Working Paper No. 154

International Competition, Productivity Change and the Organisation of Production

The modern manufacturing firm competes with product quality improvements rather than cost efficient production of simpler products. R&D spending, marketing, availability of spare parts and service facilities, customs designs, etc. embody the product quality enhancing process, requiring considerable knowledge transfer and making information processing in a broad sense a major manufacturing activity. We can talk of a shift from a base in cost efficient processing to a product technology base, in which producers grow closer to their customers through internalizing part of the market process previously handled by independent traders. The important competition parameters are product innovations, which account for the bulk of measured R&D spending and marketing. In European firms, and in European firms based in small but advanced industrial countries in particular, the latter make up the bulk of foreign activities. Foreign activities are sizeable compared to the entire domestic manufacturing sector in countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Marketing through foreign establishment is a product quality raising factor, but also a means of climbing trade barriers.

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

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?


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

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