Ingvar Nilsson and the benefits of prevention

Ingvar NilssonIngvar Nilsson, the national economist who has dedicated 35 years to count the price of alienation.

The national economist Ingvar Nilsson has dedicated 35 years to count the price of alienation and exclusion. His conclusion is that the most effective way to help young people in difficulty - both from an economic and human perspective - is to intervene early.

Together with his colleague Anders Wadeskog the national economist Ingvar Nilsson has dedicated 35 years to figure out what exclusion and alienation costs society, and the economic benefits that can be made with prevention.
- All agree that, from a human perspective is good to help children and young people on the path that is life in the form of having a job, a home and a family. When you then do things, it's always someone who says that it is too expensive. What we try to do here is to show that it is almost always much more expensive to refrain from intervening early, says Ingvar Nilsson.

Long-term thinking and a holistic perspective

Ingvar Nilsson's thesis is that social investments will free resources to create long-term thinking and holistic approach in decision-making, thereby increasing resource efficiency. For an example: for a municipality is both human and economic sense to invest in children early. But for a school director with budget responsibilities, it might be a bad economic deal
-Take something that today is very common: about one quarter of all high school students do not finish high school studies in time. Now: if a young guy or girl, for various reasons, trouble in the family, or whatever it may be, will be delayed into the workforce by five years because of the need to read up the ratings. What does it cost? The price tag for that is about 2.3 million SEK. And then we can start thinking about what we had received for 2.3 million SEK if we started to intervene in low and middle period. Terribly much, says Ingvar Nilsson.

"It's all about perspectives"

Divided organizations and annual budgets are likely to hamper good resource efficiency. Ingvar Nilsson illustrates the phenomenon with an example in the form of an employment office that ended 4 million SEK less in the budget while 218 long-term unemployed persons found jobs, which is not visible in the accounts. The head of the labor office may get orders to cut down the operations in order to keep the budget. But if you widen the account you can see the municipality earned 23 million SEK to the 218 people who come out of unemployment. In larger perspective, profit for society was 200 million SEK for over four years. A balanced budget on the employment office had not given these benefits.
- It's all about perspectives, says Ingvar Nilsson.

Emil Svensson

Senast uppdaterad 2017-01-10 av Emil Svensson, ansvarig utgivare Lennart Magnusson