AI-Econ Lab


Welcome to the AI-Econ Lab!

At the AI-Econ Lab, we are interested in how rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) reshape the nature of work and especially for white collar workers and in services. 

We are an international and multidisciplinary research team, with participants from eight countries and four disciplines (economics, computer science, management, statistics). We combine tools from these disciplines and granular data to deliver excellent research insights on how to make firms and workers thrive in the presence of artificial intelligence. We also cooperate with relevant organisations, e.g., white collar worker and business organisations.

The AI-Econ Lab was initiated in 2019 and is led by associate professor Magnus Lodefalk in cooperation with professor Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås. A steering group is also tied to the lab (Lodefalk, Kyvik-Nordås, and Schroeder).

The AI-Econ Lab is located at Örebro University, which is a hub for AI development in Sweden. The AI-Econ Lab also has two partner institutions, the Ratio Institute and Entrepreneurship Forum.


The fourth AIEL conference on AI and White Collar Work will take place June 10-11, 2026, in Örebro, Sweden, at Katrinelunds Gästgiveri & Sjökrog, by Lake Hjälmaren. The  call for papers will open early in 2026. For more info about the AIEL conference, see, e.g., the website of the third AIEL conference.

For previous conferences of AI-Econ Lab, see the tab Conferences.

New book

April 16, a new popular science book by Magnus Lodefalk - Artificial Intelligence and Work - is out in bookstores, published by the Ratio research institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Lodefalk thoroughly reviews the state of research around AI's development and effects on the labor market. The book is in Swedish but we hope it also will be available in an English version and an e-book version.

Current news

June 18, a new working paper released at Ratio and at Örebro University (see the papers tab, and there the paper "Artificial Intelligence and Worker Stress: Evidence from Germany").

June 12-13, the third AIEL conference on AI and White Collar Work took place, in Örebro, Sweden, with 20 researchers from multiple countries attending.

May, Erik Engberg was invited to present on AI and the labour market at the Ministry of Finance, Sweden.

April 8, blog column by Kyvik-Nordås at CEP about "Governing AI for Humanity: Thoughts on the UN AI Advisory Body Interim Report."

March 22, opinion piece in Dagens Industri about AI-related policies needed, by Lodefalk together with employer organisation Almega, trade unions Akavia and Swedish Engineers, as well as Ratio.

March 15, a new lifelong learning course was launched on AI and the (r)evolution of working life (in Swedish), given online Fall 2024 at 25%-speed. Registering now closed. Read more here.

March 6, paper published in Review of International Economics. The paper is called "Double whammy? Trade and automation in engineering services", and is joint work by Franziska Klügl and Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås.

February 22, Lodefalk in a white collar trade union (Akavia) podcast, together with among others the Minister for Public Administration, Sweden.

January 25, Lodefalk presented at Statistics Sweden seminar.

December 2023, two new working papers released at Ratio and at Örebro University (see the papers tab, and there the papers "AI Unboxed and Jobs" and "AI, Tasks, Skills and Wages").

December 7 - Research grant (dissemination) from Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse (Fh23-0069), 200k SEK.

December 7, Lodefalk becomes an government appointed member of an advisory board to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education.

November, Kyvik-Nordås held special lecture on joint work with Klügl at IFFT conference: "Double whammy? Trade and automation in engineering services".

November 30, Engberg presenting his paper (with coauthors) at the SWEGPEC Workshop, with the title "AI Unboxed - Firm-Level Evidence from Three Countries".

November 23, Lodefalk presenting at the Swedish Society of Medicine, Örebro.

November 20-24, associate professor Michael Koch, Aarhus Uni., DK, visiting the lab.

November 16, Lodefalk presented at Swedish Universities and Colleges, Expertgroup on business administration.

November 15 - Research grant from Torsten Söderbergs Stiftelse (ET3/23), 788k SEK. (Press info)

November 10, Engberg and Lodefalk presented at the Swedish Public Employment Agency.

October 27, Engberg is featuring with some of our research in an episode of a documentary YouTube series about digitalisation.

October, Kyvik-Nordås is appointed as an AI-expert at the OECD.AI Network of Experts.

September 30, Engberg presented at the Workshop in AI+Economics at ETH Zürich

June 20, call for papers released for the third AIEL conference, taking place June 12-13 2024.

June 8, Lodefalk and Tang commissioned to write an expert ESO-report on AI and the public sector.

May, Engberg and Lodefalk presented at the Swedish Media Association, annual conference.

May 23, Engberg and Lodefalk presented at Ratio seminar on how AI affects the labour market.

March 29, Lodefalk interviewed by Swedish TV4 Channel.

March 13, Lodefalk interviewed by Swedish Broadcasting, SVT(a,b) for the news and Ekonomibyrån.

February, Engberg and Lodefalk interviewed about the AI-Econ Lab research on AI and jobs, at the podcast ORU-Talks.

January 25, Magnus Lodefalk participates in a podcast episode about AI, work and our work environment, at The Employer Branding Geeks Podcast by Universeum.

January 2023, paper accepted for the proceedings of the forthcoming AAMAS conference: Klügl and Nordås, "Modelling Agent Decision Making in Agent-based Simulation - Analysis Using an Economic Technology Uptake Model".

Contacting the Lab

To get in touch, you may contact us at:

If you are interested in collaborating or writing theses, send us an e-mail. There may be possibilities for external funding for doctoral students and post-doctoral positions.

Previous news

12 and 25 November, 2022, Erik Engberg presented his paper (with coauthors) at the Swedish Conference in Economics and at the SWEGPEC Workshop, with the title "New Work, Exiting Work, and Artificial Intelligence".

28 September 2022, two presentations at the WTO Public Forum, Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås talking about "AI and Services" and on "Digital Services".

24 June 2022, virtual presentation at the APEC meeting, Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås talking about "AI and Services Trade".

15-16 June 2022, the 2nd AIEL Conference took place, with participants from three continents and four disciplines.

8 June 2022, we welcome Mark Granberg as a postdoc in the lab, placed at Ratio Institute and Örebro University. Welcome Mark Granberg! Mark G starts after the summer.

21 March 2022, new working paper released on "Artificial Intelligence, Trade and Services Jobs" (TIISA WP 2022-14).

18 February 2022, presentation at the PILLARS conference, online, of our paper "New work, exiting work and artificial intelligence" (post-conference video)

1 February 2022, we welcome Mark Hellsten as a PhD-student in the lab, placed at Aarhus University and the Ratio Institute. Welcome Mark!

10 January 2022, CEP blog column, "Double Whammy? The Impact of Trade and Automation on High-Skilled Jobs", by Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås and Franziska Klügl . 

4 January 2022, new working paper released on AI-enabled automation, trade and the future of engineering services (ORU Working Paper in Economics 16/2021). 

December 2022,  TIISA policy brief published: "The EU Digital Market Regulations: Rule-Maker or Deal-Breaker?"

26 November - Two new PhD students recruited, starting at Aarhus University and Ratio in February and September 2022.

26 November - Research grant from Torsten Söderbergs Stiftelse (E46/21), 1.4 mn SEK. (Press info)

24 November - Ratio Seminar with Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås and Franziska Klügl on the paper "Trade and Automation: The Case of Engineering"

8-12 November, the 3rd TIISA Annual Conference took place, with 14 papers discussed, 3 keynotes (E. Christen, I. Walden and S. Kortum), a panel seminar, and a roundtable (incl., e.g., Richard Baldwin, Lucian Cernat, and representatives from Google). Contributions in the fields of economics, business, law and political science. The Conference theme was "Trade and the Digital Transformation of Services". Venues: Örebro and Stockholm, Sweden, and online (hybrid format).

2 September, GLO Virtual Seminar with Magnus Lodefalk on the paper "New Work, Exiting Work and Artificial Intelligence"

27 August 2021, upcoming call for the TIISA Annual Conference 2021, this time at the AI-Econ Lab. Theme: "Trade and the Digital Transformation of Services". Dates 8-12 November 2021.

20 August 2021, new PhD position open at the AI-Econ Lab, positioned at Aarhus University, DK, and Ratio, SE. Apply here.

10 May 2021, paper published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI: "Drivers of automation and consequences for jobs in engineering services: an agent-based modelling approach".

April 2021, paper on labour dynamics and AI accepted for the ILERA world congress.

23 December, 2020, new working paper released on the drivers of automation and consequences for jobs in engineering services (ORU Working Paper in Economics 16/2020).

25 November, 2020, Conference online on "The Impact of AI on White Collar Work".

19 November, 2020, presentation at the Trade Policy Research Forum, a monthly webinar series.

November 2020, presentation of two papers at the TIISA annual conference and PhD workshop, Beijing and online.

14 October, 2020 - Call for Papers - Conference online on "The Impact of AI on White Collar Work", November 25 2020.

1 October, 2020 - Two AI-Econ Lab papers accepted for an upcoming international conference.

4 June, 2020, presentation at the AGAINST20 workshop, at the annual International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. 

12 May, 2020 - Research grant from Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse (Fv20-0023), 227k SEK.

18 March, 2020 - PhD student recruited (starts August 17, 2020).

16 February, 2020 - Deadline for applying to our PhD-position in economics, financed by the Ratio Institute.

4 September, 2019 - Presentation of the research, Economic Policy Forum, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm.

13 May, 2019 - Research grant from Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse (P19-0234), 1.5 mn SEK.


Economics and Statistics

Holger Breinlich, professor (University of Surrey)

Holger B. is a professor at University of Surrey, UK. His research on the impact of trade policy on firms and consumer welfare has been published in the top journals. He has recently advised the OECD on a project on the labour market effects of service trade policies.

Anca Cristea, associate professor (University of Oregon)

Anca is an associate professor at University of Oregon, USA, with top publications, e.g., in Journal of International Economics. Her research is centred on foreign trade in services and transportation economics.

Erik Engberg, PhD student (Örebro University; Ratio) (August 17, 2020 - )

Erik is a PhD student in economics at Örebro University and Ratio. Most recently, he worked as an analyst at Growth Analysis (government agency), analysing and reporting on trade, innovation policy, venture capital, entrepreneurship and evaluations of public suppport to enterprises. Erik has previously studied at the universities in Uppsala and Stockholm as well as at Harvard University.

Mark Granberg, postdoctoral researcher (Örebro University; Ratio)

Mark G is a postdoctoral researcher in economics. He received his PhD from Linköping University in 2022. In his previous research, Mark G has analysed the hiring process of organisations by using field experiments and the role of economic uncertainty on unemployment flows.

Holger Görg, professor (Kiel Institute for the World Economy; Institute for the Study of Labour, IZA)

Holger G. is a professor and the head of research area “Global Division of Labour” at the highly ranked Kiel Institute for the World Economy and a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) in Bonn, Germany.

Mark Hellsten, PhD student (Aarhus University; Ratio) (February 1, 2022 - )

Mark is a PhD student in economics at Aarhus University and Ratio. Most recently, he worked as an analyst at the headoffice of Lidl. Mark has previously studied at the universities in Örebro, Sweden, and Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Spain, as well as conducted a field study in Zambia as part of his studies. (E-mail: mhellsten(at)econ(dot)au(dot)dk)

Farrukh Javed, assistant professor (Örebro University)

Farrukh is an assistant professor and the program director of the master's programme in statistics at Örebro University. His research focuses on inference for stochastic models and modern statistical learning approaches, with applications in various fields.

Hildegunn Kyvik-Nordås, professor (Örebro University; Council on Economic Policies, Switzerland; Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, NUPI)

Hildegunn is a professor at Örebro University, Sweden, and a research professor at NUPI in Norway. She works on trade and trade policy issues, focusing on the interaction between trade policy, trade, technology and labour market adjustments. She has worked in the OECD where she has led the work on trade and trade policy in the services sectors. Previous work experience includes research and teaching positions at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, the University of Bergen, SNF, University of Western Cape, WTO, and visiting scholar to Stanford University.

Magnus Lodefalk, associate professor (Örebro University; Ratio; Global Labor Organization, GLO)

Magnus is an associate professor and co-directs the EU-funded transnational Trade and Investment in Services Network. For more than a decade, he has worked with comprehensive longitudinal register data for Swedish firms and workers, e.g., studying structural changes in the form of servicification of firms and, recently, migrant employment and the effects of both phenomena on firm performance. Magnus also has broad experience of analysis of international trade and trade policy, with a focus on the WTO. Lodefalk has headed capacity building in the area as well as lectured extensively on issues related to international trade and trade policy. Between 2003 and 2014, he worked at the National Board of Trade (Kommerskollegium) in Sweden.

Natália Monteiro, assistant professor (University of Minho)

Natália is an assistant professor at University of Minho, Portugal. She is a labour economist with extensive experience in analysing labour earnings and work organisation and has published in top journals, e.g., Labour Economics.

Giuseppe Pulito, PhD student (Aarhus University)

Giuseppe is a PhD candidate in economics at Aarhus University. His research focuses on topics within the fields of labour economics and international trade. In particular, he studies the transformations due to the evolving nature of work with reference to phenomena like technological change and globalisation.

Radka Sabolova, postdoctoral researcher (Örebro University; Statistics Sweden)

Radka Sabolová is a method statistician at Statistics Sweden and until recently a postdoc at the AI-Econ Lab. Radka has a PhD in mathematical statistics. Her experience includes research at the Open University, UK, dealing with large sparse data. She also worked as a senior data scientist for a major Czech bank and has solid programming skills and experience with analysing large datasets.

Sarah Schroeder, assistant professor (Aarhus University)

Sarah is an assistant professor in economics at Aarhus University, Denmark, and a  Fellow of the Research Centre for Firms and Industry Dynamics (FIND). Her research lies at the intersection of international trade and labour economics, with a current focus on the effects of globalisation on labour market outcomes.

Aili Tang, postdoctoral researcher (Örebro University; Ratio)

Aili Tang is a postdoctoral researcher in economics. As a co-investigator in a previous project on trade financing and firm performance, she has acquired in-depth experience with state-of-the-art micro-econometric analysis of linked employer-employee data.

Yaroslav Yakymovych, postdoctoral researcher (Uppsala University)

Yaroslav Yakymovych is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University. His research focuses on labour economics, in particular on the labour market effects of technological change and on mass layoffs, as well as on urban economics.

Computer science

The seven experts in various aspects of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are located at Microsoft, USA, Amazon Robotics, USA, the Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS), Örebro University, Sweden, and Aalto University, Finland. 

Already in 1997, Microsoft used AI (machine learning, ML) and it has since made multiple breakthroughs, most recently, e.g., in object and speech recognition as well as machine translation and reading comprehension. AI is infused in several of their offers. AASS is internationally recognised for its expertise within AI and robotics and is deeply involved in the EU-funded, large-scale research initiative AI4EU. Aalto University is co-hosting the Finnish Center for AI, a flagship of the Finnish Academy of Science.

Mehul Bhatt, professor (Örebro University)

Mehul is a professor in computer science with expertise in artificial intelligence, cognitive science (specialising on visuospatial cognition), human-computer interaction, and design computing and cognition. Previously, Mehul Bhatt was Professor within the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Bremen (Germany) and Stiftungs Professor at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Bremen).

Franziska Klügl, professor (Örebro University)

Franziska is a professor in IT with a background in software engineering for agentbased ystems, primarily related to simulation. She has a broad overview of AI, having taught in computer science for almost a decade. She was programme and local chair of diverse conferences in the area of multiagent systems at the international and national levels. She was also a board member of EURAMAS (European Association for Multiagent Systems) and a member of the editorial board of the German AI Journal. She will be General Chair of the German AI Conference 2020.

Martin Längkvist, researcher (Örebro University)

Martin is a researcher at the Machine Perception and Interaction Lab at the AASS Research Center at Örebro University. He received his PhD in Information Technology in 2015. His research interest is in machine learning, deep learning and representational learning from raw sensory data.

Rashmi Misra, PhD (Microsoft Corp., USA)

Rashmi holds a PhD in AI and is general manager for AI Platforms, Business Development, at Microsoft, USA. She holds six international patents and is very experienced in ML methods, data scientific methods and NLP techniques.

Miloš N. Mladenović, assistant professor (Aalto University)

Miloš is an assistant professor of transport systems at Aalto University, Finland. His expertise includes development, assessment and governance of emerging mobility technologies, as well as development of expert-based decision-support systems. Miloš is currently finishing his engagement within the EU Commission expert group advising on specific ethical issues raised by driverless mobility.

Federico Pecora, senior manager, applied science (Amazon Robotics, USA)

Federico is a senior manager and recently also associate professor in computer science (Örebro University). His expertise is in constraint-based reasoning, automated planning/scheduling, robot coordination and motion planning.

Todor Stoyanov, associate professor (Örebro University)

Todor is an associate professor in computer science with expertise in perception algorithms, reinforcement learning for manipulation, semantic labelling and classification. He is co-principal-investigator in an on-going WASP/AI collaborative project.

Affiliated researchers

Jonas Grafström, assistant professor (Luleå University of Technology; Ratio)

Jonas  is a researcher and Vice CEO at the Ratio Institute, as well as an assistant professor at Luleå University of Technology and a visiting fellow at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He defended his thesis in 2017. In 2018, he was selected by the Publication “Current Sustainability” as one of the top sustainability professionals under the age of 33 in Sweden. Furthermore, his research interests include issues such as technological change and labor markets, carbon capture, and Chinese wind power. In April 2020, he released a new book on technology and labor markets: "Moderna tider 4.0" at Volante publishing.

Sebastian Krakowski, postdoctoral researcher (Stockholm School of Economics; Ratio)

Sebastian is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stockholm School of Economics (House of Innovation) and The Ratio Institute, with an educational background in economics and management. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Geneva (Geneva School of Economics and Management) in 2020 with his dissertation entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Organizations: Strategy and Decision Making in the Digital Age.” During his doctoral studies, he spent one year as a visiting researcher at Warwick Business School (Behavioural Science Group). His research interests include artificial intelligence, behavioral theory, and decision making. His research on AI has been published in the Academy of Management Review.

Joakim Wernberg, research director (Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum)

Joakim Wernberg works as research director at the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum. He has a background in engineering physics and holds a PhD in economic geography. His primary research interests are the interactions between technological and economic change, digital entrepreneurship and complex adaptive systems. In 2019, his report on humans, machines and tomorrow's work was released (in Swedish).