Research faculty

Niclas Berggren

Associate Professor, Program Director

Research interests: Institutional economics and public choice; trust, tolerance and religion; the role of beauty in politics.

Among the questions that Niclas Berggren tries to answer with his research:

  • How do social variables (like trust, tolerance and religion) affect the way the economy functions?
  • Is there a relationship between the degree to which an economy is market-oriented and social variables (like trust and tolerance)?
  • Which role does beauty play for the electoral success of politicians?


New research

The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Reward It Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl and Panu Poutvaara


Publications in peer-reviewed journals

Berggren, Niclas, Bjørnskov, Christian and Nilsson, Therese (2017). ”What Aspects of Society Matter for the Quality of Life of a Minority? Global Evidence from the New Gay Happiness Index”. Social Indicators Research, forthcoming. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Jordahl, Henrik and Poutvaara, Panu (2017). ”The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Reward It”. Journal of Public Economics, 146(February): 79-86. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese (2016). "Tolerance in the United States: Does Economic Freedom Transform Racial, Religious, Political and Sexual Attitudes?”. European Journal of Political Economy, 45(December): 53-70. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2016). "Does Belief in Objective Morality Lead to Coercion? An Analysis of the Arguments of Kelsen and Buchanan”. Review of Austrian Economics, 29(3): 315-326. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Sven-Olov Daunfeldt and Jörgen Hellström (2016). "Does Social Trust Speed Up Reforms? The Case of Central-Bank Independence”. Journal of Institutional Economics, 12(2): 395-415Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese (2015). ”Globalization and the Transmission of Social Values: The Case of Tolerance”. Journal of Comparative Economics, 43(2): 371-389. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Bjørnskov, Christian and Lipka, David (2015). "Legitimacy and the Cost of Government." Public Choice, 162(3-4): 307-328. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Bergh, Andreas and Bjørnskov, Christian (2015). "What Matters for Growth in Europe? Institutions versus Policies, Quality versus Instability." Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 18(1): 69-88. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese (2014). "Market Institutions Bring Tolerance, Especially Where There Is Social Trust." Applied Economics Letters, 21(17): 1234-1237. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas, Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov and Hellström, Jörgen (2014). "Social Trust and Central-Bank Independence." European Journal of Political Economy, 34(June): 425-439. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas (2014). "The Calculus of Consent at Fifty: Insights for Liberalism." Independent Review, 18(3): 373-389. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2014). ”Ekonomins grund i kultur och institutioner.” ["The Economy's Cultural and Institutional Roots."] Ekonomiska Samfundets Tidskrift, 67(1): 6–15. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Bjørnskov, Christian (2013). "Does Religiosity Promote Property Rights and the Rule of Law?" Journal of Institutional Economics, 9(2): 161-185. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese (2013). "Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance?" Kyklos, 66(2): 177-207. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas and Elinder, Mikael (2012). "Tolerance and Growth: Modeling the Empirical Relationship", Public Choice, 153(3-4): 495-502. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas (2012). "The Calculus of Consent: Some Swedish Connections", Public Choice, 152(3-4): 313-321. Link.

Berggren, Niclas  and Elinder, Mikael (2012). "Is Tolerance Good or Bad for Growth?" Public Choice, 150(1–2): 283–308. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas, Bergh, Andreas and Bjørnskov, Christian (2012). "The Growth Effects of Institutional Instability", Journal of Institutional Economics, 8(2): 187-224. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas (2012). "Time for Behavioral Political Economy? An Analysis of Articles in Behavioral Economics", Review of Austrian Economics, 25(3): 199-221. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas and Bjørnskov, Christian (2011). "Is the Importance of Religion in Daily Life Related to Social Trust? Cross-Country and Cross-State Comparisons", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 80(3): 459-480. Link. Pdf.

Berggren, Niclas, Jordahl, Henrik  and Poutvaara, Panu (2010). "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success." Journal of Public Economics, 94(1-2): 8-15. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Jordahl, Henrik  and Stern, Charlotta (2009). "The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists." Finnish Economic Papers, 22(2): 75-88. Link (article). Link (supplement).

Poutvaara, Panu, Jordahl, Henrik and Berggren, Niclas (2009). "Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(5): 1132-1135. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2009). "Choosing One's Own Informal Institutions: On Hayek's Critique of Keynes's Immoralism." Constitutional Political Economy, 20(2): 139-159. Link.

Berggren, Niclas, Elinder, Mikael and Jordahl, Henrik (2008). "Trust and Growth: A Shaky Relationship." Empirical Economics, 35(2): 251-274. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2006). "Legal Positivism and Property Rights: A Critique of Hayek and Peczenik." Constitutional Political Economy, 17(3): 217-235. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Jordahl, Henrik (2006). "Free to Trust: Economic Freedom and Social Capital." Kyklos, 59(2): 141-169. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Jordahl, Henrik (2005). "Does Free Trade Really Reduce Growth? Further Testing Using the Economic Freedom Index." Public Choice, 122(1-2): 99-114. Link.

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter and Berggren, Niclas (2004). "Economic Consequences of Constitutions: A Theory and Survey." Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines, 14(1): 3-42. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2004). "Does Ethical Subjectivism Pose a Challenge to Classical Liberalism?" Reason Papers, 27(Fall): 69-86. Link.

Berggren, Niclas and Karlson, Nils (2003). "Constitutionalism, Division of Power, and Transaction Costs." Public Choice, 117(1-2): 99-124. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2003). "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey." The Independent Review, 8(2): 193-211. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (2000). "Implementing Generality while Reducing the Risk for Fiscal Explosion." Constitutional Political Economy, 11(4): 353-369. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (1999). "A Preference-Utilitarian Foundation for the Generality Principle." Constitutional Political Economy, 10(4): 339-353. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (1999). "Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?" Public Choice, 100(3-4): 203-223. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (1997). "Rhetoric or Reality? An Economic Analysis of the Effects of Religion in Sweden." Journal of Socio-Economics, 26(6): 571-596. Link.

Berggren, Niclas (1996). "Social Order through Constitutional Choice: A Contractarian Proposal." Public Choice, 89(3-4): 339-361. Link.

Niclas Berggren


Ph: +46 8 665 4520


Niclas Berggren is a researcher at IFN and program director for the research program The Economics of Institutions and Culture. He got his PhD and the title of docent (Associate Professor) from the Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics; he also got the title of docent from the University of Economics in Prague. He is one of the editors of the journal of the Swedish Economic Association, Ekonomisk Debatt, and is affiliated with the Department of Institutional, Environmental and Experimental Economics (KIE) at the University of Economics in Prague.

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Global Award

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The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research is the foremost global award for research on entrepreneurship.This Prize is awarded annually with a prize sum of EUR 100,000.

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Professor Philippe Aghion, Collège de France, is the winner of the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2016. He will receive the award at a ceremony on May 10, 2016, in Stockholm.

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