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Gunnar Isacsson - new professor 2022

Gunnar Isacsson

Gunnar Isacsson, adjunct professor of economics, started working at the Government Offices after his bachelor’s degree in the early 1990s.
“These were the years when Sweden was in a deep economic crisis, and that experience contributed to me starting research in economics, he says.”

1964 born in Uppsala

1999 Obtained his PhD in economics at Stockholm University with his thesis Essays on the Twins Approach in Empirical Labor Economics

2008 Associate professor of economics at Dalarna University

2022 Adjunct professor of economics at Örebro University

Gunnar Isacsson’s research focuses on the labour market and transport economics, and he is currently affiliated with the Swedish Transport Administration.

“In essence, my research is part of the Transport Administration’s long-term development work and today deals with, among other things, analyses of society’s costs for traffic accidents.”

Gunnar Isacsson is also developing models to assess how housing construction is affected by measures in transport infrastructure.

After defending his thesis in 1999, Gunnar Isacsson worked at VTI (The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute), where he investigated the impact of transport infrastructure measures on the labour market. The underlying question was to examine to what extent conventional cost-benefit analyses capture the overall public benefit of such actions.

“The aim was to determine if it’s sufficient to base analysis on effects occurring in the transport sector – or whether possible additional effects in other sectors should also be taken into account.”

The effects of education

In this way, he combined experiences from his thesis with current issues in the transport sector and focused primarily on methodology linked to measuring the effects of education.

In parallel with his doctoral thesis, Gunnar Isacsson conducted research on transport economics at Dalarna University. He investigated various methods that form the basis for so-called time values. They describe the exchange rate between time and money in a socio-economic calculation.

“Since shortened travel time is one of the key effects when investing transport infrastructure, it’s no wonder time values tend to attract attention in political and academic discussions on transport infrastructure.”

Traffic accident costs

During his time at VTI, Gunnar Isacsson continued his research relating to time values and how to derive them by examining human behaviour in the labour market. He also focused on methodological issues linked to the valuation of utilities not available in a market and on analyses of society’s costs for traffic accidents.

Today, at the Swedish Transport Administration, he works with applied analyses and developing socio-economic models.

“My work is often about analyses of current policy issues in the transport sector, such as high-speed rail, climate issues and the impact of transport sector measures on housing and labour markets.”

SEK 799 billion for infrastructure

Socio-economic impact reporting on different framework levels in the state budget for infrastructure-related areas is also included.

“Socio-economic efficiency is part of the overall transport policy goals decided by the Riksdag. This is reflected in the fact that socio-economic analyses are part of the support materal when deciding on the allocation of Sweden’s infrastructure budget – which is SEK 799 billion for the period 2022–2033.”