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

Molinder, Jakob LU ; Karlsson, Tobias LU and Enflo, Kerstin LU (2019) In Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Power Resource Theory, industrial conflicts, strikes, labor markets, local politics, N34, N44, H53, J51
in
Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues
issue
2019:207
pages
41 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a31ee28c-0bca-4d9d-b823-31cb64a8b6dd
date added to LUP
2019-09-23 10:53:43
date last changed
2019-09-23 10:59:21
@misc{a31ee28c-0bca-4d9d-b823-31cb64a8b6dd,
  abstract     = {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.},
  author       = {Molinder, Jakob and Karlsson, Tobias and Enflo, Kerstin},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2019:207},
  series       = {Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues},
  title        = {The Power Resource Theory Revisited : What Explains the Decline in Industrial Conflicts in Sweden?},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/69811751/LUPEH_207.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}