Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-5rlvm Total loading time: 0.203 Render date: 2021-10-16T16:14:22.481Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption in Norway

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 December 2019

Stefan Leknes
Affiliation:
Researcher, Statistics Norway, Research Department, Akersveien 26, 0177 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: stefan.leknes@ssb.no.
Jørgen Modalsli
Affiliation:
Head of Department, Oslo Business School at Oslo Metropolitan University, Pilestredet 35, 0166 Oslo, Norway and Senior Researcher, Statistics Norway, Research Department, Akersveien 26, 0177 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: jorgenmo@oslomet.no.

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of the construction of hydropower facilities on labor market outcomes in Norway at the turn of the twentieth century (1891–1920). The sudden breakthrough in hydropower technology provides a quasi-experimental setting, as not all municipalities had suitable natural endowments and the possible production sites were often located in remote areas. We find that hydropower municipalities experienced faster structural transformation and displayed higher occupational mobility. We interpret this as evidence that this early twentieth-century technology was skill biased, as workers in the new skilled jobs were recruited from a broad segment of the population.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Economic History Association 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

We thank Lars Kirkebøen, Matz Dahlberg, Edson Severnini, Sebastian Braun, attendees at the Annual Conference of the Economic History Society in London 2017, the 12th Meeting of the Urban Economic Association in Vancouver 2017, the Allied Social Sciences Association in Atlanta 2019, and the Economic History Colloquium at the University of Bayreuth, the Editor, and two referees for comments and suggestions. We are grateful for excellent ArcGIS assistance from Margrete Steinnes and Kirsten Holz. Support from the Norwegian Research Council is acknowledged.

References

Abramitzky, Ran, Boustan, Leah Platt, and Eriksson, Katherine. “Europe’s Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration.” American Economic Review 102, no. 5 (2012): 1832–56.10.1257/aer.102.5.1832CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Acemoglu, Daron. “Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market.” Journal of Economic Literature XL (2002): 772.10.1257/jel.40.1.7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allen, Robert C.Engels’ Pause: Technical Change, Capital Accumulation and Inequality in the British Industrial Revolution.” Explorations in Economic History 46, no. 4 (2009): 418–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Arellano, Manuel. “Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Group Estimators.” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 49 (1987): 431–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Autor, David H., Katz, Lawrence F., and Kearney, Melissa S.. “The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market.” American Economic Review 96, no. 2 (2006): 189–94.10.1257/000282806777212620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Martha, Cole, Connor, Henderson, Morgan, and Massey, Catherine. “How Well Do Automated Linking Methods Perform in Historical Data? Evidence from New U.S. Ground Truth.Mimeo, 2018.Google Scholar
Bergh, Trond, Hanisch, Tore Jørgen, Lange, Even, and Pharo, Helge. Growth and Development. The Norwegian Experience 1830–1980. Oslo, Norway: The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 1981.Google Scholar
Bjørsvik, Elisabeth, Nynäs, Helena, and Faugli, Per Einar, eds. Kulturminner i norsk kraftproduksjon (2nd ed.). NVE-rapport. Oslo, Norway: Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat, 2013.Google Scholar
Borge, Lars-Erik, Parmer, Pernille, and Torvik, Ragnar. “Local Natural Resource Curse?Journal of Public Economics 131 (2015): 101–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broadberry, Stephen, Bruce M. S., Campbell, Klein, Alexander, Overton, Mark, and van Leeuwen, Bas. British Economic Growth, 1270–1870. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
Bütikofer, Aline, Dalla-Zuanna, Antonio, and Kjell, G Salvanes. “Breaking the Links: Natural Resource Booms and Intergenerational Mobility.” NHH Discussion Paper No. 19, Bergen, Norway, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, Gregory. “The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209–2004.” Journal of Political Economy 113, no. 6 (2005): 1307–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clay, Karen, and Portnykh, Margarita. “The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Resources on Economic Outcomes: Evidence from the United States 1936–2015.” NBER Working Paper No. 24695, Cambridge, MA, June 2018.Google Scholar
Cortes, Guido Matias.Where Have the Middle-Wage Workers Gone? A Study of Polarization Using Panel Data.” Journal of Labor Economics 34, no. 1 (2016): 63105.10.1086/682289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crafts, Nicholas, and Mulatu, Abay. “How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain before World War I?Journal of Economic History 66, no. 3 (2006): 575607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Den kgl. Vandfalkommission. Indstilling angaaende spørsmaalet om nyttiggjørelse avstatens fosser m.v. Kristiania: Steenske bogtrykkeri, 1914.Google Scholar
Dinkelman, Taryn. “The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa.” American Economic Review 101, no. 7 (2011): 3078–108.10.1257/aer.101.7.3078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duflo, Esther, and Pande, Rohini. “Dams.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, no. 2 (2007): 601–46.10.1162/qjec.122.2.601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feigenbaum, James. “Intergenerational Mobility during the Great Depression.” Harvard Working Paper, 2015. Available at https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jfeigenbaum/files/feigenbaum_jmp.pdf.Google Scholar
Fernihough, Alan, and O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj. “Coal and the European Industrial Revolution.” NBER Working Paper No. 19802, Cambridge, MA, September 2014.Google Scholar
Gaggl, Paul, Gray, Rowena, and Morin, Miguel. “Technological Revolutions and Occupational Change: Electrifying News from the Old Days.Mimeo, 2015.Google Scholar
Goldin, Claudia, and Katz, Lawrence. “The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 113, no. 3 (1998): 693732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goos, Marten, Manning, Alan, and Salomons, Anna. “Job Polarization in Europe.” American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings 99, no. 2 (2009): 5863.10.1257/aer.99.2.58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goos, Marten, Manning, Alan, and Salomons, Anna. “Explaining Job Polarization: Routine-Biased Technological Change and Offshoring.” American Economic Review 104, no. 8 (2014): 2509–26.10.1257/aer.104.8.2509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gray, Rowena. “Taking Technology to Task: The Skill Content of Technological Change in Early Twentieth Century United States.” Explorations in Economic History 50, no. 3 (2013): 351–67.10.1016/j.eeh.2013.04.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grytten, Ola H.Norwegian Wages 1726–2006 Classified by Industry.” In Historical Monetary Statistics for Norway – Part II, edited by Øyvind Eitrheim, Jan T. Klovland, and Qvigstad, Jan F., chap. 6. Oslo, Norway: Norges Bank, 2007.Google Scholar
Helle, Knut, Eliassen, Finn-Einar, Jan Eivind Myhre, and Ola Svein Stugu. Norsk byhistorie: urbanisering gjennom 1300 ˚år. Oslo, Norway: Pax, 2006.Google Scholar
Hodne, Fritz. An Economic History of Norway 1815–1970. Trondheim, Norway: Tapir, 1975.Google Scholar
Hodne, Fritz, and Grytten, Ola Honningdal. Norsk økonomi i det nittende århundre. Bergen, Norway: Fagbokforlaget, 2000.Google Scholar
Hodne, Fritz, and Grytten, Ola Honningdal. Norsk økonomi i det tyvende århundre. Bergen, Norway: Fagbokforlaget, 2002.Google Scholar
Hughes, Thomas P.Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930. London: The Johns Hopkins University Press Ltd., 1993.Google Scholar
Jensen, Lil-Ann, and Johansen, Alf. I sikkerhetens tjeneste - Elektrisitetstilsynets historie i Norge. Oslo, Norway: Elektrisitetstilsynet, 1994.Google Scholar
Katz, Lawrence F., and Margo, Robert A.. “Technical Change and the Relative Demand for Skilled Labor: The United States in Historical Perspective.” In Human Capital in History: The American Record, edited by Boustan, Leah Platt, Frydman, Carola, and Margo, Robert A., 1557. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.Google Scholar
Kim, Sukkoo. “Immigration, Industrial Revolution and Urban Growth in the United States, 1820–1920: Factor Endowments, Technology and Geography.” NBER Working Paper No. 12900, Cambridge, MA, February 2007.Google Scholar
Kim, Sukkoo, and Margo, Robert A.. “Historical Perspectives on U.S. Economic Geography.” In Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edited by Henderson, J. V. and Thisse, J. F., vol. 4, 29813019. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2004.Google Scholar
Kitchens, Carl, and Fishback, Price. “Flip the Switch: The Impact of the Rural Electrification Administration.” Journal of Economic History 75, no. 4 (2015): 1161–95.10.1017/S0022050715001540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kline, Patrick, and Moretti, Enrico. “Local Economic Development, Agglomeration Economies, and the Big Push: 100 Years of Evidence from the Tennessee Valley Authority.Quarterly Journal of Economics 2014: 275331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leknes, Stefan, and Modalsli, Jørgen. “Replication: Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption in Norway”. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-11-29. https://doi.org/10.3886/E115804V1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis, Joshua. “Infant Health, Women’s Fertility, and Rural Electrification in the United States, 1930–1960.” Journal of Economic History 78, no. 1 (2018): 118–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis, Joshua, and Severnini, Edson. “Short- and Long-Run Impacts of Rural Electrification: Evidence from the Historical Rollout of the U.S. Power Grid.” IZA DP No. 11243, Bonn, Germany, 2017.Google Scholar
Lipscomb, Molly, Mushfiq Mobarak, A., and Barham, Tania. “Development Effects of Electrification: Evidence from the Topographic Placement of Hydropower Plants in Brazil.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 5, no. 2 (2013): 200–31.Google Scholar
Long, Jason, and Ferrie, Joseph. “Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850.” American Economic Review 103, no. 4 (2013): 1109–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Matheis, Mike. “Local Economic Impacts of Coal Mining in the United States 1870 to 1970.” Journal of Economic History 76, no. 4 (2016): 1152–81.10.1017/S002205071600098XCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michaels, Guy. “The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System.” Review of Economics and Statistics 90 (2008): 683701.10.1162/rest.90.4.683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michaels, Guy. “The Long Term Consequences of Resource-Based Specialisation.” Economic Journal 121 (2010): 3151.10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02402.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Minnesota Population Center. North Atlantic Population Project: Complete Count Microdata. Version 2.3 [dataset]. Minneapolis: Minnesota Population Center, 2017.Google Scholar
Modalsli, Jørgen. “Intergenerational Mobility in Norway, 1865–2011.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 119, no. 1 (2017): 3471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morin, Miguel. “The Labor Market Consequences of Technology Adoption: Concrete Evidence from the Great Depression.Mimeo, 2015.Google Scholar
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. Utbygd vannkraft i Norge. Oslo: Norges vassdrags- og elektrisitetsforening, Den hydrografiske avdeling, 1946.Google Scholar
Sandberg, Lars G.The Case of the Impoverished Sophisticate: Human Capital and Swedish Economic Growth before World War I.” Journal of Economic History 39, no. 1 (1979): 225–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Semmingsen, Ingrid. “Standssamfunnets oppløsning i Norge.” Ståndssamhällets upplösning i Norden 1, no. 2 (1954): 4986.Google Scholar
Severnini, Edson R. “The Power of Hydroelectric Dams: Agglomeration Spillovers.” IZA Discussion Paper Series No. 8082, Bonn, Germany, 2014.Google Scholar
Norway, Statistics. Historical Statistics 1978. Oslo, Norway: Statistics Norway, 1978.Google Scholar
The Digital Archive (The National Archive), Norwegian Historical Data Centre (University of Tromsø) and the Minnesota Population Center. National Sample of the 1900 Census of Norway, Version 2.0. Tromsø, Norway: University of Tromsø, 2008.Google Scholar
The Digital Archive (The National Archive), Norwegian Historical Data Centre (University of Tromsø) and the Minnesota Population Center. National Sample of the 1910 Census of Norway, Version 1.0. Tromsø, Norway: University of Tromsø, 2011.Google Scholar
Tvedt, Knut Are.Oslo byleksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget, 2000.Google Scholar
Venneslan, Christian. “Electrification and Industrialisation: An Assessment of the Industrial Breakthrough in Norway.” Scandinavian Economic History Review 57, no. 2 (2009): 124–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vogt, Johan. Elektrisitetslandet Norge: fra norsk vassdrags- og elektrisitetsvesens historie. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1971.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Leknes and Modalsli et al. supplementary material

Online Appendix
Download Leknes and Modalsli et al. supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 3 MB
1
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption in Norway
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption in Norway
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Who Benefited from Industrialization? The Local Effects of Hydropower Technology Adoption in Norway
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *