Social democracy and the decline of strikes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper tests if a strong labor movement leads to fewer industrial conflicts. The focus is on Sweden between the first general election in 1919 and the famous Saltsjöbaden Agreement in 1938, a formative period when the country transitioned from fierce labor conflicts to a state of industrial peace. We use panel data techniques to analyze more than 2000 strikes in 103 Swedish towns. We find that a shift of political majority towards the Social Democrats led to a significant decline in strikes, but only in towns where union presence was strong. The strike-reducing mechanism is related to corporatist explanations rather than increased social spending in municipal budgets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Early online date2021 Jul 15
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 Jul 15

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History

Keywords

  • Power resource theory
  • Industrial conflicts
  • Strikes
  • Labor markets
  • Local politics
  • N34
  • N44
  • H53
  • J51

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