Main subject areas in economics

Research at the Department of Economics is organised in a number of specialised research areas:

Labour Economics

Research in Labour Economics may address macro-level concepts such as labour supply and unemployment, or micro-level concepts such as the determinants of human capital. Our labour economists are micro-oriented with an emphasis on credible empirical methods.

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Financial Economics

Financial economics is a multifaceted area; in addition to core subjects like asset pricing, risk management, and corporate governance, it encompasses the legal, regulatory, tax, and governance frameworks surrounding the financial system.
We have a well-established group of researchers in financial economics. The team currently collaborates with all major Swedish universities, and has built a strong Nordic network, collaborating with all major Nordic universities.

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The research group in econometrics consists of time series econometricians, who overlap to a large extent with macroeconomists and a number of financial economists at the department, and of some microeconometricians, mainly within labour and health economics. There are also a few theoretical econometricians. Other researchers within the department have econometric applications, but their research will be found within their own specialisations.

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International Economics and Development Economics

Development Economics and International Economics are two closely linked fields of Economics, aimed at answering questions that are related in various ways to this overarching issue. Courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and research in these two fields play an important role at the Department of Economics.

International Economics deals with the causes and consequences of economic transactions – such as trade and foreign direct investment – between countries. There is a tradition at the department for studying these issues in relation to European economic integration.

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Health Economics

Health Economics is the application of economic theories and methods in the area of health. The Health Economics group conducts a wide range of applied and methodological research on the multifaceted relationship between health and economic factors/behaviours.

Studies produced by the group shed light on the demand for health, investigating among other things the consequences of chronic diseases and unhealthy behaviours such as alcohol and tobacco consumption, and obesity. The group also studies the impact of economic determinants in early life and adulthood, both at the individual level and at the macro-level, taking into account the potential health effects of recessions and booms.

In addition, the Health Economics group investigates the incentives and organisation within public and private health care, together with health systems organisation in terms of efficiency of health care production and distribution of resources between groups in society. The Health Economics group also conducts successful research on methods and applications of economic evaluations of medical technologies and prevention.

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We have a long history of research within the field of macroeconomics. One strand of research focuses on fiscal and monetary stabilisation policies and how globalisation and the growth of the financial sector impact the possibility for a small open economy to conduct an independent stabilisation policy. This research also includes studies on the relationship between monetary policy and inequality in a low interest environment. Macroeconomic research at the department includes empirical as well as theoretical work.

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Microeconomics studies the behaviour of economic agents, such as households and firms, and their interaction with various forms of economic institutions. The microeconomics research group is made up of a large and active group of researchers working on a wide range of topics.

One subgroup specialises in market/mechanism design and social choice theory. The research focuses primarily on the design of strategy-proof mechanisms, auction design, voting rules, and provision of public goods. Another active group of researchers uses empirical and experimental methods to understand individual decision-making and behaviour in games. The topics of research include cooperation and communication in games and decision-making under risk and uncertainty. Other research areas include cooperative and non-cooperative game theory, public economics and industrial organisation.

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Public and Institutional Economics

Public and institutional economics has had a strong standing at the department over the past 60 years. The interest in the subject derives from the early Swedish work in the area and the large public sector arising from the creation of the welfare state.

There have been notable theoretical contributions to the economics of natural resources, taxation and the theory of justice as fairness and a variety of applications to areas such as industrial organisation, taxation, pension systems, health economics and labour economics.

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