Under the heading Urban Facts, we present graphs and statistics from our research studies.
The American Dream – Swedish reality around the last turn of the century
At the beginning of the 20th century, Sweden was one of Europe's fastest growing economies. During the period, Sweden also had a high level of social mobility compared to other European countries - the pattern is almost reminiscent of what was found in the very mobile United States in the 19th century. Economic growth and internal migration were important driving forces behind the difference between European countries, as well as between different areas in Sweden.
The new study shows that Sweden had high levels of social mobility even before the outbreak of the First World War, and several decades before the emergence of the modern welfare state. In addition, it shows that the differences in social mobility between the Old and New Worlds might not have been as great as many might think. But it also challenges the hypothesis of why the welfare state gained such a weak position in the United States; that a strong welfare state was not needed in the "land of opportunity". The fact that Sweden, despite its high social mobility, nevertheless saw the emergence of the modern welfare state, contributes to questioning whether this hypothesis is true.
Title: Intergenerational Mobility in Sweden Before the Welfare State
Researchers: Thor Berger, Per Engzell, Björn Eriksson och Jakob Molinder
Politicians have more high-income neighbours
A new study shows that elected municipal politicians live in areas where the neighbours have higher incomes than what is the case for the general population. The narrower the area around each individual is defined, the stronger this pattern becomes. Similar patterns exist for the neighbours’ level of education and their country of birth. Politicians from the traditional centre-right bloc have more high-income individuals, highly educated individuals, and individuals born within the OECD (including Sweden) among their closest neighbours than what politicians in the left bloc have.
The study also examines whether political decisions are influenced by where politicians live. During the election periods examined, fewer building permits were approved for multi-family houses and fewer proposals for school closures were made in neighbourhoods, where more politicians from parties in the governing majority lived. The conclusion is that politicians who have the possibility to affect the political decisions avoid making bad decisions for their own residential area according to the "not in my backyard” principle.
About the study
Title: Politicians’ neighbourhoods: Where do they live and does it matter?
Researchers: Olle Folke, Linna Martén, Johanna Rickne and Matz Dahlberg