IFN in the news


2014-01-09 The Telegraph

Call to raise state pension age to 68 within next decade

Plans to increase the state pension age to 68 has to be implemented far earlier reaching that level by 2023 instead of around 2045, said Gabriel H. Sahlgren (affiliated to IFN) at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). He explained that  the state pension system incentivises early retirement and also calls for reforms of employment laws to make it easier for older Britons to find work.


Self-employed doesn't equal entrepreneur

“Small business activity does not measure entrepreneurship” is the title of an article by Magnus Henrekson and Tino Sanandaji, both IFN, published in the prestigious American scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The article has been commented on in a number of media.

2014-02-18 Financial Times

Let schools compete and students will be winners

Gabriel H. Sahlgren, IFN and Center for Market Reform of Education, and Julian Le Grand, London School of Economics, argue that competition between schools can force laggards to improve: "In fact, there is evidence that competions actually decreases the impact of pupils' background in interantional testst", they write adding that copying countries with the huighest grades is not the right way to improve. 

2014-04-27 The Telegraph

Entrepreneurs power the best economies

A new book, SuperEntrepreneurs and how your country can get them, authored by Nima and Tino Sanandaji, the latter researcher at IFN, is published by the Centre for Policy Studies. In regards to the book Nima Sanandaji writes in The Telegraph that "entrepreneurship ... is not the same as self-employment, nor should politicians of any party assume that policies that encourage self-employment necessarily promote entrepreneurship".

2014-05-19 Foreign Affairs

Stockholm Syndrome: How Immigrants Are Changing Sweden's Welfare State

“Immigration has meant that Sweden has imported a bunch of social and economic problems that to a degree didn’t exist before,” Tino Sanandaji said in an interview with Foreign Affairs, adding that "for a number of reasons -- a long period of peace, a homogenous population -- Sweden has had a unique combination of welfare, growth, and equality. That idyll is to a certain degree over.”

2014-06-04 Financial Times

Chief executives – taller and cleverer

Chief executives are paid more because they are smarter, psychologically robust and taller than the general population, writes Financial Times in a blog post. The writer is referring to a new research paper that used data collected from tests compiled by the Swedish military on men born between 1952 and 1978, who were entering compulsory military service. Both researchers are affiliated ti IFN: Samuli Knupfer and Matti Keloharju.

2014-06-09 Wall Street Journal

Want to Be CEO? Stand Tall.

A study of 1.3 million Swedish men found—not too surprisingly–that chief executives score highly on measures of intelligence and soft skills, with top scorers more likely to helm large companies. This is the foundings of a sudy on Swedish data by researchers Samuli Knupfer and Matti Keloharju, bort affiliated to IFN. "But talent isn’t the only predictor for success. CEOs in the sample tended to be taller than average" WSJ writes in a blog post.

2014-07-21 Education Investor

The Bottom Line: State Schools

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN, writes in the British Education Investor (June/July issue) that "it is time to end the national ban on profit-making companies owning and operatingstate-funded schools in England, and let them drive the progress in education just as theyv have done in the economy at large." He explains that as a general rule, "we should pursue experiments before scaling policy up to the national level, and this applies here too". Sahlgrensuggests that by allowing randomised trials in certain areas, "we could rigorously test the impact of profits in the English context; given the existing evidence, only the ideological zealot could argue in favour of a complete ban on profits in schools".

2014-07-21 National Review Online

Sweden Has an Education Crisis, But It Wasn't Caused by School Choice

In the early 1990s, Sweden introduced one of the most ambitious school-voucher systems in the world. In National Review Online Tino Sanandaji, IFN, weighs in on the debate over Sweden’s school performance and the role played by this voucher program. Sanandaji claims that the Swedish school crisis can not be attributed to Sweden's embrace of school choice.

2014-07-23 Friedman Foundation

Is Swedish School Choice Disastrous—or Is the Reading of the Evidence?

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN, argues that the reading of the evidence is disastrous when dealing with Swedish school choice and test results. He refutes Professor Ray Fisman's statement that school choice reforms have been one reason behind Sweden’s fall in international test scores.

2014-07-29 The Telegraph

Britons would each be £6,000 better off if more children went to private school

The Adam Smith Institute said that independent schools represent one of the cheapest ways for the government to improve exam results and pupils' potential earnings. The study, by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren (affiliated to IFN), showed how competition among Holland’s independent schools had developed higher international test scores, while driving costs down.

2014-07-29 ConservativeHome.com

How competitive schools make a competitive economy

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, Research Director at the Centre for Market Reform of Education, and Affiliated Researcher at IFN writes about his own report: "The benefits of higher education quality are very large. My calculations suggest that if the UK had performed at the level of Taiwan in international tests since the mid-20th century, average annual per-capita GDP growth would have been about 0.8 percentage points higher in the period 1960-2007. This in turn means that our per-capita GDP would have been over £5,000 higher in 2007 than it was."

2014-07-30 The Times

Private schools are good for the economy

The Times is writing about a new report authored by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, who is affiliated to IFN. Sahlgren argues that "sending more children to private school would add billions of pounds to Britain’s economy". Increased competition between independent schools could have raised GDP by £5,800 per person, the report claims.

2014-08-20 Radio Sweden

Should teachers be more like Florence Nightingale?

At a seminar organized by IFN a new book about the teaching profession by Johan Wennström was presented. "It is high time to start talking about the teaching profession as a vocation again" said Wennström.  Isn't that a ticket to low pay for teachers? No, said Wennström, there is no contradiction between working for duty and a calling, and having a good pay.

2014-08-28 CityAM

Forget Piketty: How Sweden combined wealth and equality through capitalism

Andreas Bergh, IFN, is the author of the book Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State. I this article he argues that the French economist Thomas Piketty’s theories revolve around the classic conflict between labour and capital. Though, he writes, "the success of a country like Sweden is that this conflict has been transformed into a symbiotic relationship."

2014-09-12 Economist

Sweden’s election: The eight-year itch

"The centre-right government of Fredrik Reinfeldt has been a great success, yet voters may well eject it in favour of the Social Democrats" writes the Economist. "Mr Borg warns loudly against tax rises by the centre-left. He supports choice and rejects claims that private provision of public services has reduced quality. Most independent analysts agree, and a new book backs them up*. The new book is mentioned: Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State by Andreas Bergh, IFN.

2014-10-06 The Economist

A good choice?

Swedish students used to lead international rankings, but the country’s education standards have been declining for years, writes The Economist in a blog-post. Critics of vouchers blame school choice for these dismal results. But there are good reasons to believe the problem is not school choice, argues The Economist referring to research by Karin Edmark, IFN: "The authors find that school choice has had a small, but positive impact, particularly for minority and low-income students."

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