The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency

Author(s): Jens Forssbæck and Lars Oxelheim
Year: 2014Pages: 616Publisher: Oxford University PressCity: New York
ISBN: 978-0-19-991769-3

This is one of the first reference works to survey existing research on transparency and explore its meaning and significance in different areas. It provides an up-to-date account of existing work on and approaches to transparency in economic research. Contributions are authoritative, yet accessible and approach transparency from a range of discplines.

In recent years, the term 'transparency' has emerged as one of the most popular and keenly-touted concepts around. In the economic-political debate, the principle of transparency is often advocated as a prerequisite for accountability, legitimacy, policy efficiency, and good governance, as well as a universal remedy against corruption, corporate and political scandals, financial crises, and a host of other problems.

But transparency is more than a mere catch-phrase. Increased transparency is a bearing ideal behind regulatory reform in many areas, including financial reporting and banking regulation. Individual governments as well as multilateral bodies have launched broad-based initiatives to enhance transparency in both economic and other policy domains. Parallel to these developments, the concept of transparency has seeped its way into academic research in a wide range of social science disciplines, including the economic sciences.

This increased importance of transparency in economics and business studies has called for a reference work that surveys existing research on transparency and explores its meaning and significance in different areas. The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency is such a reference. Comprised of authoritative yet accessible contributions by leading scholars, this Handbook addresses questions such as: What is transparency? What is the rationale for transparency? What are the determinants and the effects of transparency? And is transparency always beneficial, or can it also be detrimental (if so, when)?

The chapters are presented in three sections that correspond to three broad themes. The first section addresses transparency in different areas of economic policy. The second section covers institutional transparency and explores the role of transparency in market integration and regulation. Finally, the third section focuses on corporate transparency. Taken together, this volume offers an up-to-date account of existing work on and approaches to transparency in economic research, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research, all from a blend of disciplinary perspectives.

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Forssbæck, Jens and Lars Oxelheim, eds. (2014), Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lars Oxelheim


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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