IFN in the news


2013-01-16 The Local

Do Sweden's free schools make the grade?

Writing about Swedish free schools the Local’s Christine Demsteader looks at the lessons that can be learned. A number of Swedish school experts are interviewed, among these researcher Jonas Vlachos who is affiliated to IFN. "Increased segregation and no significant effect on raised standards are conclusions reached by Jonas Vlachos"the Local writes.

2013-02-02 The Economist

The Secret of Their Success

The Nordic countries are probably the best-governed in the world, writes the Economist, and hereby quoting researcher Andreas Bergh, IFN: "Government’s role in improving equality is also being questioned. Andreas Bergh, of Sweden’s Research Institute of Industrial Economics, argues that the compression of Swedish incomes took place before the arrival of the welfare state, which was a consequence rather than a cause of the region’s prosperity—and almost killed the goose that laid the golden eggs."

2013-04-16 Bloombergs

Banking Risks Spur Talk of 20% Buffers in Sweden

Sweden’s economic elite are debating whether governments with oversized bank industries need to demand even tougher capital standards than those agreed after the latest wave of regulatory tightening. “Ideally, the capital requirements for banks should be raised substantially,” said Assar Lindbeck, Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) in an interview with Bloombergs.

2013-05-15 Washington Post

A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries

Max Fisher, Washington Post, writes about the research of Niclas Berggren, IFN, and Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University. They examine whether economic freedom is related to tolerance towards people of a different race and to tolerance towards homosexuals. They make use of data from the World Values Survey, and their study "Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance?" was recently published in the scientific journal Kyklos. Fisher's article has so far rendered more than 2,300 comments on Washington Post's web site, 60,000 likes on Facebook and more than 4,500 tweets (by May 20, 2013).

2013-05-15 Foreign Policy

Countries with more open economies are less homophobic, but not less racist

"A paper by Swedish economists Niclas Berggen and Therese Nilsson published in Kykklos attempts to discover whether countries with higher levels of economic freedom also have more tolerant societies," writes Foreign Policy, conluding that "I'm not sure the argument that people in liberalized economies are more tolerant only to those who are not perceived as an economic threat is really all that encouraging, though with anti-immigrant political sentiment rising in many western countries at the same time that laws protecting gay rights and same-sex marriage are becoming more widespread, it does have a ring of truth about it. "

2013-05-17 The Telegraph

France least tolerant country in Western Europe of homosexuals

British The Telegraph writes: "Therese Nilsson and Niclas Berggren, whose paper "Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance" was published in economic journal Kyklos last month, believe that these results show the correlation between economic freedoms such as small government and stable monetary policy, and tolerance of those of a different race or sexuality. Their work found that tolerance of homosexuality is particularly strongly correlated with economic freedom."

2013-05-30 MIT Technology Review

Are Your Grades Written in Your Genes?

A study finds that gene variants might have a subtle effect on scholastic achievement, I e how long someone stays in school.One of the authors is David Cesarini who is affiliated to IFN: “If genes have small effects, as our study shows, then sample sizes need to be very large to produce robust findings that will reliably replicate in other samples,” said Cesarini.

2013-06-04 National Review Online

Torching Utopia

"Sweden’s problem is not Islam, it’s multiculturalism," claims Tino Sanandaji, IFN, when commenting on riots that have been taking place lately in Stockholm suburbs. Sanandaji writes: "Multiculturalism teaches that natives have no moral right to impose their culture on immigrants." Sanandaji is convinced that immigrants "will never achieve social equality as long as official policy is based on cultural segregation, which means that the next round of riots is only a matter of time".

2013-06-12 The Local

How Sweden can acheive income equality

Swedish writer Nima Sanandaji looks at which societal problems may be behind Sweden's rising income inequality. Referring to research by Andreas Bergh, IFN, who has concluded that "a number of seemingly unrelated reforms, such as land reforms, school reforms and the occurrence of unions and centralized wage bargaining, are likely explanations." Sanandaji is convinced that today "the best strategy would be to improve the failing education system, so that large numbers of young people are not handicapped by limited knowledge and skills".

2013-08-21 The RoosterGNN

Why Nordic nations lack female entrepreneurs

The News Agancy RoosterGNN writes about a working paper by Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula (IFN): “Why are there so few female top executives in egalitarian welfare states?” "Through a comparison of Anglo-Saxon and Northern European countries the authors show that the Nordic nations are indeed gender equal in many ways. But Nordic societies also have a stronger under-representation of women in top positions than in Anglo-Saxon societies, which relates to the policy of welfare states."

2013-08-30 Washington Post

The Swedish model for economic recovery

In an Opinion piece C. Fred Bergsten, Peterson Institute, suggests that President Obama "highlight [the Nordic countries] successful reform to his G-20 counterparts in St. Petersburg". Referring to a study by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, IFN, Bergsten states that following the crisis in 1991 “to its enormous credit, Sweden reversed course with consummate skill and political courage; it has become a paragon of sensible economic and social policy”.

2013-04-09 The American

Lessons from a Feminist Paradise on Equal Pay Day

"Most mothers do not aspire to elite, competitive full-time positions: the Swedish policies have given them the freedom and opportunity to live the lives they prefer. Americans should look past the gender rhetoric and consider what these Scandinavians have achieved. On their way to creating a feminist paradise, the Swedes have inadvertently created a haven for normal mortals", writes Christina Hoff Sommers, American Enterprise Institute. She quotes research by Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, IFN, why there are so few female top executives in Europe.

2013-10-03 The Local

Experts call on 'fat cat' Sweden to reform

In regards to the escalating healthcare costs The Local refers to an opinion piece in Svenska Dagbladet written by Martin Ljunge, IFN. "[Ljunge] argued that healthcare insurance should be separated from the state budget in the same way as pensions." He suggested that the high cost of health insurance impacts spending on education and care services .Ljunge proposed, writes The Local, "a closed system where revenues from health insurance contributions are drawn from payroll taxes and national insurance".

2013-10-22 The Telegraph

The teachers unions’ guild system must be abolished, not strengthened, Mr Clegg

Gabriel H Sahlgren, Centre for Market Reform of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs and affiliated to IFN, addressed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in regards to the claim that all academies and free schools must hire educators with officially approved teacher qualifications. Sahlgren noted that It would further enforce teachers unions’ monopoly, but would be bad for kids. "Because of the lack of knowledge regarding what makes educators effective, the government should clearly step out of the way here."

2013-11-17 National Review Online

Guest Post by Tino Sanandaji: On Swedish Billionaires

2013-11-17 National Review Online

Matthew Yglesias in Slate argues that the high per capita number of Swedish billionaires demonstrates that a generous welfare state does not preclude entrepreneurship. Tino Sanandaji, IFN, writes that "not all billionaires on the Forbes list are entrepreneurs. The list also includes individuals who’ve largely inherited their wealth". He adds that if  "excluding inherited wealth and billionaires who earned their wealth in other countries, the U.S. has twice the rate of billionaire entrepreneurship compared to Sweden".

2013-11-24 Aljazeera

Sweden's refugee policy sets high standard

Despite its housing shortage, Sweden is offering Syrian asylum seekers permanent residence and a chance to resettle, writes Aljazeera. One of those interviewed in the article is Tino Sanandaji, IFN: "We have a very modern, knowledge economy ... There just aren't many jobs anymore for the very low-skilled." In regards to ther refugees from Syria he argues that "there is a high rate of them that are going to end up unemployed."

2013-12-10 The Spectator

The psychosis of the PISA report and best practices

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, who is affiliated to IFN, argues against Finland’s Pasi Sahlberg who claim that "choice, competition, and accountability have spread like a virus around the world, infecting education system." Gabriel Sahlgren writes that "researchers find that having more free schools decrease the impact of parental background on PISA (and TIMSS) achievement. If Sahlberg wants more equality, he should tell countries to privatise education provision ..."

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

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