IFN in the news


2016-01-01 Cheat Sheet

Productivity Can Go Viral, and You Can Catch the Bug

Finally, something’s going viral that’s worth your time and attention, the lifestyle site Cheat Sheet writes, meaning "productivity". The author refers to an article by professors Matthew Lindquist, Jan Sauermann, and Yves Zenou (affiliated to IFN), who have dug into literature and several studies relating to productivity. "The conclusion of these researchers is that productivity is indeed contagious, although not always for the same reasons."

2016-01-05 The Atlantic

Can Taxes Encourage Better Corporate Behavior?

The Atlantic explains that regulations aren’t the only option the government has for discouraging companies from taking on too much risk, referring to research by Alexander Ljungqvist of New York University (affiliated to IFN), Liandong Zhang of City University of Hong Kong, and Luo Zuo of Cornell. Their research show that lowering taxes didn’t have the expected effect of inducing more risk. "The authors conclude that this may be the case because regulators or investors also weigh in, dissuading companies from taking on risky new endeavors. In other words, taxes can be a blunt tool for curbing risk-taking, but they don’t seem to be useful for encouraging it."

2016-01-12 The Local

World goes nuts for 'lonely' Swedish PM pics

Sweden's prime minister has become the unexpected victim of a global meme, after a lonely-looking picture from parliament went viral, The Local writes about the event citing a tweet from the IFN researcher Richard Öhrvall.

2016-01-25 Forbes

When Negotiating A Price, Never Bid With A Round Number

According to a study by Matti Keloharju, affiliated to IFN, and Petri Hukkanen, investors who in mergers and acquisitions offer “precise” bids for company shares yield better market outcomes than those who offer round-numbered bids. “It turns out that if you make a precise bid, the targets are more likely to accept it, and more likely to accept it at a cheaper price. And with cash bids, they’ll generate a more positive market reaction,” says Matti Keloharju to Forbes.

2016-01-28 The American Prospect

What CEOs Do for a Living

The corporate sector beyond Silicon Valley is not trying all that hard to reach the next breakthrough, claims The American Prospect, quoting research by John Asker, Alexander Ljungqvist [affiliated to IFN], and Joan Farre-Mensa: "Publicly traded companies devote just half the percentage of their assets to investment that their privately held counterparts do".

2016-02-23 Metro Canada

Youth and new Canadians drove voter turnout surge during 2015 federal election

"In an election with the highest turnout in over 20 years, young voters and new immigrants turned out in near-record numbers" writes Metro Canada. Professor Daniel Rubenson, Ryerson University och affilierad to IFN, is quoted saying: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that turnout was up among young people when both the Liberals and the NDP were looking very strong.” Rubenson believes that “young people tend not to support the Conservative Party.”

2016-02-27 Outlook India

Growing Our Way To Tolerance

Economic freedom alone is not the answer to our current woes, writes Shailesh Chitnis in Outlook India. He refers to research by Niclas Berggren and Therese Nilsson, IFN: "They find that a stable monetary policy and a strong legal system are consistently associated with greater tolerance. Countries with greater economic freedom and wealth are also more open to homosexuals."

2016-03-04 Huffington Post Blog

Political Induced Uncertainty and the Quest for Growth

Wolf von Laer,  Ph.D. Student, writes at the Hufftington Post Blog that "growth requires the three P's: Property Rights, Prices, and Profit and Loss to achieve the three Is of Innovation, Information, and Incentives. Too much government activity disturbs the rules of the game and undermines property rights."

2016-03-23 Forbes and more

Researchers Prove C-Suite Gender Gap—but Can’t Explain It

Bloombergs, Forbes and Harvard Busioness School's Working Knowledge writes about research by Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer and Joacim Tåg, IFN, documenting "what many already believe: women get fewer opportunities at top positions and lower pay when they get those positions". WK writes: "The worse news is there doesn’t seem to be much women can do to close that gap—no matter how talented, educated, skilled, lucky, ambitious, or genetically gifted they are—unless they can figure out a way to thwart discrimination."

2016-03-23 Lundagård

The School of Economics will Integrate Newly Arrived

In a collaboration between the School of Economics and Management and the independent foundation Executive Foundation Lund, newly arrived academics will be able to get a business education in the evening and experience during the day “All education will be in English. Presently the Swedish language is a major problem that prevents a lot people from entering the job market”, says Fredrik Andersson, head of the School of Economics and Management and affiliated to IFN.

2016-04-01 Bloomberg

Here's How the Refugee Crisis May Reshape Sweden's Social Model

In a Sweden grappling with an unprecedented inflow of refugees, many unthinkable things are becoming thinkable, Bloomberg states, mentioning a lower minimum wage as one of the hot topics in the public debate. “The Swedish model was a competitive advantage when Sweden was a homogeneous industrial society,” said Andreas Bergh, IFN, to Bloomberg: “But now it’s become an obstacle as no one really knows who should take responsibility for the changes that need to be made.”

2016-04-15 Nordic Buiness report

What Sweden Can Teach Us About Equal Opportunity and Gender Gaps

Referring to a study by Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer (both affiliated to IFN) and Joacim Tåg, IFN, Nordic business Report believe that their research "confirms that, although female executives are as equally skilled as their male counterparts, they don’t have equal opportunities to reach the top in the executive labor market or get equal pay. It also looks at what causes these gender gaps".

2016-04-17 Value Walk/Library of Economics and Liberty

Behavioral Economics – Pro-Government Bias?

Critics of behavioral economics often accuse its practitioners of a tacit double standard: Human irrationality is a poor argument for government action because officials are human, writes Bryan Caplan, asking if behavioral economists can neglect such a basic critique of their position: "Yes. In “Time for a Behavioral Political Economy” (Review of Austrian Economics 2012), Niclas Berggren [IFN ]classifies over 300 papers in behavioral economics. The main finding is that "20.7% of all articles in behavioral economics ... contain a policy recommendation and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis at all of the rationality or cognitive ability of policymakers".

2016-04-19 InsiderOnline

Scandinavia’s Third Way Policies Killed Entrepreneurship and Growth

Nima Sanandaji states in Insider that policies did steer sharply to the left during the late 1960s in Sweden. He refers to research by Magnus Henrekson, IFN, who "has concluded that the effective marginal tax rate (marginal tax plus the effect of inflation) that was levied on Swedish businesses at times reached more than 100 percent of their profits".

2016-04-19 Free Republic

Bernie's Right—America Should Be More Like Sweden; But not in the way he thinks

The Swedish writer Johan Norberg argues in Free Republic that "Sanders' image of Scandinavia is just like the rest of his policies: stuck in the 1970s". He refers to Andreas Bergh, IFN, and Christian Bjørnskov, affiliated to IFN, researchers who have found that trust in others and social cohesion creates the welfare state rather than the other way around.

2016-05-04 Banking Industry Today

In the Red: Sweden Heading Towards Deep Economic Crisis

Banking Industry Today reports that "the growing costs of immigration and a housing bubble have paved the way for a 'deep' economic crisis in Sweden and the situation has already begun to deteriorate beyond repair, three Swedish economists wrote in a debate article in Dagens Industri." Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund University, is one of the economists.

2016-05-11 Forbes.com

Yes, London Has A Housing Problem: Let's Not Make It Worse With Idiocy Like Rent Controls

Tim Worstall in Forbes argues that we can not regulate away high rents.He quotes Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm university saying that Assar “in many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

2016-05-11 The Atlantic

The Genetics of Staying in School

a study of almost 294,000 people has identified variants in 74 genes that are associated with educational attainment. In other words, those who carry more of these variants, on average, complete more years of formal schooling, writes The Atlantic. One of the reserachers is Davis Cesarini, NYU and affilated to IFN.

2016-05-14 The Economist

Schools in Finland: Helsinking

Finnish educators are worried. PISA scores fell in 2009 and 2012, The Economist points out. Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education and affiliated to IFN, explains that "the key question is what led to the surge in Finnish performance between 1965 and 2000, not what is happening in schools today".

2016-05-22 IPWatchdog

How Congress can ensure the patent system protects inventors and entrepreneurs

"Patents benefit society and individuals alike in fostering new markets and new products" IPWatchdog writes, adding that the patent system is in trouble. The author refers to research by Alexander Ljunqvist, NYU and affiliated to IFN: The Bright Side of Patents, USPTO Office of the Chief Economist, Working Paper No. 2015-2 (Jan. 2016).

2016-05-22 Forbes

Corbyn, McDonnell and Labour Propose The Worst Of All Economic Policies: Rent Control

General economic opinion is firmly against the idea of rent control, Forbes writes refering to a comment by Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University: “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”

2016-05-24 Standard-Examiner and more

Who won the Super Bowl when you were in the womb could have affected your health

Standard-Examiner publishes a text about the research by Petra Persson, Stanford University and affiliated to IFN. Among other things the researchers have found that children who were in the womb when a relative died were 25 percent more likely to take medication for ADHD than those who were infants.

2016-05-24 Bullfax.com

Prospect theory & populism

Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US, Bullfax asks. The author refers to research by Henrik Jordahl, IFN: "as Henrik Jordahl has shown, inequality breeds distrust so that even on those (rare?) occasions when elites are correct, many voters don’t believe them. Perhaps, therefore, support for Trump and Brexit are not so much diseases as symptoms of a wider malady."

Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US? - See more at: http://www.bullfax.com/?q=node-prospect-theory-populism#sthash.I96A5rre.dpuf
Does prospect theory help explain support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US? - See more at: http://www.bullfax.com/?q=node-prospect-theory-populism#sthash.I96A5rre.dpuf

2016-05-24 Washington-Post – Wonkblog

Inequality might start before we’re even born

For Washington-Post Wonkblog Carolyn Y. Johnson writes about research by Petra Persson, Stanford University and affiliated to IFN, and Maya Rossin-Slater: "They found children who were in the womb when a relative died were 25 percent more likely to take medication for ADHD than those who were infants. Those children grew up to be adults who were 13 percent more likely to take prescription drugs for anxiety and 8 percent more likely to take drugs for depression."

2016-05-27 Vox

The Weeds: examining some exciting Swedish administrative data

How can parents reduce the likelihood of having children who struggle with depression and ADHD, Vox asks: "One new research paper suggests a possible way forward. "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation," by Petra Persson, (affilietad to IFN) and Maya Rossin-Slater, [...] find that mothers who have close relatives die during pregnancy are more likely to have children who then use anti-anxiety medicine later in life.

2016-05-30 Financial Times

Helicopter money could help in migrant crisis

Lars Oxelheim, IFN and  Lund University, has written a Letter to the editor at Financial Times. Oxelheim states that helicopter money is used in many European countries, i.e. money printed, borrowed from abroad or taken from foreign aid are spent to provide migrants with a decent standard. "Hence, the last tool in the monetary policy tool box is already used".

2016-06-03 Labor Herald

No easy fix for Australia’s tax system

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh argued that when it comes to improving Australia’s tax system, there are no short cuts and no quick fixes. The paper refers to a study by  Alexander Ljungqvist (NYU and affiliated to IFN) and Michael Smolyansky: They find “little evidence that corporate tax cuts boost economic activity, unless implemented during recessions”.

2016-06-20 Yahoo Canada Finance

Study debunks theory that lottery wins can affect the winner's health

David Cesarini, NYU and affiliated to IFN, an co-authors find in a study “no evidence” that wealth impacts winners’ risk of mortality except for a potential “small reduction” in the consumption of drugs. Cesarini explains: “Our findings suggest that in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets, causal effects of wealth are not a major explanation for the positive relationship between income and longevity, nor of the observed positive relationships between children’s outcomes and their parents’ incomes."

2016-07-01 Monthly Review

Monopoly Capital at the Half-Century-Mark

The independent socialist magazine Monthly Review writes about Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital claiming it to be "the single most influential work in Marxian political economy to emerge in the United States". Assar Lindbeck, IFN and Stockholm University, is quoted: "In The Political Economy of the New Left (1971), a book that drew much attention in the early 1970s, orthodox Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck focused his criticism on Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital, claiming that a Keynesian welfare state could resolve the systemic contradictions that they described."

2016-07-03 Psychology Today

Voting With Our Eyes: Attractive Candidates Get More Votes

Psychology Today writes about the fact that voters form an opinion (accurate or not) about a candidate´s competence, character, and qualifications  just by looking. The magazine refers to a paper (”The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success,”) by researchers Niclas Berggren and Henrik Jordahl, IFN.

2016-07-07 Safehaven and more

Lacy Hunt on Negative Multiplier of Government Debt

Safehaven writes that Lacy Hunt (Hoisington's Second Quarter Review) takes on the widespread Keynesian belief that government spending boosts real (inflation adjusted) GDP. When explaining how deficit spending restrains economic growth Safehaven refers to a study by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson, IFN, explaining that there is a "significant negative correlation" between the size of government and economic growth.

2016-07-07 Reuters/CNBC and more

Migrants put Sweden's cosy Nordic Model under pressure

"Unions and tax officials say illegal workers have begun to push down average pay and deprive state coffers of income tax" writes Reuters about the influx of migrants into the Swedish labor market. "I see a danger that if we don't seek to solve this in a regulated manner, reality will come knocking all the same," Lars Calmfors, IFN, is quoted saying.

2016-07-08 Wisconsin Public Radio News

Study: Gender Quotas Work To Encourage Participation In Politics

Wisconsin Public Radio News has interviewed Diana O'Brien about a study, "Gender Quotas and Women's Political Leadership", by O'Brien and Johanna Rickne, IFN. The researchers have looked at 15 years of data on local leadership appointments within the Social Democratic Party. "What we found time and time again is once you tell political parties or corporate boards that they need to find qualified women, then they do so," said O'Brien.

2016-07-27 Policy Bazaar (portal)

The Nordic Democratic-Socialist Myth

In an article by Nima Sanandaji at Policy Bazaar (Indian portal), about what Americans can and can not learn from the Nordic countries, Daniel Waldenström, IFN, is quoted: Swedish economists Jesper Roine and Daniel Waldenström, for example, explain that “most of a diminution [in income inequality in Sweden] takes place before a enlargement of a gratification state and by 1950 Swedish tip income shares were already revoke than in other countries.”

2016-09-04 Forbes and more

Why Working Longer Is Good for Your Health

Chris Farrell writes about retirement age in Forbes and Next Avenue. He quotes Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, London School of Economics and affiliated to IFN,  saying that “continuing some form of paid work in old age is one way to ensure a healthier population”. 

2016-09-09 Foreign Affairs

Influence of South Africa’s price-setting environment on monetary policy trajectory

Foreign Affairs, New Zeeland, published a text about South Africa. A statement by the Republic of South Africa was used as source: "Institutions also play a key role in our inflation process. An important argument in academic literature, specifically by Lars Calmfors [IFN] and John Driffill, connects unemployment to the kinds of collective bargaining rules used in a country.6 The basic idea is that a country can achieve better employment outcomes when costs take into account firm-level productivity or are guided at a very high, macroeconomic level."

2016-09-23 Bloomberg and more

Companies That Discriminate Fail (Eventually)

"There is lots of evidence that discrimination still exists [in the corporate world]" writes Noah Smith, Bloomberg view. He refers to "evidence has multiplied. In 2013, economists Fredrik Heyman [IFN], Helena Svaleryd, and Jonas Vlachos [affiliated to IFN] found that companies that get bought out in a takeover tend to increase their percentages of female employees".

2016-10-06 Bloomberg

Where the Economics Nobel Came From

How did the Nobel Prize in Economics come about? This question is asked by Bloomberg View: "Åsbrink asked the Nobel question of a young economic adviser, Assar Lindbeck [IFN], and Lindbeck’s response was that yes, a Nobel economics prize could work. Then Lindbeck set out to make it happen."

2016-10-08 Daily Scandinavian

What Makes Scandinavians So Happy?

"The sense of trust is so high in Scandinavia that to some researchers it seems to be the most mysterious and potentially important factor of all for explaining why Scandinavians lead the world in considering themselves prosperous" writes Daily Scandinavian. Andreas Bergh, IFN, is interviewd: “The honest answer is we don’t know where trust comes from.”

2016-10-09 Irish Economy

The Nobel Factor

Irish Economy writes about The Nobel Factor, a new book that traces the development of the Nobel Prize in economics: Assar Lindbeck, IFN, is mentioned: "There’s a great chapter focusing on Assar Lindbeck, a forceful personality and someone who shaped the Prize".

2016-10-09 The Atlantic

The Political Slant of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Avner Offer, the co-author of The Nobel Factor is interviewed in The Atlantic. Among other things he refers to a conversation with Assar Lindbeck, IFN: "With regard to Galbraith, I actually discussed this with the long-standing chairman of the prize, Assar Lindbeck, and he said that he regarded Galbraith as a belletrist, a writer of essays. I actually beg to differ."

2016-10-11 The Times Rwanda and more

The marriage between Nobel economics and social democracy

Avner Offer is co-author (with Gabriel Söderberg) of The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn (Princeton University Press, 2016) and writes about the Nobel prize in an article published in a number of papers: "Many economists have responded to the failure of their discipline’s core premises by retreating into empirical investigation. But the resulting validity comes at the cost of generality: randomized controlled trials in the form of local experiments cannot replace an overarching vision of the social good. A good way to begin acknowledging this would be to select Nobel Prize recipients accordingly."

2016-10-21 Open Magazine

Misadventures of Dismal Scientists?

In a review of the book The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn, by Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg, Siddharth Singh writes: "There’s something about the appeal of data to economists who are attracted to social democracy. The wretched condition of the poor, [...]. Who in her right mind will deny these facts? If only economists were to theorise keeping in mind these facts, then maybe, just maybe, the world will be a better place."

2016-10-22 The Economist

Private Equity The barbarian establishment

When writing about private equity The Economist refers to a paper by Alexander Ljungqvist, Lars Persson, Joacim Tåg, IFN, “Private Equity’s Unintended Dark Side: on the Economic Consequences of Excessive Delistings”: "As companies shift from being owned by public shareholders to private-equity funds, direct individual exposure to corporate profits is lost."

2016-10-31 ValueWalk

The Damage Done By The Nobel Prize In Economics

In the ValueWalk Michael Edesess asks if "the Nobel Prize in economics been a cause of the global economic woes of the last 20 years", Stating that the book The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn, "makes a good case that it has". Edesses refers to Assar Lindbeck, IFN, as having helped to establish the prize.

2016-10-31 East Asia Forum Quarterly

Japan’s inflation target still a distant goal

Hideo Hayakawa, Fujitsu Research Institute, writes that "Japan seems to be a long way from achieving its 2 per cent inflation target". When explaining slow wage increase Hayakawa refers to Assar Lindbeck, IFN, who introduced the insider–outsider theory in labour economics.

2016-11-02 The Economist

Refugees in Sweden are having a hard time finding work

Too few refugees, not too many, are working in Europe, The Economist states. Adding that "fears are mounting about the social impact of the two-tier labour market that is developing". The magazine has interviewed Magnus Henrekson, IFN. He "fears further ghettoisation and alienation".

2016-11-07 The Huffington Post

Message For New Voters: Look, Listen, Learn, Vote

It is true that people are not just reading and listening, they are looking, The Huffington Post states when commenting on the US presidential election. A study by Niclas Berggren and Henrik Jordahl, IFN, and Panu Poutvaara is quoted saying that "attractiveness is more highly linked with electoral success than either trustworthiness or perceived competence".

2016-12-01 Forbes

Thatcherite François Fillon Could Bring Long Awaited Free Market Reforms To France

Forbes is calling François Fillon (who has secured the French Republican Party Presidential nomination) a "free market champion". In regards to wealth taxes Forbes cites research by David Seim, affiliated to IFN: "Seim found that Sweden’s wealth tax, which was abolished in 2007, also spurred significant tax evasion and capital flight."

2016-12-07 World Politics Review

Immigration Changes the Conversation on Income Inequality in Sweden

Daniel Waldenström, IFN and visiting professor at the Paris School of Economics, is being interviewed in World Politics Review. The topic is inequality in Sweden and the fact that eventough Sweden has one of the lowest rates of inequality in the world, "it is experiencing a wave of anti-etablishment nationalism [...] by a backlash against immigration."

2016-12-22 Slate Magazine

Men Still Aren’t Comfortable With Ambitious Women

Two new studies suggest women pay a steep price for pursuing careers, Slate magazine writes. IFN researchers Olle Folke and Johanna Rickne, "have convincingly shown that female career progression is harmful to marriages there". Slate asks: "If even in Sweden men can’t abide by their spouse’s ambitions, what hope is there for the rest of us?"

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