Trends and cycles in regional economic growth: How spatial differences shaped the Swedish growth experience from 1860–2009

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a novel dataset of regional GDP per worker from 1860 to 2009, this paper analyzes communalities in regional long-term growth trajectories for 24 Swedish regions. Wavelet Analysis and Principal Component Analysis are used to decompose regional growth trajectories and assess the extent that regional growth patterns share common trends and cyclical properties. The study found that regional growth trends show strong common features among groups of regions in Sweden. Natural-resource-rich regions benefited from the First Industrial Revolution. Contrary to regional development in many other European economies, a growth surge in Sweden later benefited virtually the whole country during the Second Industrial Revolution. The countrywide trend of growth slowed in the 1970s when the metropolitan regions became the main growth engines. In mid- and short-term cyclical movements, regions display more heterogeneous growth patterns, and we find evidence of mid-term, sequential lead–lag patterns in regional growth, especially between urban cores and the periphery.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography
  • Economic History


  • Economic history, Economic geography, Regional growth, Wavelet analysis, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-555
JournalExplorations in Economic History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch