Research projects

Technical Education, Human Capital and Innovation

Project manager: Erik Prawitz

Research on economic growth has emphasized the role of human capital in economic and technological development, and in particular its role in the transition towards modern economic growth. An important empirical question is, however, to what extent it is average human capital, such as literacy rates, or “upper-tail” knowledge of a smaller group of individuals that matter.

The project uses rich new individual-level data on the universe of both Swedish inventors and individuals with a degree from a technical college between the 18 century and the outbreak of WWI. The data base is created by linking individuals between patent data, census data and newly collected alumni data from technical colleges (1819–1930).

The data base allows the research group to study the relationship between human capital, innovation and productivity at the individual level, as well as at the firm and regional level. In particular, the project aims at identifying the role of human capital in the acceleration of the Swedish economic transition from a poor agrarian economy to an innovative modern economy and shed historical light on the debate concerning what type of human capital that is essential for modern economic growth.

International cooperation

Visiting researchers

Collaborating with others is essential for IFN as a research institute. Our researchers co-author articles with colleagues from other institutes, and many also teach at various universities and colleges.

As part of our extensive program of guest researchers, leading international researchers visit the institute. The visitors present and pursue their research as well as interact and cooperate with researchers at IFN.

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