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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.

    Photo: Karl Gabor.

These current rapid structural changes raise a need to better understand how firms can, and should, act to remain globally competitive in times of change. How firms respond to changing preconditions will also be shaped by policymakers through labor market regulations, immigration policy, competition policy, tax policy, entrepreneurship policy, and education policy. And good evidence-based policymaking crucially depends on getting the facts right. To respond to this need, the program gathers researchers within international economics, industrial organization, corporate finance, and labor economics. We conduct research on three key themes.

Artificial Intelligence and Digitization. We study how technological change has and will affect firms’ productivity, competitiveness, human capital, and how the effects differ between firm types, industries, regions, and over the business cycle.

Global Firms and International Integration. We study international trade agreements and other determinants to globalization, and how this, in turn, affects the internal organization and human capital of firms, their competitiveness, patterns of trade, and localization of production.

Corporate Governance and Ownership. We study how corporate governance and ownership interact with efficient matching of human capital to firms, with human capital acquisition and development, and with compensation of human capital. We also study who becomes a corporate leader and capital provision to new ventures.

Our team has experience with modern econometric tools, developing novel theory models, publishing in highly ranked economics journals, interacting with the international research community, and with communicating research findings to policymakers and a wider business audience. A key resource we draw on is access to “big data” administrative linked firm and worker data covering the population of Swedish firms and workers over three decades. The majority of the funding for the program is from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, but researchers within the program also obtain financing from other sources.

Researchers

Mårten Blix, Malin Gardberg, Björn Tyrefors, Magnus Henrekson, Fredrik Heyman, Per Hjertstrand, Henrik Horn, Dagmar Müller, Pehr-Johan Norbäck, Martin Olsson, Lars Persson, Fredrik Sjöholm and Daniel Waldenström.

Affiliated researchers

Carl Magnus Bjuggren, Karin Edmark, Shon Ferguson, Joakim Jansson, Louise Johannesson, Jens Josephson, Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer, Erik Lindqvist, Alexander Ljungqvist, Kaveh Majlesi, Nikita Koptyug, Lars Oxelheim, Marco Pagano, Annalisa Scognamiglio and Bengt Söderlund.

PhD students

Simon Ek, Alexander Montag, Charlotta Olofsson and Olga Lark.