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350,000 euro for research on social inclusion

Researchers Martina Björkman Nyqvist and Abhijeet Sing have received a 350,000 euro research grant to study social inclusion, focusing on new immigrants to Sweden. The project will study a program used by the Swedish organization Kompis Sverige.

"We're very happy for this research grant that gives us the opportunity to study how we can better integrate new Swedes in our society. This is a very important issue in today's Sweden, where many new Swedes are experiencing exclusion, which makes it hard to find work and become part of Swedish society. More research on this subject is needed in general, and we're happy to be able to contribute," says Martina Björkman Nyqvist.

Martina Björkman Nyqvist and Abhijeet Singh are both faculty members at the Department of Economics at Stockholm School of Economics. The aim of the study is to evaluate A program focused on social inclusion of recent immigrants to Sweden. The researchers will study and evaluate the program, founded and implemented by the organization Kompis Sverige – which translates roughly to Buddy Sweden.

Since 2013, Kompis Sverige has worked to promote social and economic integration of new immigrants by matching them with established Swedes, and through this open up for new friendships between new and established Swedes. These repeated interactions between new arrivals and established residents aims to create local and social ties that otherwise might be difficult to establish.

Nobel research method

The project is also among the first of its kind in Sweden to use randomized controlled trials – the evaluation methodology used in the research that was awarded Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences 2019.

"By evaluating the project through randomized controlled trials, we will be able to rigorously study the effect of the program on how well it works for social inclusion. It's wonderful to be given the opportunity to use this particular method to evaluate a policy project in Sweden. We hope to see more evaluations of this kind in Sweden in the future," Martina Björkman Nyqvist says.

The research grant is provided by Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab's (J-PAL) European Social Inclusion Initiative. J-PAL is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

"Two of this year's Nobel laureates, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, founded this research center fifteen years ago. They work explicitly with the random controlled trial methodology to ensure that government and non-governmental social programs are based on scientific evidence," explains Martina Björkman Nyqvist, who has been affiliated with J-PAL since its early days.

"We're very happy that J-Pal has chosen to finance this research project, since it's important in today's polarized Europe."

For more information, please contact:

Martina Björkman Nyqvist
Phone: +46-706-488 237
E-mail: Martina.bjorkman.nyqvist@hhs.se

Abhijeet Singh
Phone: +46-760-453 184
E-mail: abhijeet.singh@hhs.se

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