Headlines 2018

A fortunate "four-leaf clover"


From left are Charlotta Olofsson, Simon Ek, Nicklas Nordfors and Victor Ahlqvist.

Three of IFN's research assistants have been admitted to doctoral studies at Swedish universities starting in the fall of 2018. One of the assistants will continue his career as an analyst and consultant at Copenhagen Economics. All four of them say that the time at IFN has provided a good insight into the work of a researcher and what it takes to succeed.

Charlotta Olofsson is originally from Åland. She has a Masters Degree in Economics from Stockholm University, where she wrote her essay on the relationship between immigration and international trade. During her studies, she practiced at the Ministry of Finance. Charlotta has been accepted to doctoral studies in economics at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University. She is planning to study issues related to firms and the labor market.

What is the most important thing you learned at IFN?

"I have worked a lot with Swedish registry data and learned a lot about programming and processing large amounts of data," explains Charlotta. She says that at IFN she has gained an overall picture of what research is and the work process. "And, the presentations of research at IFN research seminars have provided input from different research fields and different research methods. It has been great."

Simon got his master's degree in the spring of 2016 at Uppsala University. His essay was about the effect of minimum wage increases on wage development, hours worked and termination of employment within the Swedish hotel and restaurant industry. Simon is now returning to Uppsala University, where he will study for a doctoral degree in economics.

What does he want to study?

"Labor market and wage formation," he answers without blinking. Questions close to his work as secretary of the discontinued Swedish Labour Policy Council  (AER). A job he received after being a research assistant at IFN.

What has he learned at IFN and AER? "I have realized the importance of people who independently study politically charged questions where more facts are needed." He says that an excellent example of such a researcher is Henrik Jordahl who studies the service sector in general and profit-making companies in this sector in particular. "I have also realized the importance of working for a long time with the same issue to get everything right: the devil is in the details."

Victor Ahlqvist is from the Stockholm suburb Hässelby and holds a master's degree in economics from Lund University, with a focus on applied micro econometry and policy evaluation. In addition to being a research assistant at IFN, he has previously worked as analysts in market surveillance and international issues at the Swedish Energy Market Inspectorate. He leaves IFN in August to become a consultant and analyst at the Stockholm office of Copenhagen Economics, a leading European economics firm.

"I will work with industrial organizations, which involves analyzing relevant markets and competitive effects for companies. Victor explains that at IFN he has been improving his skills: "My knowledge was on a fundamental level when I came to IFN. Here my work involves coding, writing, analyzing large amounts of data and so on. My skills have improved significantly, and today is closer to a researcher's level.

This fall Nicklas Nordfors will commence doctoral studies in economics at Stockholm University. Nicklas has grown up in Sollentuna, a suburb of Stockholm, and holds a bachelor's degree in statistics and economics from Gothenburg University and a master's degree in economics from Stockholm University. His master's thesis concerned the impact of aid projects on deforestation. An interest that holds: "I want to study development economics or environmental economics, he explains, adding that ecological issues interest him because the environment is a central but not always considered a prerequisite for the society's development.

Nicklas has previously worked as both a teacher and research assistant at Göteborg and Stockholm University. What does he take along from IFN into his doctoral studies? "Cooperation is important. Collaboration between researchers, preferably over institutional limits, allows the sum to be more substantial than the individual parts."

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