Linnarsson, Magnus and Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Historiska institutionen
Scandinavian Journal of History. 37(3):296-316
Humanities, History and Archaeology, History, Humaniora, Historia och arkeologi, Historia, Sweden, state, administration, postal service, early modern, lease contract, transaction costs, political transaction costs, organizational history, and historia
This article deals with the privatization of the Swedish postal service in the 1660s. In 1663 the Swedish state signed a lease contract for the management of the kingdom's postal service, handing over the leadership of the post to the nobleman Johan von Beijer. The purpose of this article is to show how the early modern Swedish state used private alternatives in executing its undertakings. An analysis of Johan von Beijer's lease contract will serve as an illuminating example of what such a private alternative might be. In order to answer the question of what influenced the choice of organization form, transaction cost theory is applied. Based on the analysis of the contract, and the negotiations between Beijer and the state, this article is able to complement and show the nuances of how the early modern Swedish state functioned in practice.