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Implementing National Structural Change at the Local Level: The Case of Relocation Allowances in Västernorrland, 1965–1975
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3427-5515
2017 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish model was built on the notion that mobility from high- to low-unemployment areas could be achieved without large wage differentials if active labor market policy was used to aid in the movements across places. While Sweden pioneered the use of relocation allowances on a large scale in the late 1950s, very little is known about the actual implementation of this program. Its role during the large out-migrations from northern Sweden during the 1960s is especially underresearched. In this essay, I study the usage of the program through a case study of  Västernorrland county from 1965 to 1975. The analysis shows that in the 1960s there was a strong selection into the program by younger persons, newly examined students and from certain sectors. After 1970, there was a shift in government policy with the aim of reducing the outflow of migrants from the northern counties and to keep allowance migration within counties. Between 1970 and 1975 there was also a drop in both regular and allowance out-migration by 20 %. Within the group of allowance migrants, however, there was no change in the likelihood of staying within Västernorrland after controlling for age, sex and occupation. The share of out-migrations that took place with support from the program also remained constant at 20 %. This suggests that the decline in out-migration was probably not caused by lower mobility but was rather more likely the consequence of structural change and alterations to public policy after 1970, which improved the labor market situation in the northern counties. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324441OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324441DiVA: diva2:1110077
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2013-0274:1
Available from: 2017-06-15 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-06-15
In thesis
1. Interregional Migration, Wages and Labor Market Policy: Essays on the Swedish Model in the Postwar Period
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interregional Migration, Wages and Labor Market Policy: Essays on the Swedish Model in the Postwar Period
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish model is perceived as a successful framework for combining rapid labor market adjustment with low inequality. Formulated by Gösta Rehn and Rudolf Meidner and implemented from the 1950s, it has been associated with the peak in economic restructuring and interregional migration during the 1960s. However, there is little empirical evidence for this. This thesis consists of an introduction and four essays. It explores three aspects of the model from a long-run perspective: interregional migration, wage dispersion and labor market policy.

Essay I uses new data to track interregional migration rates in the postwar period (1945-1985). The results show that the responsiveness of interregional migration to local labor market conditions remained stable over time; it was neither higher during the 1960s nor lower when migration declined after 1970.

Essay II employs a regression-decomposition framework to analyze the evolution of wage dispersion. The results suggest that wage dispersion was stable from centralized bargaining’s introduction in 1956 to the late 1960s. Afterwards, there was a rapid decline, likely because of solidaristic bargaining.

Essay III contrasts the implementation of the active labor market policy to regional policy. Following a decisive shift around 1970, the focus on north to south mobility was replaced with policies to stimulate northern employment. Declining rural support for the Social Democrats and electoral competition from the Center Party caused this shift.

Finally, Essay IV is a case study about mobility subsidy usage in Västernorrland County using sources on relocation allowances from 1965, 1970 and 1975. The results indicate that in the 1960s there was strong selection into the program by young persons with good labor market prospects. However, the program’s use did not change after the regional policy shift in the early 1970s.

The collective results suggest that the policies associated with the Swedish model were minor for economic restructuring patterns. The migrations of the 1960s and the decline in regional disruptions after 1970 should instead be explained by studying the consequences of structural changes, how regions were progressively affected differently and the possible role that government policies played in directing demand for labor across space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 79 p.
Series
Uppsala Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-6493 ; 111
Keyword
Swedish model, postwar period, interregional migration, wages, labor market policy, regional restructuring, economic growth, structural change, solidaristic wage policy, relocation allowances, regional policy
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324443 (URN)978-91-513-0002-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-08, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2013-0274:1
Available from: 2017-08-14 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-09-08

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