The Economics of Institutions and Culture

Current projects

The project has three overarching purposes. One is to investigate how globalization affects growth-related social attitudes like trust, tolerance and religion. A second purpose is to look at how formal institutions, i.e., laws and rules, affect important economic outcomes, such as economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovations, the size of government and corruption. It is also studied how globalization affects the emergence of institutions of this kind. The third purpose is to carry out new research concerning how social and cultural factors, like trust, tolerance and religion, affect economic outcomes like entrepreneurship and growth.

The project empirically studies how cultural attitudes like trust are formed, how norms change and how they affect the use of social insurance. The study also analyses how these attitudes affect entrepreneurship, incomes and human capital.

This project focuses on whether globalization affects a willingness to teach kids tolerance; how political legitimacy influences the growth effects of government size; how social trust relates to how soon reforms to make the central bank more independent are undertaken; how globalization affects the prevalence of religious tolerance; whether tolerance is conducive to entrepreneurship; and if the welfare state and religion are substitutes.

The overall purpose of this research program is to study the welfare state from an evolutionary point of view.

This project aims to identify causal relationships between social attitudes and economic outcomes, both on the country level and on the individual level. Economic outcomes are defined as, e.g., economic growth, trade, investments, entrepreneurship and activities relating to globalization. Social attitudes comprise, e.g., trust, tolerance and religion. This is a relatively new but fast-growing research field in economics, where we believe we can contribute with new knowledge, produced with new methods, about how the way the economy functions is affected by social, or cultural, factors.

International cooperation

Visiting researchers

Collaborating with others is essential for IFN as a research institute. Our researchers co-author articles with colleagues from other institutes, and many also teach at various universities and colleges.

As part of our extensive program of guest researchers, leading international researchers visit the institute. The visitors present and pursue their research as well as interact and cooperate with researchers at IFN.

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