepterade levnadsstandard
  • Ekonomisk och social historia

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