IFN in the news


2015-02-24 New York Times

Economic Freedom Does Not Necessarily Lead to Greater Tolerance

Professor Tyler Cowen writes about research by Niclas Berggren and Therese Nilsson, both IFN: "One of their most striking findings is that societies characterized by greater economic freedom and greater wealth do indeed exhibit greater tolerance toward gay people, a tendency suggesting that gay rights, including gay marriage, will spread globally as national economies liberalize and develop."

2015-01-30 The Tax Justice Research Bulletin

Lo-o-ng run tax data: Sweden, 1862-2013

Sweden’s IFN has undertaken a fascinating project, to bring together and to analyse what seems to be the longest single-country span of tax data ever compiled, writes Alex Cobham. Adding tha "the paper, and the project, represent exactly the type of work that, as Morten Jerven has pointed out, is necessary to complement the improvement in cross-country data represented by the ICTD’s Government Revenue Dataset.

2015-02-25 The Economist

Social networks: Centrality planning

Economists can no longer ignore the fact that people’s opinions are all influenced by friends and acquaintances, writes the Economist. Adding that "unfortunately, social networks also exacerbate bad behaviour". The magazine refers to the study "Criminal Networks: Who is the Key Player?". Yves Zenou, IFN and Stockholm University is one of the authors of this paper.

2015-03-26 American Enterprise Institute & Ricochet

Is America’s welfare state suffocating US entrepreneurs?

What’s the link between entrepreneurship and the welfare state? asks journalist and blogger James Pethokoukis: "Indeed, as researchers Magnus Henrekson and Tino Sanandaji [IFN] have pointed out, high rates of self employment can be a sign of economic weakness since taxes and regulation are impeding the ability of startups to become large, successful companies.

2015-04-01 Risk Management

Working with Father Time

Risk Management writes about retirement seen from different aspects.  A 2013 report by Gabriel Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN, states that while retirees’ health improves in the first year or two of retirement, it then declines quicker compared to people of the same age who still work. “We need to rethink the retirement-work balance because we are at a turning point for what that is going to mean in the future,” Sahlgren said.

2015-04-14 Daily Mail

Proof that 'pupil-led' trendy teaching lowers standards

Daily Mail writes about a new report by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN: Real Finnish Lessons: The true story of an education superpower. "Britain should be wary of adopting trendy pupil-led teaching techniques from Scandinavia because they may be making standards worse, a new report claims."

2015-04-14 Cato Institute

The Right and Wrong Ways to Learn Policy Lessons from Other Countries

Andrew J. Coulson writes about the report Real Finnsih Lessons by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, who is affiliated to IFN. Coulson concludes: "... Finland has been slipping in the rankings on the PISA test in recent years ... And, as will be revealed in a forthcoming paper by Gabriel Sahlgren, the introduction of the most celebrated Finnish education policies does not support the view that they aided its rise on the PISA test, due to their timing."

2015-04-15 BBC News

Finns aren't what they used to be

Finland has been the poster child for education reform,writes BBC News when presenting a report authored by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN: Real Finnish Lessons: The true story of an education superpower. "Mr Sahlgren argues that Finland's star performance in the 2000 Pisa tests was built on the legacy of an older, very traditional education system, which had been part of the country's process of nation building."

2015-04-15 The Times

Why the golden boy of education has lost his lustre

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN, explains in an op-ed in the Times that "Finland’s old-school culture is in decline, catching up with the economic transformation and generating less learning-oriented attitudes". In the wake of the slipping Finnish performance Heller Sahlgren explains that "the only relevant policy lesson appears to be the danger of throwing out authority in schools and especially the wholesale implementation of pupil-led instruction, today embraced worldwide".

Real Finnish Lessons: The true story of an education superpower, by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren

2015-04-15 SI News

Finland: No longer #1 in global education?

"Finland's longstanding reputation as a progressive innovator in education may be coming to an end" writes SI News refering to a report witten by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, director of research at the Centre for Market Reform of Education and affiliated to IFN. The title of the report being: Real Finnish lessons.

2015-04-15 Relocate Global

Finland knocked off top spot in international education league table

Relocate Global writes: "In the report Real Finnish Lessons: The true story of an education superpower, published by right wing think tank, Centre for Policy Studies, author Gabriel Heller Sahlgren challenges conventional wisdom regarding the reasons for Finland’s remarkable education success."

2015-04-17 National Review

Follow Sweden: Kill the Inheritance Tax Now

"Class warriors on the left argue that the United States should be more like Sweden, and we agree: Senate Republicans should move forward with a plan to repeal the inheritance tax..." writes National Review. "... in Sweden as in the US, the bloody-minded support for the tax on the left has never been a question of raising government revenue; instead, it is “primarily related to an ideology of redistribution” and the “ideological momentum of the Social Democrats,” as Sweden’s Research Institute of Industrial Economics put it."

2015-04-17 American Enterprise Institute

Why private equity firms get a bad rap about layoffs

James Pethokoukis writes about what happens when a private-equity firm buys out a company. "Who loses their job and why? That’s the subject of “Private Equity, Layoffs, and Job Polarization” by Martin Olsson and Joacim Tåg [IFN]".

2015-04-20 Social Justice Solutions

Poverty Rates Are Lower Than Ever — Why Is Income Inequality on the Rise?

"You could be forgiven for assuming that the Great Recession of 2008 and recent increases in worldwide food prices would have caused significantly more people around the world to slip into poverty ... But according to the World Bank, that’s not what’s happened" writes Social Justice Solutions, referring to researcher Andreas Bergh, IFN.

2015-04-21 Brisbane Business News

The other missing 96% of the ASX

Brisbane Business News writes about "a 'brain drain' afflicting the Australian economy, and while inroads have been made with our startup ecosystem, StartupAUS says the government still has a lot to answer for". The site refers to research by IFN showing that small business is worlds apart from startups.

2015-04-21 Seeking Alpha

The Fed Will Not Raise Interest Rates In 2015

In an article on whether the US Fed will raise interest rates writes Nicholas P. Cheer that "in order to make the case for raising rates in the current economic environment, one would have to ignore the vast amounts of data coming out of the economy". On his list of studies can be found research by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, IFN.

2015-04-26 The Mail on Sunday, etc

Labour promises stamp duty reprieve for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000

The Labour leader has announced that as British Prime Minister he would prevent those letting out their properties from increasing rents above the rate of inflation (which means a price freeze, since inflation is now zero). When reporting this numerous papers have quoted Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University, saying that "Rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city, except for bombing."

2015-04-27 The Guardian

Britain should be wary of borrowing education ideas from abroad

Pasi Sahlberg writes that it's a myth that Finland's education system is in decline because of the adoption of progressive student-centred approaches to teaching and learning. Sahlberg argues that Gabriel Heller Sahlgren's (IFN) analysis in the report Finnish Lessons "contradict ... most educational research findings about new pedagogy and deeper learning from around the world".

2015-04-29 Breitbart.com

Who Needs Bombs to Destroy a City When You Have Labour’s Rent Control

"According to Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck [IFN], 'next to bombing, rent control is the most effective way to destroy a city.' He might have been talking about London in 2015" writes Breitbart London. "Labour leader Ed Miliband’s proposed cap on rents isn’t just a silly attempt to garner tenant votes."

2015-04-30 Reason.com

Globalization Is Good for You!

Reason is an American monthly magazine. Stating that "new research demonstrates the amazing power of open markets and open borders" the writer argues that a study by Andreas Bergh and Therese Nilsson, IFN, that "economic globalization significantly boosts life expectancy, especially in developing countries".

2015-04-30 Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Review of Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State by Andreas Bergh

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics is reviewing Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State by Andreas Bergh. "Bergh truly does a great job at dispelling myths about the Swedish welfare state" Per Bylund writes. "He [Bergh] is perhaps too dedicated to the institutional explanation and a little too reluctant to speculate on possible explanations, but there should be no doubt that this book is a very nice contribution to our understanding of the reality of the welfare state in contrast to progressive mythology."

2015-05-01 The Herald Scotland

Andrew Denholm: What should we read into falling literacy standards in Scottish schools?

Introduced amidst widespread expectations that it would raise standards, Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) appears to be struggling with even the basics, writes Andrew Denholm. He refers to a study about the Finnish school system by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, IFN. Scotland copied some of the modern Finnish features and Sahlgren argues that the success of Finland's education system was actually based on an earlier more standardised, traditional approach and recent reforms were actually undermining its success.

2015-05-03 The Local.dk

Is the reign of the Danish male executive over?

The typical Danish boardroom is becoming less of an old boys’ club as more and more women and foreigners take up board positions in the nation’s largest firms, writes The Local, quoting Lars Oxelheim, IFN, being interview in the Danish daily paper Politiken. The logic is clear: If you’re a small country with a small language, you really win a lot by bringing on a foreign board member.”

2015-05-05 Quadrant Magazine

The Undone Tasks of Deregulation

The Quadrant online writes about the burdens of regulation noting that "little disincentives and distractions add up". The author refers to "an important paper" published by IFN and Christian Bjørnskov, affilated to IFN, about the relationship between standard measures of economic freedom and economic crises. "As Bjørnskov finds, a high degree of economic freedom does little to prevent countries from suffering an economic crisis. But the degree to which an economy is free is a very important factor..."

2015-05-14 The Tyee

Finnish Schools Earn an Enemy

The Tyee, Vancouver, Canada, writes about the Finnish school system referring to Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator, that "has been evangelizing about his country's schools for years" and Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, affiliated to IFN, who challenges conventional wisdom regarding the reasons for Finland’s education success.

2015-05-25 The Independant

John Nash: Mathematician who won a Nobel Prize – and inspired the Oscar-winning film 'A Beautiful Mind'

Writing about the death of the Nobel Prize winner Johan Nash, The Independant, quotes Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University, the former chairman of the committee for the Nobel Prize in Economics: “We helped lift him into the daylight,” Lindbeck told Sylvia Nasar, Nash’s biographer. “We resurrected him in a way.”

2015-05-27 Varsity

Unless they elect Liz Kendall, Labour are doomed

"The frontrunners for the Labour leadership offer no change from the washed up 1970s style Leftism of Ed Miliband. Only Kendall has a broad appeal", writes Cambridge University’s independent student newspaper. When commenting on rent control, Varsity quotes Assar Lindbeck, IFN och Stockholm University saying that ‘‘next to bombing,[rent control is] the most efficient technique so far known for destroying cities’’.

2015-05-28 City Journal

Shantytown Sweden

In this op-ed Johan Wennström, IFN, argues that while Sweden is engulfed by international beggars nothing is done to make changes as the political elites share the worldview of the Left. "The Left, which traditionally has championed the welfare state and the abolition of poverty, now defends the “right” to beg in the streets. Degradation is reinterpreted as empowerment and getting a leg up in a prosperous society."

2015-05-30 Reuters and more

2015 AQR Insight Award Winners Announced

Matti Keloharju, Aalto University School of Business and affiliated to IFN, has earned an honorable mentioning by AQR Insight Award for his research on “Common Factors in Return Seasonalities”.

Matti Keloharju, D.Sc., Aalto University School of Business, CEPR and IFN - See more at: http://newyork.citybizlist.com/article/272421/2015-aqr-insight-award-winners-announced#sthash.nJvSXhqm.dpuf

2015-06-04 Irish Independent

Only bombs destroy a city more quickly than rent control

The Attorney General has cleared the way for temporary rent controls, writes Irish Independent. The author argues: "Just look at Stockholm, for examples, for the harm that a rent ceiling can inflict on a city." He quotes Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University, saying that "rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city - except for bombing".

2015-06-09 Scoop

Free Press ACT’s regular bulletin

"How to Destroy a City. No, we are not talking about council planning in Auckland," writes Scoop. Instead it is a question of "whether rent controls would be a good thing. David Seymour quoted Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck [IFN], who observed that rent controls are the best way to destroy a city, second only to bombing it."

2015-07-14 Seeking Alpha

The Crowd Continues To Get U.S. Treasury Bonds Wrong

The crowd continues to ignore the role of the dollar, debt, and deflation, asserts Nicholas P. Cheer in Seeking Alpha. He refers to a paper by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, IFN: "Government Size and Growth: A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence". Cheers writes that in this study it is "determined that as government size increases, GDP growth declines".

2015-07-20 Vox

How location affects friendship interactions

At Vox, CEPR's Policy Portal, writes Eleonora Patacchini, Pierre M. Picard, Yves Zenou (affiliated to IFN) how social interactions are affected by geographical distance. They argue that students tend to interact more with those who are highly central in the network of social contacts, and who are geographically closer

2015-07-24 Vox and others

Hillary Clinton wants to take on "quarterly capitalism" — here's what that means

Vox writes about a speech by Hillary Clinton at NYU's Stern Business School: "Hillary Clinton plans to finger what she considers a key impediment to long-term economic growth: 'quarterly capitalism'." In this context research by Alexander Ljungqvist, NYU and affiliated to IFN, is mentioned: "They found that 'compared to private firms, public firms invest substantially less and are less responsive to changes in investment opportunities" and that this happens "especially in industries in which stock prices are most sensitive to earnings news'."

2015-07-24 The New York Review of Books

What Is Wrong with the West’s Economies?

Edmund S. Phelps, winner of the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, believes that many of us in the West "feel that our economies are far from just". When exp0laining the progress he mentions research by Assar Lindbeck, Stockholm University and IFN: "Two economists, Stanley Fischer and Assar Lindbeck, wrote of a “Great Productivity Slowdown,” which they saw as beginning in the late 1960s."

2015-07-25 Forbes

Lessons For Seattle From Nordic Social Democracy: Rent Control Is A Really Bad Idea

"There are some things that economists really do generally agree upon. In fact, the number 1 on the list is about rent control" writes Forbes, refering to a quotation by Assar Lindbeck, Stockholm University and IFN: “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

2015-07-30 The San Francisco Examiner

Biting the hand that houses them

Michael Farren argues in The San Francisco Examiner that "if San Francisco’s residents and city leaders want to solve their never-ending affordable housing shortage, they should ... reduce housing regulations and 'unleash the cranes'.” In this context he refers to a quotation by Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University: “Next to bombing, rent control seems in many cases to be the most efficient technique so far known for destroying cities.”

2015-07-30 National Review

Is Corporate America Letting Us Down?

"I’ve been trying to make sense of the recent push, from Hillary Clinton and others on the left, against what’s been dubbed 'quarterly capitalism,' or the alleged tendency of publicly held companies to act in the short-term interests of speculators" Reihan Salam writes in National Review. He refers to research by Alexander Ljungqvist, NYU and affiated to IFN: "They find that privately held firms invest more than similar publicly held firms, which implies that the demands of the stock market are leading publicly held firms to underinvest."

2015-08-01 The Detroit News

Other writers, on Hillary, sentencing and the economy

The Detroit News is writing about Hillary Clinton's speech about "quarterly capitalism" and an article in The National Review. The paper refers to research by Alexander Ljungqvist, NUY and affiliated to IFN.

2015-08-10 The Spectator

Immigration helps explain Sweden’s school trouble

A recently published report about the faltering Swedish school results, authored by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, is the subject of this blog post by the same author. He asserts that "about a third of Sweden’s average fall in Pisa disappears when we adjust the sample to take into account altered pupil demographics due to immigration." Due to comments to his report in Swedish media Heller Sahlgren concludes: "So next time you read an article about declining Swedish scores and there’s no mention of immigration, you know the journalist isn’t doing his or her job properly – or is pursuing an ideological agenda. Or both."

2015-08-21 BizWest

Manufacturing drives Broomfield’s economy

"Manufacturing has been and continues to be the backbone of economic productivity in the United States" writes BizWest, Colorado. The author of the article quotes an IFN-study: On average, one new manufacturing job produces 1.6 additional jobs in local service businesses.

2015-08-22 Seeking Alpha

A September Rate Hike Would Be A Mistake

Seeking Alpha states that "Wall Street is going wild wondering what the Fed will do in September. Will they raise rates for the first time since 2006? I certainly hope not". The newsletter refers to research by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, IFN: "Government Size and Growth: A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence," determined that as government size increases, GDP growth declines."

2015-08-28 Dow Jones Newswire/Wall Street Journal, and more

Could a Middle Ages Trick Help the ECB Increase Inflation and Raise Funds?

Dow Jones Newswire has published a piece about research by Roger Svensson, IFN, and Andreas Westermark, the Riksbank. Dow Jones writes that as the European Central Bank is struggling to get inflation going, "maybe it is time the ECB tried something a little bit more radical, something from the playbook of authorities from the Middle Ages: recoinage".

2015-09-08 Washington Post

This map helps explain why some European countries reject refugees, and others love them

The Washington Post is wondering why some European countries welcome refugees, while others do everything they can to keep them out. The answer given by the author of the article is: demographics. Writing about Sweden WP quotes IFN and Tino Sanandaji who used to work at the institute."'There just aren't many jobs anymore for the very low-skilled.'

2015-09-09 business Insider, and more

11 really good reasons why your country should have a monarchy

Business Insider states that "... there are actually a lot of good reasons to have a monarchy". The magazine writes: "Andreas Bergh [IFN] and Christian Bjørnskov [affiliated to IFN] find that social trust is higher in monarchies. Social trust is an important factor in sociology and economics, and generally correlates with lower crime and lower corruption, among other things."

2015-09-10 Forbes

Proof That Rent Control Doesn't Work Used To Prove That Rent Control Does Work

"What really happens when there is rent control is that we replace rationing by price with rationing by queuing" writes Tom Worstall in Forbes. He is quoting Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University, saying that “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

2015-09-28 The Telegraph

Seven reasons you should worry about John McDonnell becoming Chancellor

"Labour's Shadow Chancellor laid bare in Brighton his radical agenda for the nation's economy" The Telegraph writes about John McDonnell. The criticism applies to, among other things, the property market: "Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck [IFN] infamously said that rent controls were 'the most effective technique presently known to destroy a city – except for bombing'."

2015-10-09 Calgary Herald and more

Support for Conservatives' niqab ban is deep and wide, even among immigrants

Voter surveys also show the Tories have become the leading choice for immigrants, Peter Loewen and Daniel Rubenson (affiliated to IFN) write. They asked  respondents about the niqab and found that "among those citizens born outside the country, 70 per cent agree with forcing women to reveal their faces".

2015-10-10 CBC News and more

Election 2015: Toronto voters report long lines at advance polls

Lines and long waits make canadian voters head home without casting a ballot at advance polling stations. Daniel Rubenson, Ryerson University and affiliated to IFN, said "high voter turnout at advance polls isn't usually a harbinger of what will happen on Election Day".

2015-10-13 The Local

Will robots take over your job in Sweden?

The Local has translated an article by Mårten Blix (guest researcher at IFN) that was published i Dagens Nyheter 2015-10-12. Blix outlines "how to make sure jobs are not lost when digitalization grows in tech-savvy Sweden and robots take over skilled labour".

2015-10-22 Washington Post

What the Canadian and British election polls tell us about Donald Trump

Peter J. Loewen, University of Toronto, Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan and Daniel Rubenson, Ryerson University (and affiliated to IFN) argue in Washington-Post's blog The Monkey Cage that the problem in recent elections in Canada and the UK was that the media misread the polls and misled their audiences. They claim that "the same could be happening in the United States right now regarding the presidential campaign and, in particular, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump".

2015-11-02 Herald Democrat

Sweden risks blowing through budget ceiling to pay for refugees

"Sweden’s generous refugee policy is proving costly" the Herald Democrat writes. Lars Calmfors, IFN, is quoted saying it looks like the government is trying to circumvent rules by this year paying out an extra 10 billion kronor in refugee aid to municipalities. But most of that money probably will only be used next year. “This is very problematic, it seems like the government is trying to manipulate the ceiling in order to avoid breaking it,” Calmfors says.

2015-11-03 Irish Independent

Rent controls will only cut supply, just when we need more

"The rise in rent prices is now being directly linked to Alan Kelly's attempts to bring in rent controls" the Irish Independent states. The paper notes that "the story is the same wherever rent controls have been tried. Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck [IFN] has said that rent control is "the most effective technique presently known to destroy a city, except for bombing".

2015-11-04 New York Times

Public Companies Trying to Mimic Private Firms

There is evidence that companies are avoiding going public ... Currently, 5,303 companies are listed on United States stock exchanges, down 35 percent from 20 years ago, writes New York Times quoting research by Alexander Ljungqvist, NYU and affiliated to IFN. Their finding is that “private firms invest substantially more than public ones on average, holding firm size, industry and investment opportunities constant.”

2015-11-04 New York Times

Q. & A. Why Are More Companies Passing on Going Public?

Research by a group of researchers including Alexande Ljungqvist, NYU and affiliated to IFN, indicates that corporate executives may believe that being public is a hindrance. Alexander Ljungqvist is interviwed on the NYU campus, answering questions about their innovative, and perhaps unsettling, work.

2015-11-09 Pakistan Dawn

There’s more to income inequality

In a short text Pakistan Dawn writes about research by Andreas Bergh and Therese Nilsson, IFN. The researchers have established that as the number of poor people in a country rises, the market for inexpensive products expands and the purchasing power of the poor increases.

2015-11-27 AFP/Daily Sabah and more

Refugee crisis tests Sweden's lofty aim of ‘equality for all'

Sweden's inability to integrate immigrants is pre-occupying the Swedish public and policymakers, writes AFP in an article published in a number of media. Andreas Bregh, IFN and Lund University is being interviewed saying that " what we previously thought was a good thing about Sweden, eliminating simple jobs, is now our biggest challenge when people from other countries arrive".

2015-12-10 Seeking Alpha

The Economic Case For Not Raising Rates, Part 2: GDP And Debt

Nicholas P. Cheer, Seeking Alpha, explores the relationship between over indebtedness and GDP growth rates. He refers to a study by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson IFN: Government Size and Growth: A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence, which "found that as government size increases, GDP growth declines".

2015-12-29 The Local

'Sweden's lead as tech nation could fade away'

To ensure Sweden gets the best out of future digitalization opportunities, the country's legislation needs to be reconsidered, writes Mårten Blix, guest researcher at IFN.

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