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Completed: The Economics of the Service Sector

There is a long tradition of research with a service perspective at IFN. In 2006, this research was consolidated into a research program. A series of subjects has been researched since, including the welfare sector, retail, as well as minimum wages and employment protection. After 15 years with a continuous flow of articles, books, reports and conferences, the program came to an end in 2021.

Photo: Karl Gabor.

When the program started in 2006, the first projects dealt with international trade in services, localization of knowledge-intensive services and regulation of IT services. However, the focus soon shifted towards the welfare sector and the labor markets aspects of the service sector. 

Research on the welfare sector has included management, efficiency, market models and technologies. In education, research has dealt with national reforms and school quality.

Minimum wages are particularly relevant in the service sector, where they are binding in several occupations. Both minimum wages and employment protection have been studied within the program. 

The program also contained research on market structure and productivity in retail and the hospitality sector, as well as the importance of personal traits in the labor market.

The main financial contributors of the program were Almega and the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation.