IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research. The audience is typically comprised of senior decision makers, experts, and opinion leaders in relevant disciplines.
Does policy uncertainty curb economic growth? Yes, said Professor Steven Davis, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, at a seminar organized by IFN in Stockholm on December 16. A Swedish example of uncertainty created by the politicians is thegovernment's announcement that distribution of profits in the service sector will be restricted. Steven Davis pointed to the refugee flows that create uncertainty in European societies. Davis is co-founder of the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, which measures economic uncertainty and its impact on production, investment and employment. A panel discussed Davis’ finding: Max Elger, State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ulf Kristersson, Economic Policy Spokesperson for the Moderate Party and Professor John Hassler, Chairman of the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council.
On November 25, four economists discussed school research at a seminar organized by IFN: Karin Edmark, Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, Jonas Vlachos and Björn Öckert. The first three being affiliated to IFN. The venue was packed and the debate was lively about what researchers really know in regards to the causes of the failing Swedish school results. The researchers all agreed that recruitment to the teaching profession is one of several key explanations.
Early September researchers involved in the EU project Fires met in Berlin. The project involves nine research institutions in as many countries, IFN is one and London School of Economics is another. The researchers' task is to – based on solid research – propose policies that can make Europe more entrepreneurial. The projects will end in 2018. In Berlin entrepreneurs from several countries participated, including Birgitta Stymne Göransson, Chairman of Medivir AB.
August 6-7, a scientific workshop on the subject “economics of corporate ownership” was organized by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN). During two days in Vaxholm, just outside of Stockholm, specially invited researchers from Europe and the US discussed subjects related to the real economic effects of ownership forms and changes in ownership. In total, thirteen studies were presented.
On 11–12 June, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) organized the IFN Stockholm Conference, a two-day conference in Vaxholm, outside Stockholm, with researchers from Sweden, Austria, Denmark, the United States, the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Great Britain. The theme of the conference was “Culture, Institutions and Development”. The researchers, from various perspectives, discussed how informal institutions and culture is of importance to the economic development.
The 2015 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research has been awarded to Professor Emeritus Sidney G. Winter, The Wharton School, and University of Pennsylvania. At the ceremony in Stockholm Winter received 100,000 euros and a sculpture by Carl Milles. Among other things, he was awarded the prize for his studies of how technological change within companies influence renewal. In his lecture he explained how progress involves long series of changes and improvements to products and processes – all based on previous experience.
GDP is problematic as a measure of growth, but this does not mean that GDP is useless, explained Professor Diane Coyle, University of Manchester, in a seminar organized by IFN May 7. Coyle said that GDP is insufficient as a measure and what is probably needed is a dashboard of indicators. At the seminar, she mentioned a number of existing alternative measures, including Social Progress Index, which was created in 2014.
Transparency and the difference between accurate and more information in corporate communications, was the subject of a half-day conference organized by the FAR, IFN, Nasdaq and Transparency International Sweden. Professor Sidney Grey, co-author of the book Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency, was a speaker at the event.
Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) organized a roundtable discussion about energy in cooperation with the German CESifo . The starting point was the EEAG Report 2015, chapter 2 with the title "The European Energy Conundrum: Power Failure". Professor John Driffill, Birkbeck College at the University of London, one of the report's authors, initiated the discussion. Among the almost 25 participants were Catherine Areskoug Mascarenhas, head of the European Commission Representation in Sweden, Martina Högberg, Deputy Director, Ministry of the Environment and Energy, and Mats Persson, Vice President Trading, Fortum.
In a new book – Universitetsreform! – så kan vi rädda och lyfta den högre utbildningen(University Reform! How to Save and Boost Higher Education) – six professors and authors, among other things, highlight the fact that the perception of study discipline and knowledge has changed in recent decades. This book presents several concrete reform proposals. The authors suggest, for example, that grades should be set by external examiners, and that the grading system should be standardized across the country. ”We need a system through which universities can be ranked and institutions of higher education can be compared,” said Patrik Engellau, Den Nya Välfärden, when he opened the seminar.
Private companies should be tested and then given permission to start operations in the welfare sector, explained the special investigator Christina Eriksson Stephanson when she presented the Ownership Assessment Inquiry's (ägarprövningsutredningen) results. Stephanson presented her conclusions at a seminar organized by the SNS as part of IFN and SNS’ joint research program, From Welfare State to a Welfare Society. Patrik Attemark, CEO Solhagagruppen, Johan Fredriksson, president and CEO Praktikertjänst and Ulla Hamilton, acting CEO National Association of Independent Schools also participated in the ensuing discussion.