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  • 1.
    Erlingsson, Gissur
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Öhrvall, Richard
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Tavares, Antonio F.
    Univ Minho, Portugal.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Close actions speak louder than distant words? The effect of local parties on voter turnout in Swedish local elections 1994-20182024In: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties, ISSN 1745-7289, E-ISSN 1745-7297Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Does the presence of local political parties increase turnout in municipal elections? A handful of previous studies have found that local parties indeed have this effect. Against that backdrop, we examine the impact of the rapid growth in the number of local parties on voter turnout in Swedish local elections. We test the so-called "best of both worlds" hypothesis, which predicts that the presence of local parties - alongside lists of local branches of national party organizations - increases choice for the voters, and thereby increases voter turnout. Our empirical tests employ data from seven Swedish local elections between 1994 and 2018. Ultimately, and contrary to findings from other settings, our results suggest that the presence of local parties does not contribute to higher voter turnout in Sweden. We maintain that this most likely is due to Sweden being a tough test for this hypothesis since Sweden has some unique institutional characteristics, such as concurrent elections and high baseline turnout in local elections.

  • 2. Order onlineBuy this publication >>
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Corruption risks in a mature democracy: Mechanisms of social advantage and danger zones for corruption2023Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Researchers have repeatedly found that corruption has a wide range of negative consequences, not least in developing countries where corruption typically constitutes an endemic part of people’s lives. However, much less is known about the prevalence and effects of corruption in mature democracies. While such states regularly find themselves at the top of anti-corruption rankings, they are not immune to corruption scandals related to, for instance, recruitment to public positions, procurement, the issuance of permits, etcetera.

    Against this backdrop, some scholars have argued that the size of the corruption problem in mature democracies may be underestimated. One common and underlying argument is that corruption in these settings takes on hidden and ‘sophisticated’ forms that are difficult to expose, hard to prosecute, and therefore, difficult to measure. Accordingly, corruption in mature democracies has largely been downplayed or overlooked, and hence constitutes a blind spot for most practitioners and corruption scholars. That said, when scholars have paid attention to corruption in mature democracies, the tendency has been to focus on theoretical discussions rather than rigorous empirical research. As a result of measurement problems and data limitations, scholars have found it difficult to assess the extent of corruption in settings characterised by more sophisticated forms of corruption.

    As a means of addressing this research gap, the overarching purpose of this thesis is to apply research strategies that allow us to quantify the prevalence and potential effects of corruption risks at the micro level in the context of a mature democracy – Sweden. This is achieved by employing large-scale administrative data combined with statistical methods that measure corruption risks at the granular level of individuals, firms, and processes. I maintain that the approaches employed in the thesis have at least two advantages vis-á-vis the lion’s share of existing corruption research: 1) it makes it possible to detect corruption risks in areas where the presence of corruption has previously been downplayed or unknown; and 2) it estimates corruption risks at the micro level, which allows for a more granular understanding of variations in corruption risks, between both municipalities and organisations.

    Ultimately, the results of the thesis show the prevalence of corruption risks in the Swedish public sector in the areas of recruitment to public sector jobs, the rental housing market, and public procurement. Moreover, the thesis also shows that perceived corruption in Swedish municipalities is associated with lower levels of entrepreneurship. In line with a decent amount of previous research, the thesis’s main findings support the notion that subnational variations in institutional quality and impartiality are relevant even in mature democracies.

    List of papers
    1. Firm performance, imperfect competition, and corruption risks in procurement: evidence from Swedish municipalities
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Firm performance, imperfect competition, and corruption risks in procurement: evidence from Swedish municipalities
    2023 (English)In: Public Choice, ISSN 0048-5829, E-ISSN 1573-7101Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that corruption risks may distort market incentives in high-risk contexts. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the potential impact of corruption in settings characterized by low corruption and high-quality institutions. Against that background, this paper delves deeper into the alleged consequences of corruption by examining the link between corruption risks in public procurement and the profitability of firms in the Swedish construction industry. We introduce a novel measure of corruption risk based on the share of single bidder contracts that a firm has won. Validity analysis confirms that our measure is correlated with an alternative corruption measure and local tender winners. Our results reveal that firms that win many single bidder contracts have higher profitability than other firms in the sector: 10 percentage points higher single bidding rate firms have a 0.2–0.6-percentage-point higher sales margin. The findings underscore that public procurement corruption risks distort markets and economic incentives, and that this risk is present even in low-corruption contexts such as in Sweden.

    Keywords
    Public procurement, Corruption, Imperfect markets, Firm performance
    National Category
    Economics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-197628 (URN)10.1007/s11127-023-01102-8 (DOI)001060313600001 ()
    Note

    Funding: Open access funding provided by Linköping University. Moreover, financial support from the Centre for Local Government Studies at the Linköping University for the project is gratefully acknowledged. We are also grateful to the Swedish Competition Authority, which financed the data collection through the project ‘Public procurement cartels: A systematic testing of old and new screens’. The authors report no competing interests for this project.

    Available from: 2023-09-05 Created: 2023-09-05 Last updated: 2023-10-03Bibliographically approved
    2. Does local government corruption inhibit entrepreneurship?
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does local government corruption inhibit entrepreneurship?
    2023 (English)In: Small Business Economics, ISSN 0921-898X, E-ISSN 1573-0913Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
    Abstract [en]

    The dominant ‘sand in the wheels’ view holds that entrepreneurship is strongly inhibited by corruption. Challenging this, the ‘grease the wheels’ view maintains that corruption might increase entrepreneurship in highly regulated economies. We extend the basic predictions of these theories by examining entrepreneurs’ start-up decisions, as well as their location choices, in a seemingly low-corruption environment: Swedish municipalities. Combining a validated index of corruption perceptions in local government with population data on new entrepreneurs, nested logit models reveal that even in a low-corruption setting such as Sweden, perceptions of corruption can deter latent entrepreneurs. We also find that a minority of entrepreneurs relocate from their home municipalities to establish their start-ups elsewhere. Surprisingly and contrary to expectations, these relocating entrepreneurs often relocate from relatively low-corruption municipalities to others that are more corrupt. Implications for future research and public policy are discussed.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Springer, 2023
    Keywords
    Entrepreneurship, Location choice, Corruption, Local government
    National Category
    Economics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-194303 (URN)10.1007/s11187-023-00783-1 (DOI)000995338100001 ()
    Projects
    Corruption risks in a mature democracy: Mechanisms of social advantage and danger zones for corruption
    Funder
    Linköpings universitet
    Note

    Funding: Linkoeping University

    Available from: 2023-06-01 Created: 2023-06-01 Last updated: 2023-10-19
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  • 3.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. The Institute for Analytical Sociology, Linköping University.
    Dags att prata uppdragsojämlikhet?2023In: Kommunal Ekonomi, no 6, p. 43-45Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wennberg, Karl
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. House of Governance and Public Policy (GaPP), Stockholm School of Economics.
    Does local government corruption inhibit entrepreneurship?2023In: Small Business Economics, ISSN 0921-898X, E-ISSN 1573-0913Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The dominant ‘sand in the wheels’ view holds that entrepreneurship is strongly inhibited by corruption. Challenging this, the ‘grease the wheels’ view maintains that corruption might increase entrepreneurship in highly regulated economies. We extend the basic predictions of these theories by examining entrepreneurs’ start-up decisions, as well as their location choices, in a seemingly low-corruption environment: Swedish municipalities. Combining a validated index of corruption perceptions in local government with population data on new entrepreneurs, nested logit models reveal that even in a low-corruption setting such as Sweden, perceptions of corruption can deter latent entrepreneurs. We also find that a minority of entrepreneurs relocate from their home municipalities to establish their start-ups elsewhere. Surprisingly and contrary to expectations, these relocating entrepreneurs often relocate from relatively low-corruption municipalities to others that are more corrupt. Implications for future research and public policy are discussed.

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    fulltext
  • 5.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Fazekas, Mihály
    Department of Public Policy, Central European University, Vienna, Austria.
    Firm performance, imperfect competition, and corruption risks in procurement: evidence from Swedish municipalities2023In: Public Choice, ISSN 0048-5829, E-ISSN 1573-7101Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that corruption risks may distort market incentives in high-risk contexts. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the potential impact of corruption in settings characterized by low corruption and high-quality institutions. Against that background, this paper delves deeper into the alleged consequences of corruption by examining the link between corruption risks in public procurement and the profitability of firms in the Swedish construction industry. We introduce a novel measure of corruption risk based on the share of single bidder contracts that a firm has won. Validity analysis confirms that our measure is correlated with an alternative corruption measure and local tender winners. Our results reveal that firms that win many single bidder contracts have higher profitability than other firms in the sector: 10 percentage points higher single bidding rate firms have a 0.2–0.6-percentage-point higher sales margin. The findings underscore that public procurement corruption risks distort markets and economic incentives, and that this risk is present even in low-corruption contexts such as in Sweden.

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  • 6.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The intergenerational transfer of public sector jobs: Nepotism or social reproduction?2023Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Do kinship ties affect one's chances of acquiring a public sector job and do they, in such cases, trump formal qualifications? These questions have been subject to scrutiny by both scholars and policymakers, but to date, mainly as a result of data limitations, the empirical evidence is scarce and unclear. This paper explores the role played by kinship in relation to qualified administrative public sector jobs in the context of Sweden, an egalitarian society and top-ranked meritocracy. The paper examines whether an individual's chance of acquiring a public sector job increases if one of his/her parents is already employed in the same part of the public sector and/or organisation. The analysis employs detailed register data that contain complete information on kinship relations. It focuses on state agencies and municipalities in Sweden between 2001 and 2016 and explores the mechanisms behind the intergenerational transfer of public sector jobs in an egalitarian and low-corruption setting. The results reveal that the probability of acquiring a job in the state sector in general increases by about 5-6 percentage points when a parent is employed in a qualified position at a state agency. A parental effect, although lower, is also found for employment in the less prestigious local government. This parental effect can in part, be explained by an increased probability of obtaining employment specifically at the parent's agency and by a higher probability of having acquired valuable work experience prior to graduation.  

  • 7.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Belfrage, Michael
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Uppdragskoncentration i svenska kommuner: Om uppdragsojämlikhet och maktkoncentration2023Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Sverige anses regelmässigt tillhöra världens bäst fungerande demokratier. Med det sagt tillsätts återkommande statliga utredningar med uppgift att granska demokratins funktionssätt. Inte sällan uppmärksammas problem och utvecklingsområden. Ett område som regelmässigt uppmärksammas är den ökande koncentrationen av uppdrag i händerna på några få individer ute i de svenska kommunsektorn. 

    Mot denna bakgrund syftar föreliggande rapport till att undersöka uppdragskoncentration i svenska kommuner. Den gör det genom att kartlägga koncentrationen av politiska uppdrag samt utforska kopplingen mellan organisationsstruktur och uppdragskoncentration. 

    Författarna uppmärksammar bland annat att uppdragskoncentration har begränsningar som indikator på maktkoncentration då måttet inte tar hänsyn till ojämlikhet i fördelningen av uppdrag mellan politiker inom en given kommun. Vidare är sambandet mellan kommunstorlek och uppdragskoncentration inte lika tydligt som det kan verka vid första anblick. Författarna framhäver att uppdragskoncentration inte bara är kopplad till kommunstorlek, utan är starkt korrelerad med hur en kommun väljer att organisera sig. Ett viktigt och delvis nytt resultat jämfört med tidigare forskning är sålunda att kommunerna själva har en betydande möjlighet att påverka koncentrationen av uppdrag. 

    För att stärka demokratin och öka inslaget av maktdelning i kommunsektorn bör därför lokala partiorganisationer se över sina interna nomineringsförfaranden och kommuner bör noggrant granskar sin egen organisationsstruktur. Båda dessa faktorer påverkar förekomst av uppdragsojämlikhet och koncentration av makt inom kommunen.

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  • 8.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Vi har mer korruption i Sverige än vi tror2023In: Forskning och Framsteg, ISSN 0015-7937, Vol. 2023, no 5, p. 16-17Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 9.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wallman Lundåsen, Susanne
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Lokalt antikorruptionsarbete: Grundläggande för att nå hållbarhetsmålen2022In: Kommunerna och hållbar utveckling: Demokrati, välfärd och lokal utveckling / [ed] Brita Hermelin, Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2022, p. 39-50Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 10.
    Carlberg Larsson, Elis
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wallman Lundåsen, Susanne
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies.
    Variations in vaccination uptake: COVID-19 vaccination rates in Swedish municipalities2022In: PLOS Global Public Health, E-ISSN 2767-3375, Vol. 2, no 10, article id e0001204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Facing the threat of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines are important for limiting the spread and consequences of the pandemic. In this study, we provide a descriptive overview of the within-country variations of vaccine rates by examining to what extent voter turnout , support for an anti-establishment political party (Sweden Democrats), presence of first-generation immigrants, and Evangelical religiosity are associated with the within-country variation in vaccine uptake rates. We use official register data for municipality-level vaccine rates and municipality-level regressions with regional fixed effects. Our analyses show that vaccine uptake, on average, is lower in municipalities where the anti-establishment political party Sweden Democrats has higher vote shares and where a larger share of the population is first-generation immigrants. We discuss that potential explanations for these associations between vote shares for an anti-establishment party and shares of first-generation immigrants could be lower levels of trust in institutions and language barriers.

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  • 11.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Department of Economics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    What happens when municipalities run corporations?: Empirical evidence from 290 Swedish municipalities2022In: Local Government Studies, ISSN 0300-3930, E-ISSN 1743-9388, Vol. 48, no 4, p. 704-727Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Local governments are increasingly relying on municipally owned corporations (MOCs) to provide public services. Some describe this development as a rational response to austerity challenges and emphasise the cost-efficiency of MOCs (‘the optimistic view’). Others identify complications and associate MOCs with weak supervision, lack of accountability, and corruption risks (‘the sceptical view’). Hitherto, no studies have analysed these opposing claims on MOCs in the one and same inquiry. We address this gap by focusing on Sweden, which has experienced a dramatic growth in the number of MOCs. We examine the association between the number of MOCs, the business climate, satisfaction with local government, local tax rates, and a corruption index for all 290 Swedish municipalities. Putting the ‘optimistic view’ into doubt, results indicate that municipalities relying heavily on MOCs are associated with more perceived corruption and higher taxes but do not have more satisfied citizens nor a better business climate.

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  • 12.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Does Becoming a Politician Increase Internal Political Efficacy and Satisfaction with Democracy?: Evidence from a Longitudinal Panel of Councillors in Sweden2021In: Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy, ISSN 0034-4893, E-ISSN 1749-4001, Vol. 57, no 4, p. 475-496Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Being elected to a governing body for the first time has been described as both a unique and transforming experience. Accordingly, theorists of elite political socialisation assume that deepened political participation fosters internal political efficacy and satisfaction with democracy. Does this assumption hold for individuals who step up from being grass-root members to become local councillors? In a novel, explorative approach to the question, a longitudinal panel design is employed where perceptions and attitudes of 71 elected and 66 unelected candidates that stood for the 2014 local elections in Sweden are traced over a four-year period. The respondents answered three surveys: right before the 2014 election, mid-term 2016, and close to the 2018 election. We test if the elected newcomers’ internal efficacy and satisfaction with decision-making structures became stronger the more deepened, formal political experience they got. However, this hypothesis is solidly rejected. Contrary to theoretical expectations, strengthened internal efficacy and increased satisfaction with decision-making structures do not follow from four years of formalised political experience as a councillor.

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  • 13.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Lindström, Markus
    Faugert & Co Utvärdering AB.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Kommunala bolag som korruptionsrisk2020In: Kommunala bolag / [ed] Gissur Ó Erlingsson, Anna Thomasson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2020, p. 173-189Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Society, Centre for Local Government Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Respekterar kommunala bolag offentlighetsprincipen?2020In: Kommunala bolag / [ed] Gissur Ó Erlingsson, Anna Thomasson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2020, p. 111-125Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Lunds universitet, Sweden.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping Business School, Sweden; The Ratio Institute, Sweden.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    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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  • 16.
    Wadström, Christoffer
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Uddin, Gazi Salah
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Jayasekera, Ranadeva
    Trinity Business School, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
    Role of renewable energy on industrial output in Canada2019In: Energy Economics, ISSN 0140-9883, E-ISSN 1873-6181, Vol. 81, p. 626-638Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several scholars have highlighted the idea that energy consumption in general and consumption of renewable energy (RE) in particular may be a potential driver of economic growth. In this paper, we examine the relationship between RE production and economic activity in Canada between May 1966 and December 2015. By applying quantile causality (Troster, 2018), we adopt a nonlinear approach considering all quantiles of the distribution and analysing monthly data consisting of RE production and the Canadian Industrial Production Index (IPI). We find evidence of a nonlinear relationship in Canada, an important result that widely-used linear models fail to capture. Our main findings imply a unidirectional relationship going from the IPI to RE production, which supports the Conservation hypothesis. The directionality between RE and economic growth is sensitive to the market conditions in Canada.

  • 17.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    They Talk the Talk – But Do They Walk the Walk?: On the implementation of Right to Information Legislation in Sweden2018In: Offentlig Förvaltning. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2000-8058, E-ISSN 2001-3310, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 3-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transparency is recognized as a crucial condition for accountability, good governance and democracy. As right to information (RTI) laws have spread, it has become crucial to ask whether ambitious legislative frameworks translate to de facto transparency. In this article, we test how well local governments in Sweden – a ‘most likely country’ for implementing RTI laws – comply with its comparatively ambitious Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act. As a side effect, we also gauge if New Public Management reforms, exemplified by increased public ownership of enterprises in local government, imply lessened compliance with RTI legislation. Requesting information from 462 randomly selected public administrations and municipally owned enterprises, counterintuitive findings were observed. Fewer than half of the organizations respected the RTI legislation, and no significant differences were found between the public administrations and publicly owned enterprises. The findings have methodological as well as empirical implications. They highlight the importance of not only studying legislative frameworks – as has frequently been done in previous work – but also of analyzing actual implementation of RTI frameworks in everyday situations. Additionally, the findings demonstrate that problems relating to openness can be observed in low corrupt, mature democracies with strong bureaucratic capacity. Lastly, and contrary to conventional wisdom, the findings indicate that publicly owned corporations do not necessarily imply an ‘accountability deficit’.

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  • 18.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    De kommunala bolagen och offentlighetsprincipen2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Offentlighetsprincipen beskrivs ofta som en hörnsten i den svenska demokratin. Den innebär bland annat att journalister och medborgare har rätt till tillgång till information om den offentliga verksamheten i stat, kommun och landsting. Den principen tar sig framförallt uttryck i allmänna handlingars offentlighet. Möjligheten att granska makten på det sättet utgör en viktig förutsättning för ansvarsutkrävande, och ansvarsutkrävande är i sin tur en förutsättning för en välfungerande demokrati. Sålunda kan argumenteras, att om offentlighets-principen inte efterföljs, kan det skada demokratins kvalitet.

    Mot den bakgrunden är kommunalt ägda företag av särskilt intresse. År 1995 reformerades möjligheten till insyn i kommunala bolag, så att offentlighetsprincipen också omfattar dem. Lagändringen till trots, har flera studier uppmärksammat hur besvärligt det kan vara för journalister och allmänhet att få ut allmänna handlingar från kommunala bolag. Det är otillfredsställande i ljuset av att kommunala bolag blivit allt fler under perioden 2003–2016, och därigenom fått en ökande betydelse för kommunerna och deras invånare. Att kunna granska offentliga verksamheter som förvaltar stora samhällsvärden är en central förutsättning för ansvarsutkrävande. Det gäller givetvis också verksamheten i kommunalt ägda bolag.

    Emellertid dras huvuddelen av tidigare forskning med ett grundläggande metodologiskt problem. Endast de kommunala bolagen har undersökts. Sålunda görs ingen jämförelse med regelefterlevnaden i kommunal förvaltning. Så, visst, vi vet att kommunala bolag inte är särskilt bra på att följa offentlighetsprincipen. Men vi vet inte om förvaltningar är så mycket bättre.

    I syfte att justera denna skevhet i tidigare forskning, har vi genomfört ett slags ”stresstest”, där vi har begärt ut allmänna handlingar från både kommunala bolag och kommunala förvaltningar. Våra resultat är något överraskande och går delvis emot standardantaganden om sämre tillgänglighet till information om verksamheten i kommunala bolag. Båda driftsformerna tycks nämligen ha ungefär lika stora problem med att uppfylla kriteriet på skyndsam utlämning av det material vi önskade ha: cirka hälften av båda undersökningspopulationerna klarade inte vår måttstock om skyndsamt hanterande av utlämnandet.

    Implikationen av resultaten att man kanske inte enbart ska rikta kritik mot kommunala bolag vad avser öppenhet, insyn och möjlighet till granskning. Givetvis finns förbättringspotential där, det har vi ingen ambition att ifrågasätta. Men kritiken äger större allmängiltighet än så. Trots vackra ord om den svenska offentlighetsprincipen, verkar förvaltningar i praktiken ha brister när det kommer till utlämnande av allmänna handlingar. Rapporten väcker sålunda viktiga och generella frågor om den praktiska och vardagliga efterlevnaden av offentlighetsprincipen.

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