More power to the people: Electricity adoption, technological change and social conflict

Research output: Other contributionWeb publication/Blog post


History has shown that new technology can disrupt societies, and current developments in automation have raised anxious speculation on what might happen if stable middle-class jobs are taken over by machines. This column analyses the impact of technological change on labour markets and social protests, taking the case of the adoption of electricity in early 20th century Sweden. It finds that electrification did increase the incidence of local strikes, but that disputes were associated with workers demanding higher wages and better working conditions rather than attempting to block innovation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 23
Publication categoryPopular science

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Related activities

Karlsson, T. (Role not specified)
2020 Jan 30

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