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Human Geography

Karl-Johan Lundquist


Human Geography

Can foundational economy save regions in crisis?


  • Mikhail Martynovich
  • Teis Hansen
  • Karl-Johan Lundquist

Summary, in English

We perform an explorative analysis of employment patterns in the foundational
economy producing mundane everyday necessities and providing welfare services across Swedish regional labour markets between 2007 and 2016. We focus specifically on hierarchical patterns in spatial distribution of foundational activities and their association – direct and through integration with other economic activities – with regional employment dynamics in times of crisis, recovery, and growth. Our findings suggest the foundational economy plays an
important role as employment provider to a substantial number of Swedish workers, particularly in non-metropolitan regions. Besides, it appears to be associated with improved ability of regions to retain employment in the most acute phases of economic crisis, but only if it is well integrated into regional industrial profiles. However, its overall contribution to regional resilience in the long term appears to be rather limited.


  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year




Document type

Working paper


Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography, Urban & Regional Research Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University


  • Social and Economic Geography


  • foundational economy
  • everyday economy
  • employment
  • regional resilience
  • crisis
  • recovery
  • Sweden