Past Conferences

Efficient Provision of Public Services

How should services with a strong public component such as health care, education and elderly care be financed, organized and delivered? And how do different models and reforms affect citizens, service users, tax payers, employees, and the business sector? 

Countries have taken different roads when it comes to regulation, competition, user choice, management practices, etc. The proper roles of the public and of the private sector are very much open for discussion. School voucher systems, for instance, are publicly financed, while the ownership and operation of schools can be either public or private.

The service sector is playing an increasingly important role in high-income countries. It has, however, proved notoriously difficult to increase labor productivity in the service sector. At the same time, the demand for services such as health care and elderly care is expected to increase due to aging populations. These challenges have pushed countries, such as Sweden, to experiment with service privatization (both in health care and elderly care, but also in education). Other countries are advancing the role of the government in the health care sector as a means to control spending (e.g. the Affordable Care Act in the U.S.).

Research on the intersection between the public and the private sectors on markets for education, health care, elderly care and child care is of considerable scientific and practical importance. Therefore, we organize this event to address the following, and similar, aspects of efficient service provision:

  • Ownership and market structure
  • Voucher systems and user choice
  • Management practices and New Public Management
  • Contracts, user fees and service quality
  • Public-private partnerships


Participation at the conference is by invitation only. The conference is organized within the framework of the IFN research project Public Services in the Future. For more information, please contact the conference organizers through Henrik Jordahl ( or Elisabeth Gustafsson (

Summary of the conference

General information



Leading Research Environment

IFN at the top


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The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, IFN, is a private and independent foundation devoted to pursuing highly relevant research for trade and industry.

The researchers at IFN are united in their belief that economic methods offer a powerful tool for understanding society.

The main research programs are:

  1. economics of entrepreneurship
  2. globalization and corporate restructuring
  3. economics of the service sector
  4. economics of the electricity markets
  5. economics of institutions and culture.

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