Featured research

Alexander Ljungqvist appointed Wallenberg Scholar

Alexander Ljungqvist, who holds the Stefan Persson Family Chair at the Stockholm School of Economics, is one of 22 leading researchers in Sweden to be awarded SEK 18 million each by the Wallenberg foundations. The Wallenberg Scholars program involves a five-year grant for free research.

Fewer and fewer companies are listed on the stock exchange. What economic implications does this have for society? Researchers at the Stockholm School of Economics are using data from the U.S. to study potential impacts on consumers, savers, and companies.

“Over the past two decades, the U.S. stock market has halved in size, even while the overall market capitalization has risen. Start-ups are listed later or not at all, and an increasing number of companies are bought out and therefore disappear from the stock market. There is a similar trend in many other countries,” says Alexander Ljungqvist.

In a project at the Stockholm School of Economics led by Professor Ljungqvist, U.S. data will be used to study the possible effects of this on the economy. The project seeks to better understand the role of the stock market in the economy as well as its optimum size and to contribute scientific insights into the consequences of a shrinking stock market.

“If the results reveal major benefits for society at large, this may justify initiatives by regulators to encourage more companies to seek a listing. If, on the other hand,  the findings do not show that stock exchange listings bring socio-economic benefits, this may be an argument against intervention,” says Alexander Ljungqvist.

Wallenberg Scholars is a program designed to support and encourage some of the most successful researchers at Swedish universities.

“Independent research is exactly what it sounds like. It is the researchers who, through their own curiosity and knowledge, determine their topics of research. The Foundation makes no demands on results. Even failure is permitted, if that were to happen. Although history has demonstrated that independent basic research is how most new knowledge has been gained,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr., Chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

About the Program

The aim is for the researchers to be able to adopt a long-term approach to their work, with less time and effort expended on seeking external funding, and with higher ambitions, so that their research has an even greater international impact. The grants also enable researchers to commit to more challenging and longer-term projects.

The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation awards grants to Wallenberg Scholars in the fields of medicine, science and technology. The Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation award grants to Wallenberg Scholars in the social sciences and humanities.

Following this year’s grant awards, there are 63 active Wallenberg Scholars. The next cohort of Wallenberg Scholars will be chosen in 2023.

Evaluation process

Researchers are nominated by universities, after which their project descriptions undergo peer review, carried out by international scientific panels, which identify the projects that have high international potential, and that may be considered for a grant. The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board then compiles the evaluations received and submits recommendations to the Board for its decision. 

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