Innovation in periods of crisis and growth. Sectoral patterns of innovation in Swedish manufacturing (1970-2007)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Whether and how innovation activity is dependent upon economic factors has been discussed extensively. Most
empirical studies on the subject have either used patent data as a proxy for innovation, or been conducted at an
aggregate level. Using a new database on Swedish product innovations (Swinno) this paper examines in what
way patterns of innovation activity varied across and within manufacturing sectors during the period 1970-2007.
Exploring data on the commercialization and technological characteristics of product innovations as well as
data on innovating firms the historical development is put into perspective. Sweden, like many other
industrialized nations, saw from the structural crisis of the 1970s the relative decline of shipbuilding, textile,
printing industries among others, and the rise of new sectors. The main, tentative, results suggest a Mensch-type
clustering of innovations during the Swedish structural crisis of the late 1970s concentrated to the machinery
sector and office machinery and computers. Meanwhile, no such pattern could be observed the crisis of the
1990s. Second, using principal component analysis it is suggested that to the extent that product innovations
show a general countercyclical pattern throughout the period it is by and large concentrated to Mark II patterns
of innovation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • Business cycles, Industrial transformation, Principal Component Analysis, Sectoral patterns of innovation, Swedish Manufacturing Industry
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
EventXVIth World Economic History Congress, 2012 - Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Duration: 2012 Jul 92012 Jul 13


ConferenceXVIth World Economic History Congress, 2012
CountrySouth Africa