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Between voluntarism and compulsion: membership in mutual health insurance societies in Swedish manufacturing, c. 1900
Department of Economic History, Lund University, Sweden.
Department of Economic History, Lund University, Sweden.
Department of Economic History and International Relations, Stockholm University, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2024 (English)In: Economic history review, ISSN 0013-0117, E-ISSN 1468-0289, Vol. 77, no 1, p. 244-267Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Membership in mutual health insurance societies spread among industrial workers in the late nineteenth century. We study determinants of such membership among male workers in Swedish manufacturing by using matched employer–employee data from three industries covering all workers (i.e. members and non-members, N > 12 000) and firms around 1900. We find remarkably high rates of membership overall, and especially among married workers. The association between marital status and health insurance suggests that selection into health insurance societies was ‘propitious’ rather than ‘adverse’. Many workers became members well before the age of 40 years, when their health began to deteriorate, and this coincided with the average age of first marriage for men, occurring in their late twenties. Being married and having membership was more marked in firms with voluntary membership and was important for the viability of the mix of voluntary and compulsory health insurance societies emerging in Nordic countries around 1900. Findings support the idea that health insurance can attract high levels of membership under voluntary schemes and suggest why it took so long before statutory health insurance covering sickness absence and workplace accidents was introduced in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024. Vol. 77, no 1, p. 244-267
Keywords [en]
linear probability models, manufacturing industry, matched employer–employee data, mutual health insurance, Poisson regression models, Sweden
National Category
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212082DOI: 10.1111/ehr.13271ISI: 001018082500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85163702261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-212082DiVA, id: diva2:1782821
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2017-01864Available from: 2023-07-17 Created: 2023-07-17 Last updated: 2024-04-26Bibliographically approved

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Liselotte, Eriksson

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf