Browsing by Subject "ECONOMICS"

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Now showing items 1-13 of 13
  • Waldén, Pirjetta; Ollikainen, Markku; Kahiluoto, Helena (2020)
    The impact of carbon revenue on the profitability of agroforestry systems in comparison to monocultures is unexplored in regard to Sub-Saharan Africa. This study creates a multivariate model to evaluate the impact of carbon revenue on the profitability of agroforestry relative to the dominant monocultures in Ethiopia by using stylized plots. Yields and carbon stock changes of eight agroforestry systems were modeled based on data from agroforestry plots in the Ethiopian Central Rift Valley. According to our model, agroforestry was, on average, four times more profitable than the main monoculture systems (wheat, barley, maize, teff, sorghum, sugarcane and lentil) even when carbon revenues were excluded, primarily due to the higher prices of fruit produce. Carbon revenues were estimated using a plausible carbon price ranging from US$8/tCO2e to $40/tCO2e and carbon sequestration rates of 0.59 to 17.2 Mg C ha−1 year−1. The possibility of receiving carbon revenue increased the profitability of agroforestry by 0.5% when using the lowest utilized carbon price and carbon sequestration rate, by 20% when using the carbon price of $20 and the average carbon sequestration rate, and by 70% when using the highest price and highest sequestration rate of carbon. On average, carbon revenue increased the profitability of agroforestry by 150% in comparison to monoculture farming. We conclude that carbon income may have significant potential to motivate smallholders to convert to agroforestry when there is a proper management system, a sufficiently high carbon price and effective institutional support to mitigate the transition and transaction costs.
  • Beinert, Cecilie; Sørlie, Anne Catherine; Åbacka, Gun; Palojoki, Päivi; Nordgård Vik, Frøydis (2022)
    Objective: The Norwegian National Action Plan for a Healthier Diet calls for discussion of new ways to communicate health information. An already established and important arena in which to do so is school, in the Food and Health (FH) subject in particular. The aim of this study was to investigate how Norwegian students experience the FH subject, and how they believe it impacts on their everyday lives. Design: Qualitative study using focus group discussions Setting: Three public schools in Norway Methods: Focus group discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: The students reported the relevance of the school subject FH to their everyday life. However, how much FH was experienced as having impacted on their everyday lives with respect to cooking at home, food choice and food hygiene varied. Conclusions: More research is needed to explore how FH can have a stronger impact on students' actual food choices and cooking practices. This is important in order to tackle contemporary dietary challenges among children and adolescents. Rather than discussing new channels of health education, we suggest that the FH subject area should be strengthened in schools by increasing teachers' competence and focusing more strongly on how best to influence students' food choices.
  • Belinskij, Antti; Iho, Antti; Paloniitty née Korvela, Tiina; Soininen, Niko (2019)
    Animal agriculture is shifting toward larger farms and regional agglomerations in many countries. In step with this development, manure nutrients have started accumulating regionally, and are leading to increasing eutrophication problems. Nevertheless, the same trend may also prompt innovations in manure treatment. For example, Valio Ltd (the largest dairy processer in Finland) is planning a network of facilities that would remove water from manure, fraction the nutrients in it, and produce biogas from the excess methane. One of the main hurdles in developing this technology is that the current regulatory framework does not support a shift from diffuse loading, which is seen in the traditional application of manure on fields, to point-source loading; the regulations may even prevent such a change. This article analyzes a governance framework that addresses this dilemma in EU–Finland, and discusses how the governance described could curtail the nutrient loading of agriculture to waters. The approach is based on adaptive governance theory. We argue that traditional top–down regulation, which emphasizes food security, contains serious shortcomings when it comes to managing agricultural nutrient loading to waters, and that the current regulatory framework does not necessarily have the adaptive capacity to facilitate new, bottom–up solutions for manure treatment. Interestingly, the strict water quality requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) open new windows of opportunity for such solutions, and thus for improving the overall sustainability of animal agriculture.
  • Janhonen, Kristiina; Torkkeli, Kaisa; Mäkelä, Johanna (2018)
    This exploratory article examines the novel term food sense and informal learning in the context of home cooking. Its theory draws from Dewey's work and from his notions of reflexive thought and action. The data consist of a transcribed audio recording of an in-depth, video-based, stimulated-recall (SR) interview. The auto-ethnographic videos were used to stimulate conversation during the interview and were previously collected as part of a broader research project on home cooking in a Finnish family context. Based on the theory and the data, the definition of food sense was refined into a model consisting of three levels: ‘Understanding’ as the ability to define and interpret emerging ruptures in activity; ‘Applying’ as the competence to plan and execute solutions that function in context; and ‘Re-defining’ as the reformulation of activities to enable new ways of doing. In reference to the empirical examples, two of the three episodes represented ‘Understanding’ and ‘Applying’; whereas the third example included also the potential for re-defining habitual ways of action. However, despite possession of relevant knowledge and initial motivation, the emergence of negative emotions of the person in charge of the cooking process prevented reformulating existing cooking habits. By providing novel insights into the social, cultural, and situated nature of home cooking, the article complements the more individual-focused and/or knowledge-based approaches used by other recent studies of cooking skills and learning.
  • Husa, Miikka Helmer; Kosenius, Anna-Kaisa (2021)
    In boreal commercial forests, carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation can be promoted through various measures. This study examines the factors affecting non-industrial private forest (NIPF) owners' preferences for such forest management practices. A systematic literature review serves as a reference for the empirical analysis of a survey data on the Finnish NIPF owners' stated willingness to adopt thirteen distinct forest management practices. Binary logit models reveal socio-demographic factors, site-specific characteristics, previous forest management, and motivations for forest ownership that are associated with the stated adoption of management practices. Especially, environmental and financial motivations play an important role in decisions concerning forest management practices. Statistically significant factors vary depending on the forest management practice, reflecting the NIPF owner heterogeneity. Younger and highly educated forest owners are more supportive for various management practices that promote biodiversity, while older forest owners are reluctant towards deadwood retention. The results underline the importance of accounting for heterogeneous preferences regarding forest management practices when designing and implementing policies and advisory services aiming at enhancing carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, or biodiversity in boreal commercial forests.
  • Assmuth, Aino; Tahvonen, Olli (2018)
    We study the effects of forest carbon storage on optimal stand management by applying a model where optimal harvests are partial cuttings, implying uneven-aged forestry, or both partial cuttings and clearcuts, implying even-aged forestry. Optimal carbon storage postpones partial cuttings and increases stand volume along the rotation. Carbon pricing may shorten or lengthen the rotation period depending on interest rate and speed of carbon release from wood products. If the carbon price is high, the shadow value of forest biomass is negative, implying that a higher interest rate leads to higher stand density. In empirically realistic examples, carbon pricing causes a switch from clearcuts to continuous cover management rather than vice versa.
  • Malecka, Magdalena (2017)
    Law & economics scholars claim, among other things, to provide explanations of how law impacts behaviour. The aim of this article is to shed light on the conceptual and methodological difficulties related to analysis of the impact that law has on behaviour. The analysis advanced in the paper takes as its starting point a commentary on Richard Posner's interpretation of Hans Kelsen's pure theory of law. The work of Kelsen is treated as a meta-theoretical analysis that reveals some of the presumptions of theoretical approaches to law that claim to be scientific and, in particular, that claim to scientifically analyse the law's influence on behaviour. The article concludes with a methodological proposal on how to approach the identified methodological challenges and conceptual tensions that law & economics contends with.
  • Kerr, Sari; Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Sarvimäki, Matti; Uusitalo, Roope (2020)
    We examine the impact of an information intervention offered to 97 randomly chosen high schools on post-secondary education applications and enrollment in Finland. Graduating students in treatment schools were surveyed and given information on the labor market prospects associated with detailed post-secondary programs. We find that students who were the most likely to update their beliefs due to the intervention started to apply to programs associated with higher earnings. However, this subgroup is too small to give rise to a statistically or economically significant impact on the overall application or enrollment patterns.
  • Malo, Pekka; Tahvonen, Olli; Suominen, Antti; Back, Philipp; Viitasaari, Lauri (2021)
    We solve a stochastic high-dimensional optimal harvesting problem by using reinforcement learning algorithms developed for agents who learn an optimal policy in a sequential decision process through repeated experience. This approach produces optimal solutions without discretization of state and control variables. Our stand-level model includes mixed species, tree size structure, optimal harvest timing, choice between rotation and continuous cover forestry, stochasticity in stand growth, and stochasticity in the occurrence of natural disasters. The optimal solution or policy maps the system state to the set of actions, i.e., clear-cutting, thinning, or no harvest decisions as well as the intensity of thinning over tree species and size classes. The algorithm repeats the solutions for deterministic problems computed earlier with time-consuming methods. Optimal policy describes harvesting choices from any initial state and reveals how the initial thinning versus clear-cutting choice depends on the economic and ecological factors. Stochasticity in stand growth increases the diversity of species composition. Despite the high variability in natural regeneration, the optimal policy closely satisfies the certainty equivalence principle. The effect of natural disasters is similar to an increase in the interest rate, but in contrast to earlier results, this tends to change the management regime from rotation forestry to continuous cover management.
  • Bonnedahl, Karl Johan; Heikkurinen, Pasi; Paavola, Jouni (2022)
    Sustainable development has been an important policy goal for the international community for over three decades. Still, the state of the planet continues to worsen. This conceptual article considers the failure largely a result of structural obstacles and the so-called weak sustainability discourse, popularized by the Brundtland report and manifested today in The 2030 Agenda. The article adopts a strong sustainability perspective for examining structural distances between actors and the consequences of their acts. We argue that these impede responsible action and that policy should aim to reduce or eliminate distances in the four dimensions of space, time, functions and relations. The article concludes by suggesting Strongly Sustainable Development Goals, which could help transitioning humanity towards sustainability, lower the anthropogenic environmental impact on the planet, and enable the continuity of diverse life on Earth.
  • Heikkurinen, Pasi; Ruuska, Toni; Wilen, Kristoffer; Ulvila, Marko (2019)
    This article aims to reconcile tensions around 'the Anthropocene' by reviewing and integrating the discourses on the new geological epoch. It is argued that the Anthropocene discourses based on natural and social sciences are complementary. The anthropogenic epoch detrimental to the Earth's biodiversity, however, does not reduce to any discourse. Instead of calling to reject discourses that do not accept this limitation of language or alternatively do not show sensitivity to contextual matters, the article demonstrates how different Anthropocene discourses can be combined. The study concludes that in order to exit the epoch, anthropocentric discourses on the Anthropocene remain ineffective unless complemented by non-anthropocentric discourses.
  • Back, Philipp; Suominen, Antti; Malo, Pekka; Tahvonen, Olli; Blank, Julian; Deb, Kalyanmoy (ACM, 2020)
    Sustainable forest management is a crucial element in combating climate change, plastic pollution, and other unsolved challenges of the 21st century. Forests not only produce wood - a renewable resource that is increasingly replacing fossil-based materials - but also preserve biodiversity and store massive amounts of carbon. Thus, a truly optimal forest policy has to balance profit-oriented logging with ecological and societal interests, and should thus be solved as a multi-objective optimization problem. Economic forest research, however, has largely focused on profit maximization. Recent publications still scalarize the problem a priori by assigning weights to objectives. In this paper, we formulate a multi-objective forest management problem where profit, carbon storage, and biodiversity are maximized. We obtain Pareto-efficient forest management strategies by utilizing three state-of-the-art Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEAs), and by incorporating domain-specific knowledge through customized evolutionary operators. An analysis of Pareto-efficient strategies and their harvesting schedules in the design space clearly shows the benefits of the proposed approach. Unlike many EMO application studies, we demonstrate how a systematic post-optimality trade-off analysis can be applied to choose a single preferred solution. Our pioneering work on sustainable forest management explores an entirely new application area for MOEAs with great societal impact.
  • Droste, Nils; D'Amato, Dalia; Goddard, Jessica J. (2018)
    We analyze how the content of ecosystem service research has evolved since the early 1990s. Conducting a computational bibliometric content analysis we process a corpus of 14,118 peer-reviewed scientific article abstracts on ecosystem services (ES) from Web of Science records. To provide a comprehensive content analysis of ES research literature, we employ a latent Dirichlet allocation algorithm. For three different time periods (1990-2000, 2001-2010, 2011-2016), we derive nine main ES topics arising from content analysis and elaborate on how they are related over time. The results show that natural science-based ES research analyzes oceanic, freshwater, agricultural, forest, and soil ecosystems. Pollination and land cover emerge as traceable standalone topics around 2001. Social science ES literature demonstrates a reflexive and critical lens on the role of ES research and includes critiques of market-oriented perspectives. The area where social and natural science converge most is about land use systems such as agriculture. Overall, we provide evidence of the strong natural science foundation, the highly interdisciplinary nature of ES research, and a shift in social ES research towards integrated assessments and governance approaches. Furthermore, we discuss potential reasons for observable topic developments.