Annual Report

Research Output at IFN 2001–2019

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 2019 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 2001–2019. The average number was 22 per year up to 2005. From 2006, the number of published working papers has increased, and 2018 is, so far, the most productive year in the institute’s history with 64 published working papers. During the years 2015–2017, the average number was 50 papers per year, and in 2019, 53 working papers were published.


Figure 1. Number of IFN Working Papers, 2001–2019.

WP_årsbok 2019

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 2001–2019. In 2019, 66 journal articles and book chapters were published, which is a decrease compared with the two previous years, but just above average for the period 2014–2016. The decrease in the number of articles, after adjustment for non-IFN authors, is smaller and matches the average for the previous five years, except for the peak year 2018.


Figure 2. Number of journal articles and book chapters in English, 2001–2019.

Tidskr+bok_årsbok 2019

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 2019, IFN researchers published a total of 56 journal articles (35 with adjustment for external co-authors).

Because of the delay 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 2019, 66 articles were accepted for publication.


Figure 3. Number of articles in peer reviewed journals, 2001–2019.

Tidskr_årsbok 2019

Note: See Figure 2.

The above measures 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 uses an internal grading system; see Appendix below. This scorecard aims at striking an appropriate balance between the different tradeoffs discussed above. It has been developed with IFN’s objective in mind.

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 2019 was 156, which is a decrease by 23 per cent or 48 points compared with 2018: The number of accepted articles 2019 was not just unusually large; many of the articles were accepted in highly ranked journals, which indicate that the publication score is likely to increase in 2020.


Figure 4. Number of publication points based on IFN’s scorecard, 2001–2019.

Publ poäng_årsbok 2019

Note: See Figure 2.


IFN’s researchers also publish books and dissertations – see Table 1. In 2019, 15 books and dissertations were published.

Table 1. Books and dissertations authored by IFN’s researchers, 2008–2019.

            Tabell böcker 2019.htm


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 2019, 36 studies were published in Swedish. This is the highest number since 1979 and the second highest in the institute's 80-year history.


Figure 5. Number of Works Published in IFN’s Swedish Reprint Series, 2001–2019.

Sv Repr_årsbok 2019

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. In 2019, one study was published in this series.

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 2019, eight 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 Kvartal, Respons and Axess, as well as in international magazines and publication series. In 2019, IFN researchers published 20 such contributions, 13 in Swedish and seven 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, 73 such articles were published in 2019, whereof 16 contributions in Svenska Dagbladet and 26 in Dagens Nyheter. In addition, IFN researchers published eight 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 or 4* 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 based on Clarivate's impact factor measure published in the Journal Citation Reports; the following selected journals of particular importance for IFN:  European Economic Review, AEJ: Microeconomics, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Public Economics and Journal of Business Venturing; and 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.


Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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, Lars Backsell.

Professor Boyan Jovanovic, New York University, is the winner of the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2019. 

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