Annual Report

Research Output at IFN 2001–2018

IFN’s research output has increased greatly compared to the early 2000s. This remains true regardless of whether we measure the number of working papers, journal articles, or book chapters published internationally or in Swedish. However, increased productivity without increased quality has limited value. Therefore, we evaluate the quality of research as well. An important measure is how often IFN scholars are published in the high-quality journals that have the greatest academic impact.

Below the quantitative and qualitative results of IFN research during 2018 are summarized and compared to previous years.


Publications in English

Normally, research is presented in the form of a paper in English. Following a first quality check, the paper is published in IFN’s Working Paper Series. The series can also include articles written by non-IFN researchers if the research was done while visiting IFN. Figure 1 presents the number of working papers published during the years 2001–2018. The average number was 22 per year up to 2005. From 2006, the number of published working papers has increased, with 2008 as the former peak year in the institute’s history with 56 published working papers. In the last years, an average of 50 working papers have been published. In 2018, 64 working papers were published, which is the highest number so far in the Institute’s history.


Figure 1. Number of IFN Working Papers, 2001–2018.


Because publications can take varying forms, there exists no unequivocal method to measure the number of published studies; research can be single-authored, or written in collaboration with colleagues outside of IFN, for example. Still, a first rough measure can be obtained by simply summing the number of journal articles and book chapters published in the institute's digital reprint series. Figure 2 gives these numbers for 2001–2018. In 2018, 76 journal articles and book chapters were published, which also is the highest number in the Institute’s history.


Figure 2. Number of journal articles and book chapters in English, 2001–2018.

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Note: The right column gives the number of publications adjusted for external co-authors. An article with one external co-author is counted as 0.71, with two external co-authors as 0.58, and so forth (according to the formula 1/√[1 + # of external co-authors]). Comments, Notes and Replies are counted as half an article.


Figure 3 presents the number of articles published in peer reviewed journals with and without adjustment for non-IFN co-authors. We see a large increase in recent years here as well. In 2018, IFN researchers published a total of 66 journal articles (38 with adjustment for external co-authors).

Because of a considerable delay occurs between the point when an article is accepted for publication and when it is actually published, the number of articles accepted during a given year is a better measure of contemporaneous research productivity. Starting in 2006, this information is gathered and continuously published on In 2018, 68 articles were accepted for publication.



Figure 3. Number of articles in peer reviewed journals, 2001–2018.

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Note: See Figure 2.


The measures above capture different aspects of the quantity of IFN’s research output. However, raw numbers are imprecise indicators of the quality of the published research. Journals differ greatly in quality, and IFN researchers aim at publishing their work in as highly ranked journals or book series as possible. To this end, IFN has developed an internal grading system; see Appendix below. This scorecard aims at striking an appropriate balance between the different trade-offs discussed above. It has been developed with IFN’s objective in mind; other institutions, given their stated missions, may benefit from having a different scoreboard.

Figure 4 shows the number of publication points with and without adjustment for external co-authorship. In recent years we note a pronounced increase in this measure compared to the early 2000s. The total publication score in 2018 was 206, which is an increase by 4.5 per cent or 9 points compared with 2017, and the highest score in IFN’s history. Even when adjusting for external co-authors, 2018 is a top year in terms of publication points (154 points compared with the previous highest score of 144).


Figure 4. Number of publication points based on IFN’s scorecard, 2001–2018.

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Note: See Figure 2.


IFN’s researchers also publish books and dissertations – see Table 1. In 2018, 19 books and dissertations were published.

Tablel 1. Books and dissertations authored by IFN’s researchers, 2008–2018.

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Publications in Swedish

As academia’s “third objective”—communicating research to people outside of academia—is explicitly included in IFN’s mission, publishing in Swedish is also important. In most cases, this occurs through the publication of articles written by researchers in Swedish language journals such as Ekonomisk Debatt and Ekonomiska Samfundets Tidskrift, though these efforts also include participation in collective volumes, expert reports for government commissions and agencies etc. Often, it is about popularizing the IFN researchers’ own, as well as others, research. Another important issue is to analyze questions of high policy relevance. These studies are published in IFN’s Swedish reprint series. In 2018, 28 studies were published in Swedish.


Figure 5. Number of Works Published in IFN’s Swedish Reprint Series, 2001–2018.

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Note: The right column gives the number of works adjusted for external co-authors. An article with one external co-author is counted as 0.71, with two external co-authors as 0.58, and so forth (according to the formula 1/√[1 + # of external co-authors]).


To create a channel for articles written in Swedish or English on topical issues related to the business sector, a new publication series called IFN Policy Papers was started in 2006. Five studies were published in this series in 2018.

In the series Research Surveys, we collect reports, both short and long reports, written by IFN researchers that give an overview of the state of research in IFN’s core areas. Normally, the shorter contributions are first published in the IFN Newsletter. Other research surveys often result from individual researchers’ collaboration with government agencies and other organizations. In 2018, three research surveys were published.

In order to further our efforts to communicate research to the general public, we publish popular science articles and book reviews in journals and magazines like Balans, Respons and Axess, as well as in international magazines and publication series. In 2018, IFN researchers published 17 such contributions, 14 in Swedish and three in English.

IFN researchers also participate in the public debate to a considerable degree, especially in the form of newspaper Op-ed contributions. In total, 75 such articles were published in 2018, whereof 22 contributions in Svenska Dagbladet and 24 in Dagens Nyheter. In addition, IFN researchers published 12 articles in Swedish newspapers, in the form of columns, which were not considered research based. These are listed at, “Övrigt på svenska”.


Appendix: The IFN System for Quality Adjustment of Research Output


Top-5 journals in economics: American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Review of Economic Studies.


Top journals in economics just below top-5, including policy journals with a very high impact factor: Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Literature, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and Economic Policy. Top-ranked journals outside economics such as Journal of Finance, American Political Science Review, Academy of Management Journal, Science, Nature, PNAS and American Journal of Sociology.


Other top journal in economics ranked as 4 or4* according to the Academic Journal Guide 2018 (AJG) or ranked as 3 according to the AJG and at the same time not lower than no. 30 among the Web of Science economics journals, and the following selected journals of particular importance for IFN: European Economic Review, AEJ: Microeconomics, Journal of Industrial Economics and Journal of Public Economics. Journals outside economics which have 4* according to the AJG (which do not score 8 points as described above).


Journals outside economics ranked AJG = 4.


Other economics journals ranked AJG = 3.


Other economics journals ranked 2 according to the AJG or included among the Web of Science economics journals, and journals outside economics listed in the Web of Science with an IF above 2 or with AJG = 3.


Other refereed journals outside economics listed in the Web of Science or with AJG = 2.


Other refereed journals.


Book chapters in high prestige series and/or contributions to collective volumes published by one of the leading publishers. In rare cases, the score can be higher.


Other book chapters (the book should normally be registered in EconLit).


For works written by affiliated researchers the score is halved. The latter also applies to work published by researchers who have left IFN when the work is published, but where IFN is listed as one of several affiliations in the published article.


Global index of the sharing economy

Timbro SEI

2018 Bergh Funcke Wernberg - Timbro Sharing Economy Index-1fHemsidan.jpg

Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund University, is one of the authors of this book. The Timbro Sharing Economy Index is the first global index of the sharing economy. The index has been compiled using traffic volume data and scraped data, and provides a unique insight into the driving factors behind the peer-to-peer economy.

About the book

International cooperation

Visiting researchers

Collaborating with others is essential for IFN as a research institute. Our researchers co-author articles with colleagues from other institutes, and many also teach at various universities and colleges.

As part of our extensive program of guest researchers, leading international researchers visit the institute. The visitors present and pursue their research as well as interact and cooperate with researchers at IFN.

Jordglob 1 för webb


Global Award

Research on entrepreneurship




The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research is the foremost global award for research on entrepreneurship.This Prize is awarded annually with a prize sum of EUR 100,000.

IFN in cooperation with Entreprenörskapsforum and Vinnova are the principals of the award, in cooperation with the donor, Stockholms Köpmansklubb.

Professor Olav Sorenson, Yale, is the winner of the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2018. 

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 |