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Research areas

Climate, Energy and Economic Growth

The focus of research within the LEGS (Long-term Energy Growth and Sustainability) network is on economic aspects of energy systems. Society faces the issue of accomplishing large technological shifts in order to mitigate harmful climate change as well as to meet challenges arising from resource constraints in the face of accelerating economic growth and population growth globally. To encourage shifts towards sustainability it is necessary not only to promote technological innovations, but also to learn more about entrepreneurial behaviour and about firms under competitive pressure. Furthermore, institutional settings and relative prices directing behaviour of investments and consumption are of primary importance to study, as well as areas of conflicts in resource utilization.

Economic Demography

The Centre for Economic Demography strives to enhance the understanding of the demographic and economic behaviour of individuals and families during a period when Sweden was transformed from an agrarian society to a modern welfare state, and shifted from being an emigrant to an immigrant society. Contemporary demographic conditions, working life and health are studied in a life-course perspective, with important questions such as how inherited factors and the environment influence the individual, and what effects changes in the economy and in welfare have on marriage, fertility, labour force participation, health and mortality. Researchers at the Centre have developed several high-quality databases with economic, demographic, and medical micro-data, both historical (Scanian Demographic Database, SDD), covering the period 1646-1895, and contemporary (Swedish Longitudinal Immigration Database, SLI), with data from 1968 onwards as well as pre-migration data extending further back in time. SDD is currently being extended to include data for the period from 1895 until today.

Finance

The recent credit boom and ensuing recession have revealed a need for an improved understanding of financial market developments and of financial crises. It also raised the question to what extent financial stability can be maintained through regulation and taxation. These issues are addressed in research conducted within this area. An area where much work has been done is research focusing on the relation between the firm and its macroeconomic environment including corporate management of macroeconomic risks. The group also explores financial market behaviour, broadly defined. Research covers areas such as asset pricing, market liquidity and risk management, as well as behavioural finance. The interactions between the institutional framework – in particular taxes and the legal framework – and economic efficiency, stability and welfare are other topics covered. Ultimately, this research has a bearing on how markets ought to be regulated, and how corporate governance could be improved. The members of the group have co-operated for many years, making it possible to integrate knowledge from financial economics, corporate finance and governance, managerial and financial accounting, law, and advanced econometrics to address research issues. Collaborations with psychology and mathematics are well established.

Global Institutions

Recent experience in developing and transition economies underscores that “knowing the right institutions” in the abstract does not yet provide sufficient knowledge on how to implement and enforce good institutions let alone how institutions actually emerge. The focus of research in this area therefore shifts attention to the analysis of the rise and change of different institutional arrangements. Such focus is not only important for theory building and –testing, it also promises insights informing policymakers and advisors in developing countries or countries undergoing institutional reforms. Issues addressed within this area include: How are institutions devised and guaranteed in different contexts? Which context-specific factors are decisive for different outcomes? What are the interaction effects between state-mandated rules and informal norms? Is there a variety of benign institutional arrangements or are they universal?

Health Economics and Management

Health Economics & Management is defined as the application of the theories, concepts and techniques of economics and management to any issue related to health. During the last decades there has been a growing interest in this field which partly can be explained by the reduced economic growth, deficits in public budgets and increased unemployment rates in the 1990s and partly by the rapid introduction of new and more expensive health care technologies. The increasing number of treatments that potentially can be used to improve health has led to a widening gap between what the health sector technically can achieve and what society is able and willing to pay. This has led to an increased attention to economic research questions in the health sector.

The research areas within Health Economics & Management include:

  • What determines individual and population health other than health care and health insurance?
  • What is the relative contribution of health care, income levels, education, and environmental factors?
  • What value is placed on health and how can it be quantified?
  • What payment systems for health service providers are available and how do these influence their behaviour?
  • What means and management techniques are available to maximize the achievement of the objectives of the health sector (e.g. resource allocation and management control systems, planning and follow-up methods, process control) and how effective are they?
  • What are the effects of different ways of financing and organizing the health sector in terms of efficiency and equity criteria?
  • What are the effects of globalization on health and health inequality? Does globalization improve or worsen health in less developed countries? What are the determinants of health (in)equality?

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Much of the research on innovation and innovation systems is conducted in collaboration between the School of Economics and Management and CIRCLE, in many cases by faculty members with dual affiliations. CIRCLE is an interdisciplinary research centre, spanning several faculties at Lund University. CIRCLE’s mission is to carry out internationally leading and highly policy relevant research. Its fields of research are Innovation, Innovation systems, Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Creation, with a focus on the dynamics in globalising learning economies.

The research programme in entrepreneurship involves around 15 researchers, and is conducted in close collaboration with CIRCLE and some faculty members have dual affiliations. The research is organized in four research programmes: (i) entrepreneurial learning and education, especially focusing on evaluation of entrepreneurial teaching programmes; (ii) academic entrepreneurship, concerning the development and growth of spin-off companies from universities as well as the effects of organisations promoting academic entrepreneurship (e.g. technology transfer offices); (iii) immigrant entrepreneurship, including a broad range of projects from econometric studies of start-up ventures to in-depth case studies of growth-oriented ventures managed by immigrant entrepreneurs; and (iv) entrepreneurial finance and venture capital that involves projects from entrepreneurial demand perspective (e.g. bootstrapping financing) as well as the supply of finance in seed and start-up phases (especially ‘business angels’).

LUMOS: Lund University Management and Organisation Studies

Organisation studies cover a wide area of aspects such as how organisations affect and are affected by the society, goals and objectives, leadership, managerial control, internal and external relationships, organisation structures, organisational culture, organisational change, and organisational behaviour. Most of the research is conducted within the KLIO-program (Knowledge, Leadership & Identity in Organisations), with long term financial support from a number of funding agencies. The KLIO research consists of a number of sub-projects: manager identity, leadership, knowledge work, organisation culture and innovation. The program focuses principally on subjectivity of sense-making in organisations. Specific activities, conceptions, and interactions are studied – activities that contribute to the creation of organisational phenomena like leadership, knowledge, learning, innovation, culture and identity. Empirical studies have been done in telecom companies, pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms within management and IT, advertising, schools and healthcare. An additional large program focuses on branding work in relationship to organisational image and identity. Here firms investing heavily in branding are studied, with a focus on internal organisational processes and specific interactions with those targeted by the branding activities. Business schools and consumer goods firms are objects of study.

Marketing

The marketing programme consists of about 25 researchers and PhD students. One important research area for the group is studies of branding and brand management from different perspectives. Substantial interest is also devoted to inter-firm relationships between retailers, distributors and manufacturers, and to international marketing aspects involving research on, for instance, new market entry and networking. Consumer studies, market-driven innovation and retailing are also areas where the group conducts substantial research. The marketing group cooperates closely with the Swedish food and retail sector and also in interdisciplinary research with other faculties. This is described in greater detail under Lund International Food Studies.