This Website uses cookies. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies and to the terms and conditions listed in our data protection policy. Read more

Research Institute of Industrial Economics

The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) is a private and independent foundation conducting economic research with high integrity and focusing on the Swedish business sector. We strive to produce policy-relevant research. In a changing world, IFN ensures a fact-based perspective on crucial issues in society.

Our mission is to conduct high-quality research and to communicate this research to a broader audience. We take this matter seriously, and our researchers are both leading experts in fields relevant to the Swedish industry and sought after as experts in the public and private sector. The strength of the Institute is, no doubt, the competence of its’ staff.

This competence is expressed in the fact that IFN’s research is characterized by accuracy and intellectual vigor. IFN is one of the leading economic research environments in Sweden, and our research is both well-published and well-cited.

Fredrik Sjöholm, Professor and Managing Director

Our mission

The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) is a private and non-profit foundation. The Institute was founded in 1939 by the Federation of Swedish Industry (SI) and the Swedish Employers’ Confederation (SAF) to encourage research on economic and social issues steeped in significance for industrial development.

Our mission is to:

  • Conduct independent economic research of the highest international academic standing.
  • Contribute high-quality analyses and policy recommendations to public and private decision-makers regarding issues of great relevance for Swedish trade and industry.
  • Disseminate research results to the academic world and society as a whole.

Our research

We focus on the following research programs:

The Economics of Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is of crucial importance for realizing new ideas in well-functioning enterprises and contributing to economic growth. Despite its significance, entrepreneurship is still a relatively unexplored area within the field of economics. We want to change that by examining the underpinnings of entrepreneurship, including patent issues and policies regarding research and development.

Firm Competitiveness. Firms’ competitiveness in the business sector of the future hinges on securing competent human capital at the owner, management, and worker level. Currently a combination of structural shifts in technology and demand is affecting the resources that firms require to remain globally competitive. The rapid development in artificial intelligence and digitization threatens to automate more and more job tasks. And global cooperation, value chains, and economic integration patterns have shifted in the wake of both the financial crisis and the corona crisis.

Sustainable Energy Transition. Sustainable energy transition aims at drastically reducing fossil fuel consumption in society while simultaneously ensuring resource-efficient and reliable energy supply. This research program analyzes by way of formal economic analysis and econometric methods how markets function and how market designs and regulatory frameworks can be improved to achieve the sustainable energy transition.

Institutions, Markets and Enterprise. An economy does not function in a vacuum. Still, it consists of people of flesh and blood, moral values, attitudes towards their fellow human beings, and an ability to be affected by-laws, rules, and norms. This research program at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) studies how factors of this kind influence human behavior and, thereby, how the economy functions and how the economy, in turn, influences morality, norms, and social attitudes.

Taxes and Society. Taxes play a central role in all modern, industrialized societies. They finance public welfare and infrastructure, and they redistribute between groups in the population. Taxes also influence the decisions of companies and individuals in areas such as investment, savings, labor supply, education and career choices, and thus ultimately affect cyclical fluctuations as well as the long-term growth potential of the economy.

Non-partisan and independent research

Our research is non-partisan and independent. Professional integrity and objectivity characterize all research and analysis conducted at the Institute. No research funding, neither personal nor institutional, is accepted for projects with predetermined results or specific policy stances.

The research and researchers at the Institute are unified by the conviction that economics is an incomparably powerful tool for understanding society.

Research publications

IFN’s researchers produce articles published in Swedish and international research journals, in addition to our own publication series. The researchers also write books and regularly conduct research assignments for government agencies, ministries, and organizations such as the Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).


IFN regularly arranges research conferences. As articles within a given research area are presented at these conferences, they are mostly aimed at academics.


IFN offers two forms of seminars: policy seminars directed at the larger public that address current social issues and research seminars where IFN’s own researchers or guests present new research within their fields.


You can visit our website at to read about our contributors, acquaint yourself with our research, and receive information on future and past events. The English site is mostly aimed at researchers, while the Swedish site is directed toward everyone interested in our work.

Our collaborations

Collaborating with others is a matter of course for us as a research institute. Our researchers co-author articles with colleagues from other institutes, and many of them also teach at various universities and colleges. As part of our extensive program of guest researchers, leading Swedish and foreign researchers also visit the institute for some period of time, thereby contributing to our work.