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The rise of the middle class : the income gap between salaried employees and workers in Sweden, ca. 1830–1940

Bengtsson, Erik LU and Prado, Svante (2019) In Scandinavian Economic History Review
Abstract

We present the first comprehensive, long run salary information on Swedish middle-class employees before the twentieth century. Our data include, for instance, school teachers, professors, clerks, policemen and janitors in Stockholm and Sweden, ca. 1830–1940. We use the new data to compare the annual earnings of these middle-class employees with the annual earnings of farm workers, unskilled construction workers and manufacturing workers. The results show that the income gap between the middle class and the working class widen drastically from the mid-nineteenth century to a historically high level during the 1880s and 1890s. The differentials then decreased during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The bulging earnings... (More)

We present the first comprehensive, long run salary information on Swedish middle-class employees before the twentieth century. Our data include, for instance, school teachers, professors, clerks, policemen and janitors in Stockholm and Sweden, ca. 1830–1940. We use the new data to compare the annual earnings of these middle-class employees with the annual earnings of farm workers, unskilled construction workers and manufacturing workers. The results show that the income gap between the middle class and the working class widen drastically from the mid-nineteenth century to a historically high level during the 1880s and 1890s. The differentials then decreased during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The bulging earnings advantage of middle-class employees vis-à-vis unskilled workers chimes with Kocka’s depiction of the latter half of the nineteenth century as the era of the bourgeoisie.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
income inequality, middle class, salaries, Sweden, Wages
in
Scandinavian Economic History Review
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:85071001969
ISSN
0358-5522
DOI
10.1080/03585522.2019.1650293
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f39f267b-a3da-4e12-acb0-2f88ceae9cbf
date added to LUP
2019-09-05 12:23:51
date last changed
2019-11-25 09:34:02
@article{f39f267b-a3da-4e12-acb0-2f88ceae9cbf,
  abstract     = {<p>We present the first comprehensive, long run salary information on Swedish middle-class employees before the twentieth century. Our data include, for instance, school teachers, professors, clerks, policemen and janitors in Stockholm and Sweden, ca. 1830–1940. We use the new data to compare the annual earnings of these middle-class employees with the annual earnings of farm workers, unskilled construction workers and manufacturing workers. The results show that the income gap between the middle class and the working class widen drastically from the mid-nineteenth century to a historically high level during the 1880s and 1890s. The differentials then decreased during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The bulging earnings advantage of middle-class employees vis-à-vis unskilled workers chimes with Kocka’s depiction of the latter half of the nineteenth century as the era of the bourgeoisie.</p>},
  author       = {Bengtsson, Erik and Prado, Svante},
  issn         = {0358-5522},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Scandinavian Economic History Review},
  title        = {The rise of the middle class : the income gap between salaried employees and workers in Sweden, ca. 1830–1940},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03585522.2019.1650293},
  doi          = {10.1080/03585522.2019.1650293},
  year         = {2019},
}