Establishing "corporate economics"


Participants at the 2018 NICE conference in Stockholm.

In the process of founding Nordic Initiative for Corporate Economics, NICE, Alexander Ljungqvist and Lars Persson have coined the term “corporate economics.” When opening the conference August 17, Ljungqvist explained that “each of us here studies the corporation within the context of our various economic specialties. Our aim at this conference is to establish common ground that bridges our specialties, or what we call corporate economics". Ljungqvist said that by interacting and sharing various perspectives, it is his hope that the researchers will enrich the economic study of corporations.

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From Left: Otto Toivonen, Esther Ann Bøler and Per Olsson.


The Nordic Initiative for Corporate Economics held its first international conference on August 17–18 in Stockholm. About 25 researchers participated. Why did they attend the conference?

“I want to get to know more Nordic researchers with research interests similar to mine, and to see their work”, said Otto Toivonen, Professor at Helsinki Center of Economic Research and on the Steering Committee of NICE. “It’s a great idea to bring together people from different fields,” replied Esther Ann Bøler, Assistant Professor at Imperial College Business School in London. She went on saying that most of the time she meets the same people at the same conferences. Namely people in her specific field of research. At NICE she is looking forward to getting the bigger picture and to be introduced to new angles and new people. Per Olsson, Professor at ESMT Berlin, Center for Financial Reporting and Auditing, explained that he had come to the NICE conference “to interact and communicate with neighboring disciplines. And to get inspiration from each other’s research”.

And what are their hopes for NICE?

Esther Ann Bøler hopes that the annual NICE conferences “might inspire new projects.” Per Olsson expects that it will “successfully foster interdisciplinary cooperation.” He wishes that this cooperation will “broaden the research questions to become more conceptual and not so theoretical.” This, he believes, is essential for research results to reach more people. Otto Toivonen said that NICE is exciting as it is challenging researchers. He hopes that it will “move research forward” and explained that he “liked very much” the papers that were presented at the conference in Stockholm.

“Corporate economics,” what does it mean?

“It is a work in progress,” said Otto Toivonen, adding that the term will be defined by the work of people that take part in the NICE network. Per Olsson agreed and Toivonen complemented: “It is for researchers interested in firms.” Esther Ann Bøler agreed that an interest in firms is a common denominator for researchers in the field of corporate economics. “My first take was that there ought to be a research field called corporate economics, why isn’t there … ”.

Learn more about NICE

Summary of the conference to come

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