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

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: Emil Bustos, Malin Gardberg, Fredrik Heyman, Henrik Horn, Pehr-Johan Norbäck, Martin Olsson, Matilda Orth, Erik Prawitz, Fredrik Sjöholm and Melinda Suveg.

Affiliated researchers: Thor Berger, Shon Ferguson, Jens Josephson, Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer, Florin Maican, Alexander Montag, Lars Oxelheim, Marco Pagano and Annalisa Scognamiglio.

PhD students: Henrik Hällerfors and Olga Lark.