The Economics of the Service Sector


Efficient Provision of Public Services

On June 9─10 2016, a group of researchers from Sweden, United States and Britain attended IFN’s annual academic conference in Vaxholm. This year’s topic was “Efficient Provision of Public Services”, within the framework of the IFN research project Public services in the future. Subjects discussed ranged from education reforms to for-profit corporations in the welfare sector and the use of antibiotics.


Does management matter in schools?

An international research study by Nicholas Bloom, professor at Stanford University, and three other researchers, shows that there is a correlation between school management and pupils' test scores. Schools with high quality management have higher test scores. The research was presented at a seminar within the programme From Welfare State to Welfare Society on June 10, 2015. 


Lessons from the UK on competition in health care

Carol Propper, professor at University of Bristol and at Imperial College Business School visited SNS for a seminar on September 6, 2013, within the programme From Welfare State to Welfare Society. At SNS, Propper talked about lessons from the UK on Competition in health care. One of the findings presented in her research review was that the quality of health care improved when the UK introduced user choice. 


European working group for intangible investment

On September 28–29 2009, IFN hosted a research group working on intangible investment. The meeting was part of the EU project COINVEST which is financed by the European Commission. Economists from Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK met in Stockholm to measure and compare intangible investments. The meeting was organized by Harald Edquist and Henrik Jordahl.


Beyond the resource constraint: Alternative ways to improve schooling

On May 28-29 2009, IFN invited several distinguished researchers to an international conference in Vaxholm on the economics of education. The participants presented papers on evaluations of schools and teachers, incentive pay, grades and standardized tests, different types of instruction,  school choice, as well as the importance of a good headmaster.


International conference on privatization

On June 16-17, 2008, researchers from Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Sweden, the UK, and the US met to discuss privatization and the economic interplay between the public and the private sector. The presentations included topics such as privatization of state owned companies, contracting for government services, and competition between schools. Steven Kelman of Harvard University presented his book Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government.


Nordic Workshop in Industrial Organization (NORIO VI)

On June 1–2 2007, Johan Stennek and Thomas Tangerås organized the sixth Nordic workshop in industrial economics (Norio). Mark Armstrong, professor at University College London, gave a keynote speech on competition issues on the mobile telecommunications market. The other main topic of the workshop was private vs. public production of publicly financed services.


Globalization of the Production of Services: Implications for Small Open Economies

On November 20, 2006, IFN arranged a conference on globalization of the service production and the conditions for small open economies, such as Sweden. The conference, which assembled leading international researchers as well as Swedish policy debaters, focused on issues such as: How does information technology influence the globalization of services and what are the effects for growth and prosperity? Which role is played by national policies and bilateral and multilateral agreements? Five papers from the conference have been published in a special issue of Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade (No. 3-4, 2008).


For conferences in Swedish, see the corresponding Swedish page: Link

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 |