Past Public Activities

Past Public Activities 2006-2014

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.



"And the Global Award 2014 goes to Shaker Zahra ..."


Shaker Zahra, Professor at the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota, USA, received the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2014. This Prize is since 1996 awarded annually with a prize sum of EUR 100,000. Shaker Zahra is best known for his work on "the role of corporate entrepreneurship in knowledge creation, absorption, and conversion". In his prize lecture he explained the importance of hubs/informal networks to promote entrepreneurship in existing companies.


Unique tax project completed

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At a research seminar Michael Stenkula, IFN, presented the last component of the first systematic survey of the Swedish tax system – from 1862 to the present day. He showed how the Swedish tax system and its structure has been subject of transformation and radical changes over the past 150 years. Tax structure and its impact on the economy were, for example, completely different 150 years ago. "1862 you paid one percentage in national income tax. The proportion was gradually increased thereafter and temporary taxes [for example, imposed during the two World Wars] in due time became permanent," explained Michael Stenkula.


Profit vs. quality in welfare services?

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The Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party recently announced an agreement on "welfare without profit motive". A commission will submit proposals on how the revenue can be limited in firms producing publicly financed services, such as health care, education and elderly care. This was the topic of a speech by Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Public Administration, at a seminar organized by the SNS. Instead of profit vs non-profit in the welfare sector, he said, we should discuss how to implement "a control system that drives quality". Shekarabis talk was commented by Henrik Jordahl, IFN, Jonas Vlachos, Stockholm University and IFN, Thomas Berglund, Capio, and Lars Henriksson, Stockholm School of Economics.


IFN 75th anniversary




Crony capitalism vs. free markets


Luigi Zingales, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, is critical of crony capitalism, where special interests capture political decision-makers and regulators. Rather than creating favorable conditions for markets to flourish, this kind of capitalism entails subsidies, tax breaks and reduced competition which benefit large companies. November 6, Luigi Zingales spoke at a seminar in Stockholm organized by IFN. Christian Bjørnskov, Professor at the University of Aarhus and Magnus Henrekson, Professor and Managing Director of IFN, commented on and discussed the presentation.


Difficult but not impossible to evaluate quality in elderly care


It is difficult to measure the quality in elderly care. The participants agreed on this at a seminar organized by the SNS on the report Att styra och leda äldreomsorg. Hur går det till och vad kan förbättras?. (To govern and manage in elderly care. How does it work and what can be improved?) The report is part of the IFN and SNS joint research program From welfare state to a welfare society. The study is authored by Henrik Jordahl and Jannis Angelis, IFN. Gun-Britt Trydegård, Stockholm University, commented on the report, which she called "exemplary". Corresponding studies in the fields of healthcare and education will be published in 2015.


Sweden is still a capitalist welfare state

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In the 70’s costs started soaring, explained Andreas Bergh and Assar Lindbeck at a seminar organized by IFN, when reasoning about the Swedish welfare state. They agreed that the Swedish welfare system in some parts need to be reformed. "Though, it is difficult for politicians to reform without a crisis," said Lindbeck. At the seminar a new book authored by Andreas Bergh was presented and discussed – Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State. Irene Wennemo, editorial writer Dagens Arena also participated in the debate.


How the teaching profession was dismantled

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In a brand new book Johan Wennström, IFN, uncovers how politicians from both left and right for decades undermined the professional pride and independence of Swedish schoolteachers. According to the author, this has contributed to both the decline of the teaching profession in Sweden and the drop in knowledge among Swedish students. At a seminar in Stockholm, the book was discussed by Anna Ekström, Director General of the National Agency for Education, and Jonas Vlachos, an educational researcher affiliated to IFN and Stockholm University.


Perspective Sweden – on innovation, sustainability and the labor market


The Swedish self-image as a future knowledge-driven economy is quite feasible to implement. Though, it requires a number of changes, writes Magnus Henrekson, IFN, in the book Position Sverige – Om innovation, hållbarhet och arbetsmarknad, presented in Almedalen last Tuesday (July 1). He explained that Sweden ranks high in terms of innovations and patents. But we are not good at the next Stephen: Through entrepreneurship and by building businesses translating patents and innovations into high-growth companies. This requires a series of reforms.


Leadership and management in geriatric care

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A report written by Jannis Angelis and Henrik Jordahl, IFN was presented by SNS at a well-attended seminar during the first day of a week of policymaking and debate in Almedalen. The report – Att styra och leda äldreomsorg (Leadership and management in geriatric care) is part of the joint IFN and SNS research project called From welfare state to a welfare society. "Larger [private] firms stand out," explained Henrik Jordahl in Almedalen. These companies are paramount in regards to controlling and managing the production. But, he said, the range is large between and also within all modes of operation: local government, non-profit and for-profit businesses.


Entrepreneurs generate growth

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Entrepreneurship was the theme of a seminar that IFN arranged on June 17. Besides Magnus Henrekson and Joacim Tåg, IFN, Lena Apler, Chairman Collector, was part of the panel. In an introductory presentation explained Magnus Henrekson that "entrepreneurship is not about small business, but the emergence of new major corporations". Four-fifths of the self-employed have not any employees and small ambitions to grow. Henrekson commented on the economist in vogue Thomas Piketty's theories: "Piketty agree that entrepreneurs are innovative and create value, but believes they are only a few." This does not correspond with reality, he explained.


The Performance of Electricity Markets


I have come to find out what others are working on and to get feedback on my own work, said Frank A. Wolak, Stanford University when asked about IFN's annual international research conference held in Vaxholm. On an annual basis a group of international scholars are invited to join researchers from IFN to discuss their own and others' research. The theme of the conference this year (June 12-13) was "The Performance of Electricity Markets." Researchers from eight countries participated in the exchange of knowledge and ideas.


Government funding in small businesses

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The Swedish government should invest in small and risky projects only in early phases, explained Roger Svensson, IFN , when he presented a report, Government funding in small businesses, published by  Timbro. He explained that Fourier Transform and InlandsInnovation, government VC funds, should be terminated as these funds invest in final stages, something that the market can bring about without tax money. Instead, Almi’s loans for innovations should be expanded, along with Almi Invest venture capital. As these two are the only funds financing exclusively small and risky projects in early stages, writes Roger Svensson in the report.


Taxes stop many from becoming entrepreneurs

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"Tax cuts affecting entrepreneurs have partially been aimed in the wrong direction," said Tino Sanandaji , IFN , when he and Magnus Henrekson, IFN, unveiled an ESO study – Entrepreneurship conditions - a new report on the Swedish equity taxation (ESO, the Expert Group for Public Economics). "With high taxes and a heavy regulatory burden more livelihood enterprises have been created [but less entrepreneurial firms with growth potential]" explained Magnus Henrekson during the debate that followed the presentation. In the report, the authors suggest, among other things, that stock option programs should be introduced allowing entrepreneurs and key employees to be rewarded for their risk taking.


European Integration in Swedish Economic Research

For the 16th time The Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics (SNEE) is arranging a four-day research conference in Mölle, Skåne, on May 20 to 23. The initiator and driving force of this endeavor is Professor Lars Oxelheim, IFN and Lund University. The conference that opened with a speech by the Minister for Financial Markets Peter Norman, is by many described as a Nordic mini- Davos meeting. A number of researchers from IFN is presenting studies and/or are commenting on other researchers work.


Successful support for R & D, innovation and entrepreneurship


Roger Svensson, IFN, is the author of a study "Successful support for R & D, innovation and entrepreneurship," which was presented by the think tank Fores on May 7. Roger Svensson argues that many forms of support to R & D and innovation is not working well, and that several actions are poorly evaluated. He reasons that the rules for government venture capital funds should be amended and that state funds such as Fourier transform and Inlandsinnovation should be phased out.


Report on reimbursement in health care


There are no neutral compensation models. Each offers incentives and thus it is important to determine what you want to achieve, explained researcher Peter Lindgren, author of the report Reimbursement in health care - models, effects, and recommendations, at a workshop on Wednesday. He asserted that different models suits different categories of care. The report is included in the IFN and SNS joint project Från välfärdsstat till välfärdssamhälle (From welfare state to a welfare society).


Welfare services: licensing, supervision and monitoring


On Tuesday a new research report was presented – Welfare services: licensing, supervision and monitoring, authored by Eva Hagbjer. The report is published by SNS (Centre for Business and Policy Studies) within the framework of the joint project between IFN and SNS From Welfare State to Welfare Society. In the report the rules that ensure quality of welfare services are identified. Eva Lindström commented on the report saying that “it's impressive". Lindström is chairperson of a committee on ownership assessment (ägarprövningutredningen) with the mission to propose requirements that may be imposed on owners in the welfare sector.


The World Bank on Swedish business climate


The World Bank on behalf of the Swedish Government has conducted a study of the business environment. On Monday the first part of the report was presented at a seminar in Stockholm. Augusto Lopez - Claros from the World Bank explained that Sweden is doing well, but there is room for improvement. Magnus Henrekson , IFN , commented on the report. He was content that the government now is looking into employee stock options – to facilitate start-ups. At the same time he considers the education system to be the most worrisome sector for continued growth.


Report on privatization in elderly care


Henrik Jordahl, IFN, and Mats Bergman, Södertörn University, unveiled on Thursday a new report on the Swedish market for elderly care. They reckon that "both home care and assisted living facilities [appear] as relatively appropriate to privatize." The two researchers believe that a return to public monopoly is not an answer to today’s obstacles and that the current system works fairly well but needs further improvement.


Patent boxes as indirect R & D support


The report Patentboxar som indirekt FOU-stöd (Patent boxes as indirect R & D support) is authored by Roger Svensson, IFN, and was presented by Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum at a seminar on February 6. The author shows that patent boxes are hardly a tax incentive that Sweden should introduce. It turns out that patent boxes do not necessarily create more R & D investment in the host country, and in addition this form of incentives allows for possibly increased international tax evasion.


EU and the Super Entrepreneurs


Magnus Henrekson and Tino Sanandaji, IFN, argue in EU och de globala obalanserna – Europaperspektiv 2013 (EU and global imbalances. Perspective on Europe 2013) for a new way of measuring entrepreneurship that can pave the way for more super entrepreneurs. Lars Oxelheim, IFN and Lund University, is one of the editors of the book, which was presented on Wednesday at a seminar organized by Nätverket för Europaforskning (Network for European Studies). Henrekson and Sanandaji denote that society should invest in entrepreneurs with a growth vision and not in the self-employed in general in order to encourage innovations that might benefit the community and all of us.




The Decline and Fall of the Stock Market


Stock markets fulfill dual functions: they enable firms to raise capital by issuing shares to the public and at the same time allow institutions/individuals to invest and take part in the listed companies’ profits. In addition, they serve as a trading venue for the shares, thereby providing liquidity to shareholders. But in many countries, stock market listings are falling out of favor. What are the consequences of this trend for corporate investments and economic growth?


The West is at Risk – a Battle Between Modern and Traditional Values


Faced with a large and eloquent audience Nobel Laureate in Economics (2006) Edmund Phelps gave a lecture on the good life, characterized as "flourishing". He explained that mass prosperity came with the mass innovation in the 19th century. Magnus Henrekson, IFN, and Solveig Wikström, Stockholm University, commented on this lecture and discussed, among other things, what creates this good life. Vladimir Kvint, La Salle and Moscow University, addressed the issue of quality in various aspects, and how it is essential for social development – and ultimately whether a society can endure. Torbjörn Becker from Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics commented on this lecture.


The New Norwegian Bank Regulation as a Tool for Financial Stability


Morten Søberg, resigning State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Finance on Monday gave a lecture at IFN on "the new Norwegian banking regulations as a tool for financial stability" . Moreover, Ola Borten Moe, the resigning Minister for Oil & Energy, also attended the seminar. Søberg explained that in regards to financial stability there is only one issue separating the outgoing and incoming governments - judging by election promises – namely, how much capital that home buyers need to deposit. So far 15 percent has to be paid up-front , while the incoming government wants to reduce this to the Swedish level, that is 10 percent.


Morality -- the Forgotten Key to Prosperity


Thursday September 26, IFN organized a seminar with Professor David Rose, University of Missouri-St Louis, who presented his book Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, former Director General of the Swedish National Audit Office and Niclas Berggren, Associate Professor, IFN, commented. Faced with an eloquent audience David Rose explained his thoughts on why opportunism thrive in large groups and how we can embrace a morality that makes it feel wrong to execute a certain action, even if a person does not come to harm - albeit a larger group.


ESO-report: Where are New Jobs Generated?


On June 4, IFN arranged a seminar on the ESO report "Job Dynamics in Swedish industry 1990-2009" (Expert Group on Public Economics). Economists Fredrik Heyman, Pehr-Johan Norbäck and Lars Persson, all IFN, presented the results of their study: What kinds of jobs have been lost or created? Do the employees have low or high education? How is the job dynamics between the service sector and manufacturing industry? Roland Bladh, European Commission's Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs attended the workshop and gave his views on the subject.


Award Ceremony -- Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2013


Maryann Feldman, Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, has been awarded the prestigious Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2013. On Wednesday, she received the price during a ceremony in which Anders Borg, Minister for Finance, participated. She held a prize lecture on "The Character of Place: Economic Development, Business Strategy and Prosperity." The price sum is 100,000 euros. The partners behind the Award are Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Entreprenörskapsforum) and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN). Vinnova is sponsoring the price and businessman Melker Schörling is a donor.


Will information on quality and results change the health care system?


Within the framework of cooperation between IFN and SNS, Centre for Business and Policy Studies, a seminar was held on March 6. The question asked was "how to measure quality and outcomes of health care?" Elliott Fisher, leading expert in the American health care debate, together with Johan Calltorp, professor at the Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, shared their perspectives.


Have Private Schools Improved Students Performance?

Scientists Mikael Lindahl and Anders Böhlmark, both affiliated to IFAU, have found positive effects of the Swedish reform that in 1992 opened up for privately managed schools: "Average school results improved in municipalities with higher percentage of privately managed schools. The improvements include both students in public and private schools", Lindahl and Böhlmark reported at a seminar organized by SNS on December 4. The study and the seminar is part of collaboration between IFN and SNS on the service sector economy. IFN-researcher Jonas Vlachos was invited to comment on the report.  

What does user satisfaction tell us about the quality of welfare services?

As part of its research program Service sector economy, IFN has teamed up with SNS, Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle (Centre for Business and Policy Studies). Within the framework of this cooperation on November 15, SNS organized a seminar, asking the question "What does customer satisfaction tell us about the quality of welfare services?"

Research report about public procurement

During the later part of the last century the Swedish industrial society changed into a service economy. To reflecting this development IFN has introduced the program, Service sector economy. As part of the research program IFN in 2012 teamed up with SNS, Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle. Within the framework of this cooperation on November 8, SNS organized a seminar on public procurement. A report was presented: "Public procurement from the research horizon."

Better health with income equality?


Tuesday October 9, IFN, Institute of Industrial Economics, arranged a seminar on the book Blir vi sjuka av inkomstskillnader? (Is income inequality making us ill?). Three IFN researchers are the authors of this research- and study guide on the subject: Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson and Daniel Waldenström. There was a discussion about the difficulties in interpreting the facts, what inequality really is, the need for further research in this field and what politicians can do to facilitate the needs and wishes of people to live a better life.


IFN Stockholm Conference 2011 on Entrepreneurship, Firm Growth and Ownership Change

In the last decade we have observed an increased interest from scholars on how innovations are financed, developed, and commercialized, and on the effects of ownership changes on the reorganization and growth of established firms. This was the theme for the IFN Stockholm Conference 2011 on June 9–10. The conference was for invited researchers only.



IFN Stockholm Conference 2010 on Innovation, Ownership and Competition Policy


On June 3–4, 2010, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) organized an international conference on the topic "Innovation, Ownership and Competition Policy". The first purpose of the conference was to contribute to the understanding of the interaction between ownership, ownership changes, restructuring and innovation in the industrial development process. The second purpose was to enhance our understanding of the economic effects of competition policy on innovation. The conference was for invited participants only.



Designing Electricity Auctions – Workshop in Stockholm 15–16 September, 2009


On September 15–16, a group of international experts on electricity auctions participated in a IFN workshop in Stockholm. The theme was "Designing Electricity Auctions" and the participants were discussing policy implications for the design of electricity auctions based on recent scientific findings (theoretical, empirical, experimental or simulated). Among the participants were, to mention some, Lawrence Ausubel (University of Maryland), Nils-Henrik von der Fehr (University of Oslo) and Frank Wolak (Stanford University). The workshop was organized within the IFN Research Program The Economics of Electricity Markets.


IFN Stockholm Conference 2009 on Ownership, Organization and Industrial Development


On September 10 - 11, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) organized an international conference on the economics of ownership, organization and industrial development. The first purpose of the workshop was to contribute to the understanding of the interaction between ownership and organizational form and its effects on firm behavior. The second purpose was to enhance our understanding of the economic effects of private equity and venture capital activity. In particular, the focus was on real economic effects such as effects on innovation, restructuring, productivity, employment, and welfare.


Beyond the resource constraint: Alternative ways to improve schooling - Conference in Vaxholm 28–29 May 2009

A well functioning schooling system is important for a number of reasons; for example, schooling is an input in the accumulation human capital, economic well-being and growth. The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) is organizing an international two-day conference of alternative ways to improve schooling.




Workshop on "Testing Trade Models with Labor Market Heterogeneity"

On December 5–6, 2008, IFN, The Leverhulme Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy and CIBER at Michigan State University arranged a workshop on globalization and labor markets. Trade models with heterogeneous firms have been a major focus of research for the past decade. More recently, some trade theorists have begun to enrich these models by incorporating heterogeneity in the labor market as well. Such research holds the potential to uncover connections between the nexus of worker and firm decisions with characteristics of the global environment. The idea of the workshop was to bring together a small group of theorists who are working on such models with empiricists who are familiar with matched worker-firm data sources. 


Workshop on Market Structure, Ownership, and Firm Performance in East Asia

IFN invited international researchers working on foreign direct investment in East Asia for a two-day workshop in Stockholm on October 24–25, 2008. East Asia is a major receiver of FDI and the participants discussed how these inflows of foreign multinational firms affect producer concentration, productivity, exports, employment and other important economic factors. The focus was on the development in six East Asian countries: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research


At a seminar on 23 October 2008, IFN and its partners FSF and Nutek launched the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research. The award, which will be given annually, honors outstanding research contributions furthering our understanding of the role and importance of entrepreneurship and small business development. 


Workshop on Privatization

IFN invited international researchers working on the economics of privatization to a two-day workshop in Stockholm, June 16-17, 2008. Privatization is broadly defined and includes theoretical and empirical perspectives on topics such as contracting for government services, public procurement, voucher systems, public-private partnerships, and the sale of government-owned companies. 


Nordic workshop on electricity economics (NOREL)

The overall purpose of this two-day workshop in Stockholm, June 9-10, was to stimulate cooperation and exchange of knowledge among Nordic researchers contributing to the field of electricity economics. 



Nordic workshop in industrial organization (NORIO VI)

The conference was held June 1-2, 2007, at Villa Källhagen, beautifully situated on the Djurgården pensinsula in the middle of Stockholm. The keynote speaker was Mark Armstrong, professor at UCL and co-editor of RAND. He gave a talk titled "Mobile Call Termination in the UK".



Conference on Globalization of the Production of Services

On November 20, 2006, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics arranged a conference on globalization of the service production and the conditions for small open economies, such as the Swedish economy. The conference, which assembled leading international researchers as well as Swedish policy debaters, focused on issues as: How does information technology influence the globalization of services and what are the effects for growth and prosperity? Which role is played by national policies and bilateral and multilateral agreements?

Conference on Globalization and Corporate Restructuring


Vaxholm, 10–11 September 2006. Hosted by Research Institute of Industrial Economics with financial support from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. Organizers: Katariina Hakkala and Lars Persson, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

Leading Research Environment

IFN at the top


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The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, IFN, is a private and independent foundation devoted to pursuing highly relevant research for trade and industry.

The researchers at IFN are united in their belief that economic methods offer a powerful tool for understanding society.

The main research programs are:

  1. economics of entrepreneurship
  2. globalization and corporate restructuring
  3. economics of the service sector
  4. economics of the electricity markets
  5. economics of institutions and culture.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 |