This paper uses a method devised by Geary and Stark to estimate regional GDPs for 24 Swedish provinces 1855–2000. In empirical tests, we find that the Swedish estimations yield results of good precision, comparable to those reported in the international literature. From the literature, we generate six expectations concerning the development of regional GDPs in Sweden. Using the GDP estimations, we test these expectations empirically. We find that the historical regional GDPs show a high correlation over time, but that the early industrialization process coevolved with a dramatic redistribution of productive capacity. We show that the regional inequalities in GDP per capita were at their lowest point in modern history in the early 1980s. However, while efficiency in the regional system has never been as equal, absolute regional differences in scale of production has increased dramatically over our investigated period. This process has especially benefited the metropolitan provinces. We present detailed sources of our estimations and also sketch a research agenda from our results.
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Swedish Research Council, project numbers 2008-2023 (Henning and Enflo) and from the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius foundation, project numbers W2009-0402:1 (Henning) and W2008-0357:1 (Enflo). Support from European Science Foundation Grant “Historical Economic Geography of Europe, 1900–2000” part of the GLOBALEURONET, is also thankfully acknowledged.
Enflo, K., Henning, M. and Schön, L. (2014), "Swedish regional GDP 1855–2000: Estimations and general trends in the Swedish regional system", Research in Economic History (Research in Economic History, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 47-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0363-3268(2014)0000030000
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