Education, globalization and catch-up: Scandinavia in the swedish mirror

Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a previous paper in this Review, we argued that the vast majority of Sweden’s spectacular catch-up on the late nineteenth century leaders was due to what today would be called globalization forces. Sweden’s catch-up on Britain and the United States between 1870 and World War I was due mostly to mass migration, international capital flows and trade. This paper asks two additional questions. First, how important was schooling to this performance compared with open economy forces? The answer is »modest«. Second, can the Swedish explanation be extended to the rest of Scandinavia? The answer is »yes«.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-309
Number of pages23
JournalScandinavian Economic History Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Aerospace Engineering


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