In this publication, Anders Johnson traces the development and activities of IFN since its inception in 1939 to the present.
The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (Institutet för Näringslivsforskning, IFN) was founded in 1939. It grew into Sweden’s largest institute for applied economic research on issues relevant to trade and industry, and was for a long time the country’s only such institution. Many studies have also addressed issues in economic history and geography, business, finance, sociology, and engineering.
The institute has two important functions: first, to build bridges between academia and industry; and second, to promote greater diversity in Swedish social science research, challenge conventional wisdom, and offer alternative perspectives on the economy.
Initially, the institute was named the Industrial Institute for Economic and Social Research (Industriens Utredningsinstitut, IUI). While at first focusing mainly on manufacturing, the researchers soon began to study other sectors of the economy as well. The name was changed to IFN (Institutet för Näringslivsforskning) in 2006 to better reflect the breadth of its research activities.
Johnson is a writer and former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, and has authored more than forty books on the history of trade and industry.