A History of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

A History of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

John Branch (University of Michigan, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3264-4.ch007

Abstract

The dissolution of the U.S.S.R. created a kind of higher education vacuum, especially in the disciplines of economics and business. The result was the development of a wide range of new educational initiatives by government, not-for-profit organizations, and foreign institutions. In 1994, the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) opened a foreign branch campus in Riga, Latvia, the aim of which was to rehabilitate higher education in the Baltic countries, in the disciplines of economics and business. This chapter chronicles the history of the SSE in Riga. It begins with a brief introduction to the Stockholm School of Economics. It then traces the transnationalization of the SSE, with an emphasis on its foreign branch campus in Riga, Latvia.
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The Stockholm School Of Economics (Sse)

The post-war period from 1950 to 1975 is often considered Sweden’s golden age, with annual growth rates in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign trade of 4.3% and 6.5% respectively (Schön, & Krantz, 2012). The foundation for this golden age, however, was established in the late nineteenth century, during which time the population of Sweden boomed, and the GDP grew by almost 70% (Rehnberg, 2009), a feat which is largely attributed to a confluence of economic, social, and political factors. Sweden increasingly became more integrated into the global economy, for example, adopting the gold standard in 1873 and pushing for more liberalized foreign trade.

However, with the event of globalization came falling prices for three of Sweden’s most important exports—iron, lumber, and oats—thereby stimulating innovation in alternative and less cyclical products. Rising labor wages stoked demand for more luxurious foodstuffs and homegoods and triggered the mechanization of factories. The country was flush with capital, principally from France and Germany. The Swedish government invested heavily in infrastructure, including a modern national railway network.

And a second industrial revolution was underway, leading to technological advances in automation, electrification, and motorization. Many of the Swedish industrial giants which arose at the time have survived to this day: AGA (industrial gases), SKF (bearings), ASEA (generators), Ericsson (telephone equipment), Scania (railway equipment, then vehicles), and Husqvarna (sewing machines, bicycles, and kitchen equipment).

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