Headlines 2018

Almedalen – a week of politics, research and much more ...


Researchers from IFN were invited by external organizations to be part of numerous panels and presentations during “Almedalen”. This is an eight day event in Visby on the Baltic island of Gotland. This annual event take place at the beginning of July when politicians, opinion leaders, media, corporations and interested Swedes come together and have the opportunity to attend over 4 000 seminars and numerous informal events.

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Magnus Henrekson participated in a panel of economists organized by the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The subject was "How long will the strong economic growth continue?". The panel also included chief economists Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Katarina Lundahl, Unionen and Annika Winsth, Nordea. The participants agreed that the housing market is one of the biggest threats in today's economy. Magnus Henrekson also pointed to the disadvantages of low-interest policies and the power behind urbanization that drives development forward.


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"The Swedish perspective of knowledge:  Does the school problems originate from how knowledge is defined? " was the theme at a jam-packed seminar in Almedalen oprganized by IFN and the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. The panel agreed that the Swedish school has major problems. "One in five primary school students leave
school  without a full degree," said Erik Bengtzboe (M).


Debatt Hellmark Knutsson och M Henrekson.jpgHelene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister of Higher Education (S), explained that she was troubled by sweeping reforms and pointed out, among other things, how much other countries value Swedish team work among students, for example. "The school today is an inequality machine," said Magnus Henrekson, IFN. Pupils with highly educated parents have a great head start, including cognitive ability, which is important in the labor market.


Fondbolagens förening (The association of mutual funds) organized the seminar "Who decides over your savings - you, the funds or the state?". From the left Tove Zander, Unga Aktiesparare (Young share holders), Mikael Sandström, TCO, Andreas Bergh, IFN, Fredrik Lundh Sammeli (S) and Mats Persson (L).


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Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, London School of Economics and affiliated with IFN, presented his research at a seminar entitled "Lönsam kompetensvilka utbildningar höjer lönerna och minskar arbetslösheten?", (Profitable skills – what education raises wages and reduces unemployment?) organized by Almega Utbildningsföretagen.


Martin Andersson, Professor at BTH and affiliated to IFN, moderatedt a seminar on taxes organized by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. Ther discussion centret on what a tax policy might look like to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship.


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Åsa Hansson, Lund University and affiliated with IFN, participated in the seminar about tax policy organized by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum.


Åsa Hansson, Lund University, affiliated with IFN, was part of the panel in a conversation organized by
Dagens Nyheter and TCO. The question discussed was is the taxes can be lower so that higher education pays off. Part of the panel was also Eva Nordmark, Head of TCO and
Tobias Krantz,Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Writer and journalist Niklas Ekda  moderated the discussion.


Magnus Henrekson, IFN, participated in the Center Party's seminar "How companies will hire refugees and new arrivals". Other speakers were Martin Ådahl, Chief Economist of the Center Party and Bettina Kashefi, Chief Economist of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.


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Henrik Jordahl, IFN, presented research on private vs. public schools at a seminar organized by Almega Tjänsteföretagen (Almega Service Companies). The subject was "Mandatory school choice – how to encourage all parents to decide on school for their children". The panel discussed whether school choice – which is optional today – should be mandatory for all students and parents.


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"How many are on sick leave in your municipality - The collective loss caused by sick leave" was the title of a seminar in which Henrik Jordahl, IFN, presented research and was part of the panel. The organizer was the insurance company Skandia who stated that "sick leave is a major problem in Sweden. The cost of missing work due to sick leave totaled SEK 57 billion in one year."


"Basic income - a revolutionary reform or a non-expensive way of dealing with poverty?" was the title of a panel disciussion arranged by Syretidningarna, where Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund University, participated. The panel also included Hannah Lemonie, Jopurnalist at Syre, and Annika Lillemets, MP member of the Environmental Party (MP).


Lars Calmfors, IFN, was part of a panel at a seminar entitled "Is an unequal labor market a threat to our welfare?". The seminar was
organozed by Vårdförbundet (the Swedish Association of Health Professionals). The panel talked a lot about training of skills and what can be done to attract more nurses to the profession, and what can make them stay at this job. Other panelists were Sineva Ribeiro, Swedish Association of Health Professionals, Tobias Baudin, Swedish Municipal Workers' Union, Agneta Jöhnk, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Sara Heyman, Journalist, and Maria Rosendahl, the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries.


IMG_6584.JPGJohanna Rickne, Stockholm University and affiliated to IFN, was interviewed in Almedalen's Library on "Gender and Politics – The Price is High for Women to Make a Political Career". The talk was organizer was Uppsala University.


IMG_6601.JPGMagnus Henrekson, IFN, debated the perception of knowledge in the Swedish education system with Gustav Fridolin, Minister for Education, on Expressen's stage in Almedalen. Moderator was Lotta Gröning. It doesn't work that the students themselves have to search for facts and knowledge, said Henrekson. Students must first be taught the basics by a knowledgeable teacher. Gustav Fridolin agreed with Magnus Henrekson that the national curricula must be unambiguous and communicate head-on what the students should learn. Both agreed that computers should not be universally prevailing. "Paper and pen" are also necessary tools.


Mårten Blix, IFN, participated in a
round table discussion entitled "Is sharing caring?". It was the trade association Shared Economy Sweden and Yepstr, that had invited a number of organizations and companies, including the Swedish Tax Agency.


Lars Calmfors, IFN, presented research at a seminar entitled "Economic and Monetary Union – time to complete it?" which was organized by the EU Commission in Sweden. Further
participants  in the panel were Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, German Ambassador to Sweden and Paulina Dejmek-Hack, member of President Junckes Cabinet, European Commission.


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Mårten Blix participated in a debate organized by
Dagens Samhälle in Almedal. The seminar was entitled "Doctor on demand – A young cuckoo or exactly what we need in the healthcare sector?" Jonas Ekström, physician at Västmanlands sjukhus Sala candidate for Parliament (C) was the other commentator. Sanna Rayman, Dagens Samhälle, moderated the event.

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