Headlines 2015

A region should be seen as an ecosystem!


On December 7, Özge Öner, IFN, participated in a seminar about dynamics of the city and surrounding regions. The seminar was organized by Entrepreneurship Forum. Geoffrey Hewings, professor at the University of Illinois, opened with a presentation of research on the degree of interdependence between the city and its metropolitan area. “It is very large but often unmeasured and therefore under-appreciated,” said Hewings.

Geoffrey Hewings explained the so-called hollowing out effect, i.e. companies are becoming less dependent on the local market and are reaching out to markets further away, and thereby strengthening their competitiveness.

Özge Öner explained that the population is declining in almost 200 of the 290 Swedish municipalities. People with higher education are moving to the larger cities, while the older and less educated remain in small towns. She explained that many refugees end up in depopulated towns and areas. In this way local politicians want to stop depopulation, though this is a short term policy, said Öner.

She pointed to the fact that the services sector to often is neglected in local politics. Also in the field of research this sector is perceived  as "fuzzy" (Swedish: flum), even though it often functions as a stepping stone into the job market and provides more jobs than any other sector for immigrants and young people. She stated that politics too often deal with reality as different "compartments" but that "wholesome regional research is based on an ecosystem-idea”.

Geoffrey Hewings' presentation

Özge Öner's research

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