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Conditions for Green Structural Change. The evolution of the Environmental Goods and Service Sector in Sweden 1970-2015

Research project The project investigates the development of the Swedish Environmental Goods and Service Sector (EGSS) 1970 to 2015.

Motives for investigating the sector is that the EGSS is comparatively large in Sweden and was so already by the early 2000s, the year for which the first official estimates are available. We are reconstructing green historical national accounts, and investigating individual companies and entrepreneurs in order to uncover the growth, dynamics and institutional frames of importance for the sector.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2017-01-01 2020-12-31

Funding

The Swedish Research Council

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Unit of Economic History

Research area

Economic history

Project description

Mirroring the need to achieve green economic growth, the Environmental Goods and Service Sector (EGSS) has become a new European statistical standard. Sweden was together with the Netherlands been one of the first countries to produce statistics on the EGSS. As the first estimates of the Swedish EGSS were published by Statistics Sweden, it was evident that the sector was a sizeable one, with a turnover of 220 billion SEK. Later historical reconstructions of the sector showed that it was large already in 2002, which indicates that the EGSS must have started to grow earlier. The purpose of this project is to explore the growth of the environmental goods and service sector, EGSS, in Sweden c 1970-2014 from a perspective of long-term economic structural change. We do so by combining macro and micro perspectives through methodologies from economic history and business history as well as further extension of data from Statistics Sweden. As structural change and economic growth are long-term phenomena by definition, historical perspectives are necessary for addressing this type of issues. Specifically, we will analyze the growth of the EGSS by focusing on: a) its growth characteristics in relation to other sectors since the 1970s b) the development of entrepreneurship and key innovations within the sector and c) the importance of governmental policies and market drivers behind startups and scaling up of the firms within this sector.