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

Jakob Molinder (), Tobias Karlsson () and Kerstin Enflo
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Tobias Karlsson: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

No 207, Lund Papers in Economic History from Lund University, Department of Economic History

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.

Keywords: Power Resource Theory; industrial conflicts; strikes; labor markets; local politics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H53 J51 N34 N44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2019-09-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-his and nep-lab
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Working Paper: The Power Resource Theory Revisited: What Explains the Decline in Industrial Conflicts in Sweden? (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0207

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