The Power Resource Theory Revisited: What Explains the Decline in Industrial Conflicts in Sweden?

Forskningsoutput: Working paper


This paper revisits the Power Resource Theory (PRT) by testing one of its more influential claims: the relation between the strength of the labor movement and the reduction of industrial conflicts. Using panel data techniques to analyze more than 2,000 strikes in 103 Swedish towns we test whether a shift in the balance of power towards Social Democratic rule was associated with fewer strikes. The focus is on the formative years between the first general election in 1919 and 1938, when Sweden went from a country of fierce labor conflicts to a state of industrial peace. We find that Social Democratic power reduced strikes, but only in towns where union presence was strong. We do not see any tangible concessions in terms of increased social spending by local governments after a left-wing victory as predicted by PRT. Instead the mechanism leading to fewer strikes appears to be related to corporatist explanations.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekonomisk historia


Antal sidor41
StatusPublished - 2019


NamnLund Papers in Economic History. General Issues
FörlagDepartment of Economic History, Lund University


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