Visiting researcher: A way to exchange ideas


Over the years many guests have visited IFN and spent some time at the Institute. This is a way to exchange ideas with researchers working in other countries and to collaborate on projects. Ludek Kouba is a visitor of IFN during spring and summer of 2019. He is an associate professor at the Department of Economics at Mendel University in Brno in the Czech Republic. Also, Kouba has a part-time engagement at the University of Economics in Prague where he gives lectures on institutional economics.

Kouba’s main areas of research are institutional economics and political economy. He has previously researched the interrelation of informal institutions and governance quality in shaping Welfare State attitudes. Today, he also addresses the impact of informal institutions on crowdfunding. Kouba has been interested in institutional economics ever since the outset of his research career. For these reasons, the IFN with its research program of Economics of Institutions and Culture is a very fitting place for him.

As a researcher at Mendel University, Kouba was offered the opportunity to go for a six-month-long research stay abroad. And IFN was his first choice. Through funding from the University, Kouba will be staying and working in Stockholm from the middle of February until the beginning of August. “My impression is that IFN offers a calm and friendly environment. And I believe that it is a stimulating setting for me to focus on my research,” says Kouba.

He looks forward to exchanging ideas with fellow researchers at IFN. Furthermore, Kouba expressed his fondness of the policy and discussion orientation of IFN, since this is one of his interests from earlier. When asked what the biggest change has been to research in Sweden compared to the Czech Republic, Kouba answers: “The students.” At the University in Brno, teaching takes up a big part of the hours, and hence, at IFN he can focus fully on his research activities.

Ludek Kouba has been in Stockholm once before. In 2014, he spent a week at IFN and presented his paper on Locus of Control at a brown bag seminar. “Stockholm is a very nice, cultural city with great architecture,” says Kouba being asked what he thinks about the city, “Besides vibrant Vasastan, where I live, I have liked charming residential districts like Nockeby, Ålsten or Gamla Enskede. During the coming warmer months, he is looking forward to exploring the surrounding of Stockholm and Archipelago. Besides, he plans to attend seminars that are offered both at IFN and other institutes in Stockholm dealing with economic agenda.

Text and Photo: Victoria Svensson

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