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Samhällsförändring på väg: Perspektiv på den svenska bilismens utveckling mellan 1950 och 2007
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Driving Forward? : Perspectives on the Swedish Automobility 1950-2007 (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to give a perspective on the development of the Swedish automobility between 1950 and 2007. New knowledge on automobility’s role for economic historical development will be achieved by studying the interaction between the diffusion of the private car on the national and the regional level, and the households’ preferences and the government’s regulations of car ownership.

The first paper, Two Sides of the Same Coin?, compares car diffusion in Norway and Sweden to find explanations for the national and regional patterns. We ask whether the slower diffusion in Norway can be explained with national differences in income, institutions, infrastructure and population settlements; or if regional differences in income and population density have affected the outcome? Our conclusion is that car diffusion in Norway and Sweden displays two sides of the same coin; the national levels converged, but the process did not follow the same regional pattern. Regional differences in income and population density have in general been a significant explanation for car density in Sweden, but not in Norway.  

The second paper, Driving from the Centre to the Periphery?, examines whether the diffusion of private cars followed the over-all socio-economic and geographical changes in Sweden from 1960 to 1975. In particular, it studies if ownership per capita followed changes in income or changes in population density (urbanisation). The analysis is based on unique Swedish parish-scale census material that includes all private car owners for the years 1960, 1970 and 1975. Our conclusion is that income levels were more important than other explanations for the diffusion of private cars in Sweden between 1960 and 1975.

The third paper, ‘En ledande och samordnande funktion’, contributes with new knowledge on how the Swedish government has organised traffic safety in certain ways since the 1950s. The emphasis is on the establishment and closing down of the National Road Safety Office (TSV) and how the changing forms of organisations before, during and after TSV have been reflected in the road plans from 1958, 1970 and 1990. Our conclusion is that the motives for both establishment and closing down of the TSV were the same; to create a more efficient organisation regarding traffic safety. These changes have been reflected in the road plans where an increased control over the infrastructure can be recognised, especially during the last two decades.

The fourth paper, A Dark Side of Car Ownership, examines whether improved technical performance with respect to fuel consumption have been counterbalanced through increasing engine power and weight, how such properties are valued by the consumers, and in what way political instruments have affected this development. The analysis is based on historical data covering all car models within the 50 percentiles of new registrations. Our conclusion is that a vehicle purchase rebound effect can be identified since the fuel consumption has decreased over time, while the engine effect has increased. Also, the Swedish car fleet has developed in a setting of political instruments and regulations working in favour of larger and more fuel consuming cars.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för ekonomisk historia, Umeå universitet , 2010. , 58 + 4 paper p.
Series
Umeå studies in economic history, ISSN 0347-254X ; 40
Keyword [en]
Automobility, Car ownership, Car diffusion, Economic history, Fuel Efficiency, Norway, Rebound effect, Sweden, Transport policy, Traffic safety
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33469ISBN: 978-91-7264-988-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33469DiVA: diva2:313358
Public defence
2010-05-21, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal B, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-29 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2010-04-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Two Sides of the same Coin?: Private car ownership in Sweden and Norway since 1950
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two Sides of the same Coin?: Private car ownership in Sweden and Norway since 1950
2009 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, E-ISSN 1750-2837, Vol. 57, no 2, 172-190 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Norwegian private car density has lagged behind the Swedish and did not reach same national levels until the late 1980s, despite the same GDP per capita levels. Can both the time lag and the diffusion process be explained with national differences in income, institutions, infrastructure and population settlements? Or have regional differences in income and population density affected the outcome? The aim of this article is to compare car diffusion in Norway and Sweden in order to find explanations for the national and regional patterns of car diffusion. The conclusion is that car diffusion in Norway and Sweden displays two sides of same coin; the national levels converged, but the process did not follow the same regional pattern. Regional differences in income and population density have in general been a significant explanation for car density in Sweden, but not in Norway.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2009
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2925 (URN)10.1080/03585520902819584 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-30 Created: 2008-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Driving from the center to the periphery?: The diffusion of private cars in Sweden, 1960-1975
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Driving from the center to the periphery?: The diffusion of private cars in Sweden, 1960-1975
2010 (English)In: Journal of Transport History, ISSN 0022-5266, E-ISSN 1759-3999, Vol. 31, no 2, 164-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The diffusion of private cars in Sweden has not yet been examined in a national long-run perspective covering all individuals. This article enquires whether the diffusion of private cars followed the overall socioeconomic and geographical changes in Sweden from 1960 to 1975. In particular, it asks if ownership per capita followed changes in incomes or changes in population density (urbanisation). In the 1960s Swedish traffic and regional policy aimed at making the car an instrument of national integration and regional equality, and making it available throughout the country. This article tracks the effects of that policy. The analysis is based on Swedish parish-scale census material that includes all car owners for the years 1960, 1970 and 1975. The conclusion is that income levels were more important than other explanations for the diffusion of private cars in Sweden between 1960 and 1975. National policy goals regarding cars as means of regional integration and equalisation were not fulfilled up to 1975.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010
Keyword
car ownership, car diffusion, transport policy, economic history, Sweden
National Category
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2924 (URN)10.7227/TJTH.31.2.4 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-30 Created: 2008-01-30 Last updated: 2017-12-14
3. "En ledande och samordnande funktion": om trafiksäkerhetens reglering och organisering i Sverige 1950-2007
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"En ledande och samordnande funktion": om trafiksäkerhetens reglering och organisering i Sverige 1950-2007
2011 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 77, no 1, 82-103 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the organization of Swedish national road safety. The Swedish government has shown an interest in road safety since the beginning of the twentieth century, so the question is not if, but how road safety has been organized over time. Today, the ‘Vision Zero’ policy is used as the framework for road safety management within road policy as a whole. One reason for the adoption of Vision Zero was that road traffic deaths and injuries are considered a (global) public health problem and should be combated. The article presents a fresh approach to the Swedish government’s organization of road safety since the 1950s. The focus is the establishment and subsequent closure of the National Road Safety Office (TSV), and how the various and changing forms of organizations before, during, and after the TSV have been reflected in the national road plans of 1958, 1970, and 1998. Government bills and official reports reflect the national decision-making processes and the reasoning behind the founding and closure of the TSV. Before the TSV was set up in 1968, road safety had been the responsibility of the National Road Administration, which resumed responsibility when the TSV was closed down in 1993. The present study shows that the motives for the TSV’s creation and demise were the same, despite a time-frame that ran to fully twenty-five years: on each occasion road safety management was felt to be too haphazard, when it needed to be more coherent and efficient. These organizational changes were reflected in road planning, where control of the infrastructure increased, especially in recent decades. This conclusion sits well with previous research, which has shown the need for a more closely managed road network in order to implement Vision Zero.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Sekel Bokförlag, 2011
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33463 (URN)000294099300005 ()
Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2015-06-12Bibliographically approved
4. A dark side of car ownership: perspectives on the rebound effect i Sweden 1950-2007
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A dark side of car ownership: perspectives on the rebound effect i Sweden 1950-2007
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33464 (URN)
Note
En tidig version presenterades på the Sixth International conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M), Ottawa, Canada, 18-21 september 2008)Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2010-04-30Bibliographically approved

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