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  • 1.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó.
    CKS, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping Business School, Jönköping, Sweden; The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    IAS, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption?: How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountabilit2019In: Public Integrity, ISSN 1099-9922, E-ISSN 1558-0989, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 320-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

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    Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption? How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountability
  • 2.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden; The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Bråkmakaren2017In: Axess, ISSN 1651-0941Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 3.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden; Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Busy doing nothing: Why politicians implement inefficient policies2019In: Constitutional Political Economy, ISSN 1043-4062, E-ISSN 1572-9966, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 282-299Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A substantial body of literature suggests that politicians are blocked from implementing efficient reforms that solve substantial problems because of special interest groups or budget constraints. Despite the existing mechanisms that block potentially efficient reforms, real-world data show that a large number of new programs and policies are implemented every year in developed countries. These policies are often selective and considered to be fairly inefficient by ex post evaluation, and they tend to be small in size and scope. With this background, this paper studies the reasons why a rational politician would implement an inefficient public policy that is intended to obfuscate the difficulties in achieving reforms. The paper uses a simple competence signaling model that suggests that if an effective reform is impossible, engaging in strategic obfuscation through an inefficient program increases the probability of winning a re-election compared to doing nothing at all. This is because an inefficient reform does not lead voters to believe that the politician is incompetent, which a lack of action risks doing. Intentional inefficiency aiming to obfuscate the difficulty of efficient reforms can therefore complement the previous theories’ explanations of political failure.

  • 4.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Internationella Handelshögskolan i Jönköping, Jönköping, Sverige; Ratio, stockholm, Sverige.
    Den borgerliga kulturen skapade den industriella revolutionen2017In: Ekonomisk Debatt, ISSN 0345-2646, Vol. 45, no 5, p. 83-85Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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    Den borgerliga kulturen skapade den industriella revolutionen
  • 5.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Industrial policy: Political considerations, payoffs, and peculiar incentives2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four independent papers. They deal with some aspects of industrial policy, namely public supports to firms that are intended to support innovation and growth at the firm level, using Swedish data. Two papers study the efficiency of current Swedish policies by estimating the effects of subsidies and public loans to firms, respectively.

    The results on subsidized firms suggests that there are some positive effects on profits and productivity, but these diminish and disappear over time. The results of public loans are more positive with long lasting effects on productivity and sales but only for smaller firms. Public loans do not lead to an increase in the number of employees in the firms that receive them.

    The third paper studies the selection of firms for subsidies and the incentives firms have to seek them. By modeling the decision to seek subsidies as a trade off between producing in the market and seeking grants, the results suggest that firms with low market productivity might self-select into seeking grants. The empirical results are in line with the theoretical predictions.

    The final paper studies the incentives that politicians have to implement programs and policies that they know will be inefficient. Since a lack of political action can make the politicians look incompetent, incumbentens have incentives to implement policies even though they know that these will be ineffective, to signal competence towards the voters.

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    Industrial Policy: Political Considerations, Payoffs, and Peculiar Incentives
  • 6.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping International Business School; The Ratio Institute.
    Statens roll för företagsstöd och då särskilt innovationsstöd2015In: Tillväxt genom stöd: En bok om statligt stöd tillnäringslivet / [ed] Gustavsson Tingvall, P., Östersund: Tillväxtanalys , 2015, p. 13-21Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Kapitlet diskuter argument för och emot statlig intervention och selektiva stödåtgärder. Under vilka förutsättningar är det motiverat att stötta företag och FoI-verksamhet, och vilka utmaningar möter en sådan politik? Argument för statligt stöd är att staten kan lösa marknadsproblem. Exempelvis kan staten behöva stötta innovativa företag som annars har svårt att få finansiering. Det är ofta svårt för banker och andra finansiärer att bedöma dessa företags lönsamhet, vilket gör dem mindre benägna att låna ut pengar. Riskkapitalbolag kan ta större risker, men stödjer sällan nya företag eftersom det blir för dyrt att utvärdera om de är värda att satsa på. Ett annat argument är att ny kunskap har positiva effekter på andra än de företag som får stöd. Därför bör staten stötta innovativa företag och projekt som ännu inte är lönsamma nog för marknaden. Dessutom kan staten ta en aktiv roll för att samordna och effektivisera innovationssystemet och samverkan mellan stat, näringsliv, akademi och finansiärer. Argument emot statligt stöd är att företag ägnar sig åt att söka stöd i stället för åt produktivt arbete. Stödet kan också gå till företag som är bra på att söka stöd och ägnar sig åt ”rätt” saker, snarare än de företag som bäst behöver det. Ett annat motargument är att det kan vara svårt att motivera varför staten skulle vara bättre på att hitta lönsamma företag än marknaden. Statliga selektiva stöd kan också leda till att ett mindre produktivt företag konkurrerar ut ett som är mer produktivt. Andra utmaningar som stödpolitiken har att brottas med är bland annat att det kan vara dyrt att administrera stöden, att stöden inte generar nya investeringar utan bara ses som en alternativ finansiering till en åtgärd som skulle gjorts i alla fall och att de kan hindra nödvändig strukturomvandling. Men statligt stöd kan också handla om att stötta företag i utsatta regioner och sektorer. Här handlar det om medmänsklighet och valfrihet för medborgarna. Vi menar dock att även om stöden är av denna karaktär bör de användas så effektivt som möjligt.

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    Statens roll för företagsstöd och då särskilt innovationsstöd
  • 7.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    et al.
    The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Stephan, Andreas
    The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Hallman, Alice
    The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Karlsson, Nils
    The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    The “sugar rush” from innovation subsidies: a robust political economy perspective2016In: Empirica, ISSN 0340-8744, E-ISSN 1573-6911, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 729-756Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The governments of most advanced countries offer some type of financial subsidy to encourage firm innovation and productivity. This paper analyzes the effects of innovation subsidies using a unique Swedish database that contains firm level data for the period 1997–2011, specifically informa tion on firm subsidies over a broad range of programs. Applying causal treatment effect analysis based on matching and a diff-in-diff approach combined with a qualitative case study of Swedish innovation subsidy programs, we test whether such subsidies have positive effects on firm performance. Our results indicate a lack of positive performance effects in the long run for the majority of firms, albeit there are positive short-run effects on human capital investments and also positive short-term productivity effects for the smallest firms. These findings are interpreted from a robust political economy perspective that reveals that the problems of acquiring correct information and designing appropriate incentives are so complex that the absence of significant positive long-run effects on firm performance for the majority of firms is not surprising.

  • 8.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    et al.
    Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).
    Tingvall, Patrik Gustavsson
    The European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS), Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden; National Board of Trade Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Halvarsson, Daniel
    The Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Subsidy Entrepreneurs: an Inquiry into Firms Seeking Public Grants2019In: Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, ISSN 1566-1679, E-ISSN 1573-7012Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies the incentives and characteristics of firms that apply for, and eventually receive, one or multiple governmental grants intended to stimulate innovation and growth. The analysis departs from a contest model in which entrepreneurs are free to allocate their effort between production and seeking grants. The results suggest that highly productive entrepreneurs abstain from seeking grants, moderately productive firms allocate a share of their effort to grant seeking, and low-productivity firms allocate most resources to seeking grants. Due to their efforts in seeking grants, these low-productive subsidy entrepreneurs also have a relatively high probability of receiving the grants. Using comprehensive data over grants from the three largest grant-distributing agencies in Sweden, we find concordant evidence of a negative relation between the probability of receiving a grant and firm productivity. As we go from single- to multiple-grant-supported firms, this negative relation becomes more pronounced.

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