Headlines 2013

New Research Program about Moral Values and Social Attitudes


An economy does not function in a vacuum but consists of people of flesh and blood, with moral values, with attitudes towards their fellow human beings and with an ability to be affected by laws, rules and norms. A new research program at IFN studies how such factors influence human behavior and, thereby, the way the economy functions – but also how the economy in turn influences morality, norms and social attitudes.

The research of this program is conducted by (seen from left) Niclas Berggren (head of the program), Assar Lindbeck, Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, Martin Ljunge, Tino Sanandaji and Yves Zenou.


The new IFN research program, Economics of Institutions and Culture, is supported by grants from The Swedish Research Council, Forte as well as The Johan and Jakob Söderberg Foundation.

"For the first time in Sweden we bring together a research team to study how informal institutions like morality, norms and values ​​are of economic importance," says Magnus Henrekson, director of IFN.

He explains that factors such as these are important for the functioning of the economy. "If people trust each other, it becomes less costly to sign a contract as a handshake is sufficient. And if we are tolerant, it may result in the most suitable personer getting a certain job regardless of
social group affiliation, which would benefit both productivity and prosperity."

Further reading

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