The wage share and government job creation in Sweden, 1900–2016

Lars Ahnland
2020 Labor History  
This investigation explores the long-run relationship between the wage share in the non-construction private sector and government efforts to create jobs in public services and construction of infrastructure and houses, in Sweden in 1900 to 2016. In the present article, it is argued that the creation of employment with generous wages by the Swedish government has increased the bargaining power of workers outside of these sectors, thus raising the wage share, up to about 1980. Correspondingly,
more » ... Correspondingly, retrenchment from such policy has been detrimental for the wage share in recent decades. This argument is supported by the results of cointegration tests, estimation of long-run and short-run, speed of adjustment, coefficients, as well as by Impulse-response functions. While government consumption is often found to be an important determinant for the wage share, earlier research has neglected the full labor market effect of government job creation associated with an expansion of the welfare state. Sweden is an ideal case for studying the impact of welfare policy on the wage share, since it has been one of the most extensive welfare states and simultaneously has been one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/0023656x.2020.1731732 fatcat:3mb7tuv5cjhclik2ztjk46tei4