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IFN in the Press

IFN researchers are regullary interviewed by the media. International press clippings are found here, whereas Swedish and Scandinavian press clippings are found on our Swedish website.

Latest articles
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18 April 2022

The brave new world of Swedish education

Magnus Henrekson's and Johan Wennström's book Dumbing Down: The Crisis of Quality and Equity in a Once-Great Shool System – and How to Reverse the Trend, is reviewed in The Critic.

The Critic

27 October 2021

Power and Possums

Magnus Henrekson, IFN, is interviewed in ABC National Radio's podcast Counterpoint.

Counterpoint/ ABC Radio National

26 January 2021

The dynamic impact of exporting on firm R&D investment

Matilda Orth, IFN, and Florin Maican, affiliated to the IFN have written a column on the dynamic impact of exporting on firm R&D investment in Vox EU. Together with their co-authors Mark Roberts, Pennsylvania State University, and Van Anh Vuong, Maastricht University they use a structural framework to estimate the returns to innovation investments and analyze the impact of trade of those returns.

Read the column here

Vox EU

20 December 2020

Schwedens Sonderweg: Alles anders

Lars Calmfors, IFN and University of Stockholm is interviewed by German paper Capital on the Covid crisis:

"Im Vergleich mit anderen Ländern, hat es Schweden wirtschaftlich nicht so hart getroffen“, sagt auch Lars Calmfors, Ökonom und Professor am Institute for International Economic Studies der Stockholm University. Es sei aber schwierig zu sagen, inwiefern das allein mit der schwedischen Strategie zusammenhänge. „Da spielen viele weitere Faktoren hinein: ökonomische Strukturen, fiskale Unterstützungsmaßnahmen, die Ausbreitung des Virus“, sagt er. Betroffen seien vor allem die Bereiche der Wirtschaft, die direkten Kontakt erfordern, wie der Tourismus, die Eventbranche und die Gastronomie. Der Industrie gehe es hingegen nach einem Einbruch im Frühjahr besser und auch der Onlinehandel sei deutlich gewachsen. Mit Blick auf die hohen Infektions- und Todeszahlen gibt er aber zu bedenken: „Wir haben ökonomisch vielleicht etwas gewonnen, aber der Preis dafür war mit Blick auf verlorene Menschenleben sehr hoch.“

Compared to other countries, Sweden has not been hit so hard economically," says Lars Calmfors, economist and professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. But it is difficult to say to what extent this is solely related to the Swedish strategy. "Many other factors play a role here: economic structures, fiscal support measures, the spread of the virus," he says. The areas of the economy that require direct contact, such as tourism, the event industry and gastronomy, are particularly affected. The industry, however, is doing better after a slump in spring and online trading has also grown significantly. With a view to the high number of infections and deaths, however, he points out: "We may have won something economically, but the price for it was very high in terms of human lives lost.

Read the article here ( in German)


18 December 2020

Normas voluntarias: punto final para el experimento pandémico de Suecia

Lars Calmfors, IFN, is referred to in an article in La Nacion.

The paper writes about Sweden's Covid strategy:

"El miedo al virus y los consejos del gobierno para evitar interacciones sociales han tenido impacto en la demanda interna, dañando la confianza de los inversores y las empresas, dice Lars Calmfors, economista y miembro de la Real Academia de las Ciencias de Suecia.

"A los países con restricciones obligatorias les fue mejor que a nosotros", agrega Calmfors."

Fear of the virus and government advice to avoid social interactions have had an impact om domestic demand, damaging investor and business confidence, says Lars Calmfors, an economist and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. "Countries with mandatory restrictions did better than us," adds Calmfors.

Read the article here

And here

La Nacion

18 December 2020

Covid-19: “Teríamos de atribuir um valor muito baixo às vidas perdidas para dizer que a estratégia sueca foi ‘economicamente lucrativa’”

Lars Calmfors, IFN and University of Stockholm, is interviewed by Portuguese paper Publico.

"O professor emérito de Economia Internacional da Universidade de Estocolmo, investigador do Instituto de Investigação de Economia Industrial e membro da Academia Real de Ciências da Suécia é crítico da estratégia da Suécia, mesmo do ponto de vista económico. Lars Calmfors aponta, no entanto, que os programas de apoio a empresas e agregados financiados pelo Governo funcionaram bem. E diz que em décadas de presença em debates públicos difíceis, nunca teve tantas reacções desfavoráveis."

The emeritus professor of International Economics at the University of Stockholm, a researcher at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is critical of Sweden's strategy, even from an economic point of view. Lars Calmfors points out, however, that government-funded business and household support programs have worked well. And he says that in decades of presence in difficult public debates, he has never had so many unfavorable reactions.

Read the article ( in Portuguese)


15 December 2020

A economia da Suécia não está mal, mas as dos vizinhos nórdicos estão melhores. O que correu mal na estratégia de Estocolmo?

Lars Calmfors, IFN, is interviewed by Observador:

The paper reports on Sweden's Covid strategy and its implications for the Swedish economy:

"PIB terá caído menos mas comércio está em dificuldades e taxa de desemprego não era tão alta desde 1998. Economista Lars Calmfors junta número de mortos à equação e fala em "prejuízo económico enorme”

GDP will have fallen less but trade is struggling and unemployment rate has not been so high since 1998. Economist Lars Calmfors adds death toll to the equation and speaks of "huge economic loss".

Read the article here


20 November 2020

La Suède, ce modèle qui ne se ressemble plus

Lars Calmfors, IFN, is interviewed by Les Echos on Sweden's view on the EU. Swexit is not on the Swedish Agenda, says Lars Calmfors:

"Le « Swexit » n’est pas à l’ordre du jour. « Les Suédois ont fait le chemin inverse des Britanniques, en devenant plus positifs à l’égard de
l’Union » rejointe en 1995, insiste Lars Calmfors. Cet économiste moustachu est celui qui avait présidé la commission ayant recommandé
un report de l’adhésion du royaume à la zone euro, finalement rejetée par référendum en 2003 et tombée dans les oubliettes depuis.
« Nous aimons surtout l’UE comme une zone de libre-échange qui facilite le commerce, reconnaîtil. Mais nous la souhaiterions aussi plus
ambitieuse dans sa politique climatique ou sur l’immigration, avec un partage plus équitabledes réfugiés. »"

Read more

Les Echos

9 November 2020

Capital taxation: A survey of the evidence

Daniel Waldenström, IFN, and Spencer Bastani, affiliated to IFN, write about capital taxation in Vox EU.

"The research on optimal capital taxation has undergone large changes. For a long time, the conventional wisdom was that capital income should not be taxed, mainly due to the influential studies of Atkinson and Stiglitz (1976), Judd (1985), and Chamley (1986). These studies emphasised the costly distortions imposed by capital income taxation on individual savings decisions. In the last decades, however, several notable contributions have challenged these studies, noting that such distortions can be useful to counter other distortions, or to promote equity objectives.  

The main argument for taxing capital income, and capital more generally, in this new generation of studies, is that labour income taxation can be a blunt instrument for redistribution when there is substantial heterogeneity in wealth and capital income among individuals with the same labour income. Such heterogeneity arises when one, realistically, assumes that taxpayers differ not only in terms of their labour earning ability (as emphasised by the traditional literature), but also in terms of other characteristics, such as inheritances received, their achievable rates of return on their investments, and their preferences for saving. The combination of labour and capital taxes is therefore able to achieve potentially more efficient redistribution than if labour income were taxed alone. "

Read the article here

Vox EU

3 November 2020

U.S. Presidential Election: The Psychology of Victory

Niclas Berggren and Henrik Jordahl, IFN, are referred to in Psychology Today.

"A recent study entitled, ‘The right look: Conservative politicians look better and voters reward it’, found that politicians on the right of the political spectrum, on average, look more beautiful, a finding replicated in Europe, the U.S. and Australia.

The authors, Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl and Panu Poutvaara argue that as beautiful people earn more, they are more likely to oppose redistribution and so tend to end up on the right of the political spectrum."

Read more

Psychlogy Today

27 October 2020

Why Sweden is on the verge of another tech revolution

Magnus Henrekson, IFN, is interviewed by The Daily Telegraph on Sweden's flourishing tech sector.

Why is Sweden so successful when it comes to tech companies? One of the explanations is Sweden's lack of wealth tax according to Magnus Henrekson:

"This means that people are accumulating wealth and if they make an exit and a lot of money, they have to search for other investment opportunities", he says.

Read the article here

The Daily Telegraph

20 October 2020

We saved our economy in Sweden. But too many people died.

Lars Calmfors, IFN, writes about his views on the Swedish Covid strategy in Washington Post.

Lars Calmfors argues that we saved our economy, but too many people died. Other countries shouldn't rush to emulate our pandemic strategy.

"The jury is still out on how well Sweden copes with the pandemic in the longer run: Case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths fell to low levels in August and early September but are now rising again. Based on the numbers so far, however, it appears that Sweden’s failure to adopt a more cautious approach in the early phase of the pandemic caused an unnecessarily large number of deaths, most of them among the elderly. In my view, one would have to attach an unreasonably low value to their lives to conclude that the economic gains outweighed the human losses."

Read the article in Washington Post

Read the article in Anchorage Daily News

Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News

20 October 2020

Sweden's less strict measures have helped the economy...but we will soon be facing difficult tradeoffs

Lars Calmfors, IFN, is interviewed by Times of India about his views on Sweden's Covid strategy:

When asked if governments need to offer more economic stimuli from time to time Lars Calmfors replies:

"Yes, they will probably have to do this, but the tradeoffs will become increasingly difficult. In the spring, policies were easy. It was just a matter of pumping out money to stave off an economic disaster without any need or any possibility of fine tuning. But we cannot do this for two-three years; measures will have to be better calibrated. For example, there would be huge social losses if we subsidise people to do nothing through various furlough schemes, which we as well as many other European countries have been doing. We should increasingly try to support activities that have good prospects for long-run expansion and new hires. But it will not be easy to find the right balance."

Read the full article in Times of india

Times of India

2 October 2020

Senhorios discriminam casais homossexuais

Niclas Berggren,IFN, and Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, are referenced to in Portuguese newspaper Ardina.

Their paper "Religiosity and discrimination against same-sex couples: The case of Portugal's rental market" studies discrimination against same-sex couples in the Portuguese rental market. A correspondence field experiment with different types of couples shows that there is a 26% lower probability of a positive response for male same-sex couples.

Read more ( in Portuguese)

Find the paper here

Read about the research in Esquerda

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