Swedish wealth accumulation process has been going through various comparative assessments from 1850s. In the article “A historical wealth assessment – measuring the Swedish national wealth for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries”, Magnus Lindmark and Lars Fredrik Andersson (2016) offers multiple historical accounts of wealth accumulation and composition in Sweden. This by looking at produced capital against natural capital. Using various economic growth regimes, the article compares studies of Sweden against UK, France, Germany, and America which generally reveal that natural capital has declined, while produced capital has increased over time. The reason for this is the extra investments that were dedicated to infrastructural and manufacturing sectors during second industrialization revolution compared to that of early industrialization.
By identifying trends and shifts of produced against natural capital through the said economic regimes, the article sets a solid foundation on Swedish economic growth factors at not only national but also industrial level. It also highlights capital and income trends of both old and new economic eras. Additionally, although the role of capital in the growth process is not clearly defined throughout the history, it is so moving that the article expounds on technological and sustainability issues thus recognizing environmental capital and its role in sustainable development.
Conclusively, the article argues that the historical wealth assessment can be used to deliver a better assessment of national wealth over the long term, and pave way to full comprehension of capital and income growth at both overall and sectorial/industrial levels. To sum up, the article connects growth of both produced capital and natural capital with pre and post industrialization phases. The connection consequently supports Piketty’s claim that due to relatively shortage of agricultural lands, European countries have similar capital ratio levels which is lower than that of US. It is worth mentioning that the countries depicted different rates of returns on capital which the article suggests to have come from taking effect of late and early industrialization phases and technological progress among other factors.
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