Rika och fattiga: Klassrelationer och historisk ekonomisk ojämlikhet i Stockholm på 1600–1700-talen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


English summary
”Class Relations and Historical Economic Inequality: Stockholm in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”.
Erik Bengtsson
Arbetarhistoria, 2020

This article describes and discusses economic inequality in seventeenth and eighteenth century Stockholm. I describe the distribution of wealth, using probate inventories from 1650, 1700 and 1715, and wealth tax data from 1715. The distribution was very unequal: the ten percent wealthiest in the population held around 90 per cent of total wealth. I discuss why inequality was so high, focusing on the class structure of the city with a large working class, with quite poor living standards, and small elites of merchants and noblemen, and on the repressive character of the state. I argue that the high inequality was to a large degree shaped by class power, exercised through the state apparatus. I argue that the class perspective is important for the study of historical economic inequality.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History
  • Economic History
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalArbetarhistoria: meddelande från arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun
Publication categoryResearch