Benny Carlson

Benny Carlson

Professor emeritus

Personal profile


I grew up with stories from my parents’ time in America during the roaring 1920s and the depression of the early 1930s. This probably explains why I have preferred to glance westwards. I have often studied economic, social and political ideas and practices in the US and not seldom their spread to Sweden. It has been about welfare capitalism, social engineering and institutionalism 1900-1940, the Bretton Woods system 1940-1990, deregulation in the 1970s and 80s, the welfare reform of the 1990s and the economic integration of Somalis during the 21st century. Sometimes the glance has wandered off southwards, towards the influence from German socialism of the chair or state socialism in the US and Sweden in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



I have been teaching many courses for about 25 years, however some themes have been recurring: explanations and challenges for the development of the welfare state, the history of economic thought, qualitative methods, master thesis courses (in the 1990s) and bachelor thesis courses (as of lately).




I have taken the outreach mission seriously, because I believe that a tax-funded researcher is obliged not only to “amass merits”, but also to conduct a regular dialogue with different community actors and the general public. This activity has to a large extent revolved around the economic integration of immigrants and diversity in working life. I have for the last 15 years given lectures and presentations at about one hundred seminars, meetings and conferences in Sweden and the US, and have organized tours for US and British social entrepreneurs in Sweden and study trips for Swedish politicians and officials to the US (Minnesota), Canada (Vancouver) and the UK (Birmingham, Leicester). I have been hired as evaluator of different projects and have for a couple of years “practiced” at a Somali information and business centre.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

UKÄ subject classification

  • Economic History

Free keywords

  • A11 Role of Economics • Role of Economists • Market for Economists, B3 History of Economic Thought: Individuals, J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants • Non-labor Discrimination,L31 Nonprofit Institutions • NGOs • Social Entrepreneurship, P11 Planning, Coordination, and Reform,P51 Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems


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Collaborations the last five years

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