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Upptäckten av Sverige: utländska direktinvesteringar i Sverige 1895-1945
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
1989 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The discovery of Sweden : foreign direct investments in Sweden 1895-1945 (English)
Abstract [en]

The study investigates the extent, development and nature of foreign direct investments in Sweden during the years 1895-1945. The work also has a qualitative aspect, which may be summarized as a question: Why do foreign companies undertake direct investments in Sweden? The basic premise has been that the companies' decisions are based on their own calculations regarding profit interests and structural conditions on the market, but these decisions are also influenced by various power relations. The aim is to discover partly the motives behind a company's readiness to enter the Swedish market, and partly the national and international power relations that furnished the institutional conditions favouring or hindering the making of direct investments in Sweden.

The study shows that direct investments were much more extensive before 1945, above all before World War One, than has previously been assumed. Slightly more than half the direct investments were made by Denmark and Norway, and the greatest contribution from the major industrial nations was made by Germany. American direct investments increased in importance during the interwar years, and represented the greatest volume of activity in the foreign sector by the end of the 1930's. Manufacturing companies were the most important before World War One, as a result of direct investments in Swedish natural resources and the consumer goods industry. During the interwar years direct investments inclined more to forward linkage, and the majority were made in the chemical and engineering industries.

Conditions in Sweden exerted most influence on direct investments before World War One - for example, Swedish tariff policy. Sweden's attempts to protect itself against the imperialism of the large industrial nations resulted moreover in 1916 in legislation which severely restricted the possibilities of making direct investments in the raw materials industry. After World War One, motives connected with specific countries and owneers were more important. At this time conflicts between American and European, primarily German, interests also entered the picture. One of the circumstances affecting direct investments was the increasing importance of the Scandinavian countries in the world market. This led to altered conditions between the Scandinavian countries, and partly to the realization by international business that Sweden must be seen as a market in its own right and not just as a sub-market in the Scandinavian region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1989. , 415 p.
Umeå studies in economic history, ISSN 0347-254X ; 12
Keyword [en]
direct investments, subsidiaries, tariffs, imperialism, multinational companies, cartels, Jewish refugee capital, dummy companies, small industrial countries
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65868ISBN: 91-7174-414-2OAI: diva2:605789
Public defence
1989-06-02, Humanisthuset, hörsal F, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-12 Last updated: 2013-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Nordlund, Sven
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