Erik Lindberg

Professor at Historiska institutionen

Telephone:
+46 18 471 15 23
E-mail:
Erik.Lindberg@hist.uu.se
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 A
Postal address:
Box 628
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Professor in History. Dean of Faculty of Arts.

Research interests:

  • The history of public goods and infrastructure
  • Gender and work in historical perspective
  • Institutions, economic development, and stagnation in early modern Europe

Keywords

  • economic history
  • infrastructure
  • institutions
  • labour law
  • lighthouses
  • merchant guilds
  • social history

Research

Between 1833 and 1926 labour relations in Sweden in some sectors were governed by the Master and Servants Act. A common assumption in labour history is that contractual relations in capitalistic societies were based on free contracts. Lately that notion has been questioned and the possibilities to combine capitalistic forms of enterprise with unfree labour has been shown to exist in both Great Britain and the US until the late nineteenth century and beyond. The aim of this project is to study the relations between capital and labour in Sweden between 1833 and 1885 when the compulsory service clause in the Master and Servants Acts was abolished, and the labour market relations between 1885 and 1926 when the Master and Servants Act was abolished entirely. Until 1919 a person that quit a job before the agreed time could be arrested by the police and fined in ostracising procedures. The project also aims to cast doubt on the roots of the Swedish Model, which according to some research is characterised historically by social and economic equality and consensus seeking decisions between employers' organization and labour organizations. The project is a case study of how the Master and Servants Act was used in practice in the region of Västmanland and involves two researchers. The project uses a principal agent model in order to study how economic compensations could be used in tandem with elements of coercion on the labour markets for agricultural workers and domestic servants.

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Erik Lindberg

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