Browsing by Subject "Ekonomi"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 150
  • Saarinen, Lauri (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The thesis examines house price formation in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Especially the price appreciation following financial liberalisation of the late 1980’s and the subsequent price decline of the early 1990’s recession mark the development of house prices. During the 2000’s house prices have increased rapidly with the exception of the slump during the financial crisis. This thesis focuses on explaining the aforementioned development with emphasis on the long-run aspect in both theoretical and empirical examinations. The primary goal is in studying long-run interdependence between house prices and fundamental determinants mentioned in theoretical and empirical literature. Based on the achieved results it is possible to draw conclusions on the sustainability of the price level as well as study the effects of various fundamentals on the metropolitan area price level. The thesis is separated into a theoretical and an empirical section which makes use of econometric methods in modelling house prices. The long-run relationship between house prices and selected fundamental variables is examined using cointegration analysis. The fundamentals and house prices are modelled in a vector error correction framework central to cointegration analysis. Alongside house prices, household disposable income, mortgage interest rates, metropolitan area total net migration and the stock of housing loans describing household indebtedness are introduced into the system. The quarterly data are compiled from Statistics Finland and Bank of Finland databases for the time period 1983–2012. The central result of the thesis is a long-run equilibrium model between house prices and the fundamental determinants. The model is found to work satisfactorily as the results accord with theory and the results are statistically significant. In addition, the results are in line with previous empirical studies conducted in Finland. Furthermore it is discovered that mortgage interest rates, household indebtedness and migration patterns have been notable factors in determining house prices, especially towards the end of the examination period. The achieved results on short-run dynamics also provide support to the estimated long-run model. A key finding considering the short-run dynamics is the sluggish adjustment of house prices towards their long-run level. Based on the results of this thesis, house prices in the Helsinki metropolitan area have exceeded the estimated long-run equilibrium price level for a prolonged period. This phenomenon can be explained by demand side factors including high net migration to the region as well as low mortgage rates encouraging mortgage lending. On the other hand, inelastic supply and scarcity of land specific to urban areas restrain the rapid unravelling of excess demand in the housing market. It is thus possible, that in the future house prices will adjust downward toward their long-run equilibrium level.
  • Maijanen, Ville (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Pro gradu on suoraa jatkoa kandidaatintutkielmalle, jonka tutkimustulosten mukaan metropolialueella on yhteensä noin 63 000 aseiden hallussapitoon oikeutettua henkilöä sekä noin 170 000 ampuma-asetta. Lukuihin perustuen voitiin todeta, että ampumaratojen määrä ja saavutettavuus eivät ole missään suhteessa riittävät ampuma-aseen hallussapitoon oikeutettujen henkilöiden ja aseiden lukumäärään nähden tällä alueella. Pro gradu -tutkimus pyrkii tuottamaan uutta lisätietoa metropolialueen ampumaratakeskusten saavutettavuudesta, niiden kilpailullisista vaikutusalueista ja suhteellisista sijainneista, jotta ampumaratakeskuksia koskevia sijainti-, investointi- ja kehittämispäätöksiä voidaan tehdä riittävin tiedollisin perustein. Potentiaalisen käyttäjäkunnan sijainti- ja saavutettavuustiedot tuottavat osaltaan perusteita ampumaratakeskusten kysynnän arvioinnille. Tutkimus tarkastelee saavutettavuuden teoriataustaa sekä palvelukohteen maantieteellistä saavutettavuutta useasta eri näkökulmasta ja kehittää tarkoitukseen soveltuvia uusia teknisiä arviointimenetelmiä. Tutkimuksen empiirisessä osassa tarkastellaan metropolialueen ampumaratakeskusten eri maksimimatka-aikoihin perustuvia saavutettavuusvyöhykkeitä sekä väestön ja potentiaalisen käyttäjäkunnan vastaavia saavutettavuuskertymiä ja vertaillaan näitä toisiinsa. Tämän lisäksi vertaillaan tutkimusta varten kehitettyjä, kunkin ampumaratakeskuksen ulkoisiin käytettävyysrajoitteisiin perustuvaa kilpailullista saavutettavuutta ja suhteellista sijaintia toisiinsa nähden. Ampumaratakeskusten käytettävyyskerroin eli yhtäaikainen käyttäjäkapasiteetti, vuotuiset käyttöajat ja ampumaratavalikoiman monipuolisuus otetaan mallissa huomioon asiakkaiden palvelukohteen valinnan päätösperusteena matkakustannusten lisäksi. Käytettävyyskertoimen tavoitteena on kuvata ampumaratakeskuksen käyttäjilleen tuottamaa hyötyä. Tutkimuksessa hyödynnetään valtakunnallisen aseluparekisterin tietoja aseluvanhaltijoiden sekä ampuma-aseiden määristä, laadusta ja sijainnista kunnittain metropolialueella. Karttaesitysten toteutuksessa on käytetty Maanmittauslaitoksen Kuntajako-aineistoa, sekä Tilastokeskuksen Ruututietokanta 2012 -väestöaineistoa. Lisäksi on muodostettu erillinen saavutettavuusaineisto laskemalla todelliset matka-ajat ja maantie-etäisyydet jokaisesta karttaruudusta jokaiseen ampumaratakeskukseen. Tutkimustulosten julkista, ajasta ja paikasta riippumatonta raportointia ja jakamista varten on tutkimukselle rakennettu internet-julkaisualusta osoitteessa www.saunalahti.fi/villemai/. Tarkastellut viisi ampumaratakeskusta muodostavat tutkimuksen metropolialueen kokonaisuuden. Ampumaratakeskusten verkosto muodostuu keskusten ja niiden potentiaalisen käyttäjäkunnan sijainneista sekä näiden välisistä matkakustannuksista ja eri keskusten tarjoamasta käytettävyydestä. Tätä kokonaisuutta on nyt ensimmäistä kertaa mahdollista tarkastella matemaattisten saavutettavuusmallien avulla laskettujen tulosten pohjalta. Tutkimuksella on pystytty tuottamaan eri näkökulmista tärkeää uutta ja ennen julkaisematonta tietoa metropolialueen ampumarataverkostosta. Uusimpaan saavutettavuusteoriaan perustuen tutkimus käsittelee kaikkia neljää saavutettavuuden eri komponenttia. Maankäytön komponentti huomioidaan sekä potentiaalisten asiakkaiden että ampumaratakeskusten määrän, laadun ja sijainnin suhteen. Näiden lisäksi huomioidaan kysynnän ja tarjonnan kohtaaminen kapasiteettirajoitusten vallitessa. Liikenteellisen komponentin matkakustannukset otetaan huomioon maantie-etäisyyksien ja ajoaikojen muodossa. Ajallinen komponentti sisältää ampumaratakeskusten aukioloaikojen aiheuttamat rajoitteet saavutettavuudelle. Yksilöllistä komponenttia tarkastellaan virka-ajan asettamina ajankäytön rajoitteina. Tutkimustulokset osoittavat kiistatta Helsingin Kivikon urheilupuistoon suunnitellun suursisähallin vahvimmaksi ampumaratakeskukseksi nyt vertailtujen olemassa olevien ja suunniteltujen keskusten joukossa metropolialueella. Tähän on monia syitä, joista tärkeimmät ovat keskuksen paras sijainti suhteessa sen potentiaalisiin käyttäjiin ja tieverkkoon sekä paras tehokkuus eli hyötykerroin laajaan ympärivuotiseen aukiolomahdollisuuteen perustuen. Ampumarataverkostoon kohdistuvat laajennukset sekä olemassa olevien kohteiden edelleen kehittäminen on metropolialueella välttämätöntä. Uusinvestoinnit ja olemassa olevien keskusten kehitystoimet on syytä asettaa tärkeysjärjestykseen hankkeiden tuottaman tehokkuuden ja vastaavasti lisääntyvien käyttöhyötyjen perusteella. Väistämättä rajallinen rahoitus on syytä kohdistaa edellä mainituin perustein, koko metropolialueen tasapainoinen maantieteellinen saavutettavuus huomioiden.
  • Asikainen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The thesis handles application of principal component analysis (PCA) in momentum based investment strategies. Principal component analysis is a dimension reduction method for multidimensional datasets that seeks to find new mutually uncorrelated variables called principal components so that the explanatory power over the original dataset is maximized. Momentum strategies are long-short, zero investment portfolios that within an asset class buy instruments that have performed relatively well and sell short instruments that had weak performance. The performance is measured in by directly applying total returns or using some derivative of it. The evaluation horizons typically range for a few months to a year. Earlier studies have assessed total returns eg in relation to fundamental factor models. Main data source of the study is total return data for US equity spanning ca 30 years of recent history. The strategies are defined using monthly data. The principal component models are estimated using daily return series. These models are then utilised in two types of momentum strategies. First group uses residuals from PCA, i.e. the portion of return not explained by the principal components. Second type of strategies allocates money based on the returns of principal components. The strategies result in time return series of return that would have been achieved by investing according to the rule based strategies. These are then analysed by using statistical and econometric methods. Furthermore, the returns are compared to results obtained in prior studies that have utilized similar methods. This includes studying the effect of autocorrelations in total returns, residuals and principal components for the success of respective strategies. The results in indicate that both sets of strategies seem to generate absolute returns that are in line with those obtained using the raw total return signal. The volatility of these returns as measured by standard deviation is significantly lower than that of strategies based on total return. Earlier studies using residuals defined using different types of models have shown similar results. The results of residuals based strategies are not explained by the autocorrelations of the underlying instruments. In fact these autocorrelations would seem to distract from the returns. The principal components, on the other hand, seem to have positive autocorrelations which in large part explain the success of related strategies. The key finding of the thesis is the attribution of decomposition of momentum profits into distinct sources by applying the relatively simple and well-known method of principal component analysis. These results complement the earlier research regarding the split of momentum profits between systematic and non-systematic sources of variation in finding that both are significant. The residuals based strategies have a higher economic significance due their low correlations against conventional strategies. The analysis of autocorrelations points to differing econometric drivers between the two sets of strategies.
  • Rasijeff, Moona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Traditional economics theory argues that competitive markets are unable to enhance innovation incentives. This is based on the claim that it is not possible for an inventor to earn profit for his invention in the face of unlimited imitation. Traditional theory calls for intellectual property for innovators, such as patents, to guarantee effective innovation production. The economic safety provided by patents creates innovation incentives, enhancing research levels and product quality. However, the increasing popularity of patents combined with the current, extensive patenting systems can create economic inefficiencies. The monopolistic competition arising from patent-provided rights may weaken innovation incentives in small as well as quickly developing industries. In addition, derived high prices and legal barriers to entry granted by intellectual property can distort competition and may even suppress the patent holder’s innovation tactics. Traditional economic theory also fails to explain why firms may choose not to utilise formal intellectual property in favour of informal protection methods which hold high importance to firms, such as secrecy, high wages, and increasing production complexity. My thesis examines whether competitive markets are able to enhance innovation incentives, and if so, under what conditions. I will also aim to enlighten why firms may favour other protective measures for their inventions over patents. Henry and Ponce (2011) and Henry and Ruiz-Aliseda (2015) expand our understanding of these topics in the form of game theory. A key factor in our analysis is the assumption that free spillovers are non-existent. Instead, endogenous knowledge must be purchased. As a result, potential imitators prefer to wait for the cost of knowledge to decrease, and delay their market entry. Such a delay, and the possibility to participate in knowledge trading, secure positive rents for the inventor, which compensates his innovation costs. These results are achieved even in unfavourable circumstances, where competition is high or the inventor incurs additional costs to protect their invention by other means than patenting. In fact, in such circumstances, we expect the inventor’s profits to approach monopolistic profits. In conclusion, competitive markets attain efficiency and improved levels of social welfare, and therefore, innovation levels can persist in the market. These results are nonetheless sensitive in relation to the elasticity of demand. Market imperfections such as the indivisibility of an idea, moral hazard and adverse selection pose additional problems in the modelling within a competitive market. My thesis weighs in on the ever-crucial patenting debate: Is the modern, extensive patent system obsolete? High prices and risen monopolistic competition can lead to severe consequences on social welfare, and limit the exchange of knowledge. New innovation models in competitive markets and its ability to encourage innovation incentives pose an important argument against the expansion of the current patent system. These models also provide an explanation for the popularity of informal protection methods for innovations, emphasising the value of firm strategizing above legal procedures. Such patent criticism and empirical evidence could be utilised in the development of the current patent system.
  • Soininvaara, Ohto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Toimeentulotuki on tarkoitettu viimesijaiseksi sosiaaliturvaksi tilanteissa, joissa muut tulonlähteet eivät takaa henkilön minimitoimeentuloa. Se on vakiintunut osaksi suomalaista sosiaaliturvajärjestelmää ensisijaisten etuuksien heikennyttyä. Asumistukia suuremmat asumiskustannukset ovat eräs toimeentulotuen tarvetta selittävä tekijä, etenkin Helsingissä, jossa asumiskustannukset ovat korkeat. Tässä tutkielmassa tutkitaan helsinkiläisten keski- ja korkea-asteen opiskelijoiden asumisvalintoja, asumiskustannuksia ja niiden yhteyttä toimeentulotuen asiakkuuteen. Tavoite on selvittää, miltä osin asumiskustannukset selittävät toimeentulotuen asiakkuuksia, sekä mitkä tekijät altistavat jotkut pienituloiset kotitaloudet muita korkeammille asumiskustannuksille. Lisäksi tutkitaan opiskelijoiden toimeentulotuen käyttöä yleisesti. Tutkimus kattaa vuodet 2008–2010. Toimeentulotuen käyttö kasvoi tutkimusajankohtana merkittävästi koko Suomessa ja tämä näkyy myös lisääntyneenä opiskelijoiden toimeentulotuen käyttönä. Työssä käytettävä tutkimusaineisto on yhdistetty Helsingin kaupungin sosiaalitoimen toimeentulotuen maksurekisteristä, opintotuen maksurekisteristä, väestötietorekisteristä sekä verottajan verotiedoista. Aineisto on helsinkiläisten osalta kokonaisaineisto, eli se kattaa kaikki rekistereissä olevat henkilöt ja maksut. Tutkimus keskittyy opintotuen asumislisän saajiin, eli käytännössä vuokralla asuviin. Opiskelijoiden toimeentulon ja asumisen tunnuslukuja käsitellään ensin yleistasolla. Sen jälkeen hyödynnetään regressiomalleja, joilla tutkitaan yhteyksiä opiskelijoiden taustaominaisuuksien, toimeentulotuen saamisen ja vuokran välillä. Aineisto ja käytetyt menetelmät eivät mahdollista kausaalitulkintojen tekemistä, joten regressioanalyysi on tältä osin luonteeltaan kuvaileva. Toimeentulotukea saaneiden opiskelijoiden havaitaan maksaneen keskimäärin korkeampaa vuokraa kuin muut opiskelijat. Yhteys erottuu sekä absoluuttisesti, että tutkimusjoukon jäsenten taustaominaisuuksia vakioimalla. Vuokra- ja tulotaso ovat käytössä olleista muuttujista merkittävimmät selittäjät toimeentulotuen asiakkuudelle. Tämä heijastelee tuen myöntöperusteita. Toimeentulotuen asiakkaiksi on siis päätynyt erityisesti pienituloisia opiskelijoita, joilla asumiskustannukset ovat suuret. Tulotason vaihtelussa erityisesti ilman kesätöitä jääminen näyttää ajavan opiskelijoita toimeentulotuen asiakkaiksi. Kesäkuukaudet poikkeavat muusta vuodesta, sillä opintotukea ei pääosin silloin myönnetä. Kesäkuukaudet erottuvatkin selvästi opiskelijoiden toimeentulotuen käytön yleisyydessä. Toimeentulotukea kevät- tai syyslukukausien aikana saaneista yli puolet on ammatillisten oppilaitosten opiskelijoita. Vain kesäkuukausina tukea saaneista puolestaan enemmistö opiskeli ammattikorkeakouluissa tai yliopistoissa. Yksilöllisten preferenssien lisäksi opiskelijoiden asumiskustannuksissa voi esiintyä vaihtelua useasta syystä. Taloustieteellisen kirjallisuuden perusteella vuokrataso voi olla väliaikaisesti optimaalisen tason yläpuolella mm. asunnon vaihtamiseen liittyvien kustannusten tai huonomman vuokramarkkina-aseman vuoksi. Markkinahintaa alhaisemman vuokratasonsa vuoksi opiskelija-asunnot näyttävät alentaneen tarvetta toimeentulotuelle kaikilla oppilaitosasteilla, mutta niiden saatavuus on rajallista. Yksinasuminen ilmenee kolmantena mahdollisena selitystekijänä sille, mikä on aiheuttanut toimeentulotuen asiakkaiden muita keskimäärin korkeammat asumiskustannukset. Näiden lisäksi mahdollinen selitys on, että toimeentulotuki valuu osittain vuokranantajille. Toisin kuin matala opintotuen asumislisä, toimeentulotuki ei välttämättä myöskään kannusta etsimään edullisinta asuntoa. Toimeentulotuen kohtaantovaikutuksiin ei kuitenkaan tutkimuksen pohjalta voida ottaa kantaa.
  • Honka, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Tutkimus käsittelee asuntojen hintojen muodostumista pääkaupunkiseudulla vuoden 2016 asuntokauppa-aineiston avulla. Hintoja tarkastellaan aluksi koko pääkaupunkiseudun tasolla, jonka jälkeen siirrytään vertailemaan hintojen muodostumista kaupunkien välillä. Pääkaupunkiseudulla on Helsingin keskustan lisäksi useita pienempiä kaupunkikeskuksia, joten asunnot on jaettu lähimmän kaupunkikeskuksen mukaan alueisiin. Etäisyysmuuttujat lähimpään kaupunkikeskukseen ja Helsingin keskustaan on luotu julkisen liikenteen ja henkilöauton matka-ajan keskiarvoa käyttäen. Etäisyys kaupunkikeskukseen antaa koko pääkaupunkiseudun tasolla ristiriitaisia tuloksia, joten tarkastelin, kuinka eri kaupunkikeskukset ja niiden etäisyys vaikuttaa asuntojen hintoihin. Tulokset osoittavat, että kaupunkikeskuksen laatua voidaan tarkastella etäisyysmuuttujan kertoimen perusteella, sillä parempien kaupunkikeskuksien läheisyydessä asunnot ovat kalliimpia ja hinnat laskevat etäisyyden kasvaessa keskustaan. Heikommissa kaupunkikeskuksissa tilanne on päinvastainen. Syitä tälle ovat kaupunkikeskuksien positiivisten ja negatiivisten vaikutusten nettoarvo. Löysin kuitenkin merkittävän havainnon sosioekonomisista muuttujista. Teorian mukaan ihmiset muuttavat asuinalueelle, jossa asuu heidän itsensä kaltaisia ihmisiä. Muodostin sosioekonomisista muuttujista eli tuloista, työttömyysasteesta ja koulutusasteesta mittarin, joka kuvastaa kaupunkikeskuksen sosioekonomista sijoitusta. Tulosten perusteella Tapiola ja Helsingin keskus ovat korkeimmilla sijoilla, kun taas Koivukylä ja Hakunila ovat viimeisillä sijoilla. Lähimmän kaupunkikeskuksen etäisyysmuuttujan kerroin korreloi erittäin voimakkaasti sosioekonomisen sijoituksen kanssa. Muutamia poikkeuksia selittivät keskustan ulkopuolelle rakennetut uudet asunnot, jolloin rakennusvuoden merkitys on näissä tapauksissa sosioekonomista asemaa voimakkaampi. Helsingin keskustan etäisyyden merkitys on teorian ja tulosten perusteella erittäin suuri. Tuloksien perusteella ydinkeskustan välittömässä läheisyydessä asuntojen hinnat ovat noin 60 prosenttia kalliimpia kuin yli 45 minuutin etäisyydellä. Tuloksien perusteella Helsingin keskustaan 1990-luvulla liittyneet negatiiviset ulkoisvaikutukset ovat vähentyneet tai mieltymykset ydinkeskustassa asumiseen ovat muuttuneet, koska ydinkeskusta-asuntojen arvostus on kasvanut suhteellisesti eniten pääkaupunkiseudulla 1990-luvulta. Rakennusvuoden vaikutus on myös erittäin merkittävä asunnon hintaan. Hinnan ja rakennusvuoden välinen suhde ei ole lineaarinen vaan muistuttaa enemmän U-muotoa, koska vanhimmat ja uusimmat asunnot ovat kaikkein kalleimpia. Tulosten perusteella hinnat ovat matalimmat 1960- ja 1970-luvuilla rakennetuissa asunnoissa. Vuonna 1997 tehdyn tutkimuksen mukaan matalimmat hinnat vastaavalla aineistolla löytyivät 1940-luvulta, vaikka 1960- ja 1970-luvun asuntoja pidettiin jo silloin heikkolaatuisina ja arkkitehtuurisesti merkityksettöminä. Teorian mukaan 1940-luvun asuntojen hinta selittyi rakennusmateriaalien heikolla laadulla, ihmisten mieltymyksillä ja arkkitehtuurilla. Aikakauden asuntojen arvostus on kasvanut, mutta tulosten perusteella suurin selittävä tekijä löytyy suurista peruskorjauksista ja putkiremonteista. Putkiremontti tehdään keskimäärin 50 vuoden välein, jolloin 1990-luvulla tehdyn tutkimuksen ajankohtana putkiremontit kohdistuivat juuri 1940-luvulla rakennettuihin asuntoihin ja tällä hetkellä remontit kohdistuvat 1960- ja 1970-luvuilla rakennettuihin asuntoihin.
  • Ahola, Samu-Petteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Pankkien täytyy varautua luottotappiota vastaan pitämällä riittäviä oman pääoman ehtoisia puskureita taseessaan. Basel -säädökset asettavat kehikon, jonka perusteella vähimmäispääomavaateet tulisi määrittää. Aiemmat tutkimukset ovat osoittaneet, että Basel II:n foundation IRB -malli aliarvioi pankeille kohdistettuja vähimmäispääomavaateita Basel-säädösten ensimmäisen pilarin alla lainaportfolion ollessa heikosti hajautettu. Nimikeskittymäriskin sisällyttäminen osaksi IRB-mallia voisi tarkentaa ensimmäisen pilarin alaisia vähimmäispääomavaatimuksia tilanteessa, jossa pankin luottoportfolio ei ole täydellisen hienojakoinen. Tämän tutkielman tavoitteena on selvittää, pystyykö nimikeskittymäriskiä huomioiva lisäys tarkentamaan vähimmäispääomavaadetta pohjoismaisten suuryritysten luotoista koostuvalle luottoportfoliolle, kun tämä lisäys sisällytetään foundation IRB –malliin. Tutkimusaineisto koostui Dealogicilta ladatusta syndikoitujen lainojen aineistosta, joka tässä tutkielmassa simuloi suuryrityksistä johtuvaa luottoriskiä pohjoismaiselle pankille. Koostetusta aineistosta luotiin satunnaisotannalla 41 alaportfoliota. Jokaiselle alaportfoliolle ja vastapuolelle määritettiin foundation IRB –mallin mukainen vähimmäispääoman määrä, nimikeskitymäriskiä huomioivan muokatun foundation IRB -mallin mukainen vähimmäispääoman määrä ja Monte Carlo –simulaatioiden antama vähimmäispääoman määrä, jotta eri mallien antamia vähimmäispääomavaateita voitiin arvioida. Nimikeskittymäriskiä huomioiva muokattu foundation IRB –malli laski vähimmäispääomavaateen tarkemmin verrattuna Basel-säädösten mukaiseen foundation IRB –malliin. Nimikeskittymäriskin sisällyttäminen ensimmäisen pilarin vähimmäispääomalaskelmien alle nopeuttaisi ja yksinkertaistaisi pankkien vaatimusta määrittää oman vähimmäispääomavaateen määrää. Pankkien kannalta positiivisena puolena olisi myös se, että yksittäisen luoton vaatiman oman pääoman lisäys voitaisiin määrittää tarkemmin.
  • Tuhkuri, Joonas (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    There are over 100 billion searches on Google every month. This thesis examines whether Google search queries can be used to predict the present and the near future unemployment rate in the US. Predicting the present and near future is of interest, as the official records of the state of the economy are published with a delay. To assess the information contained in Google search queries, the thesis compares a simple predictive model of unemployment to a model that contains a variable, Google Index, constructed from Google data. In addition, descriptive cross-correlation analysis and Granger non-causality tests are performed. To study the robustness of the results, the thesis considers state-level variation in the unemployment rate and Google Index using a fixed effects model. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the results is studied with regard to different search terms. The results suggest that Google searches contain useful information on the present and the near future unemployment rate. The value of Google data for forecasting purposes, however, tends to be time specific, and the predictive power of Google searches appear to be limited to short-term predictions. The results demonstrate that big data can be utilized to forecast economic indicators.
  • Vu, Wendy (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been frequently on media lately. As these cryptocurrencies are relatively new, there are not much economic theory explaining their behavior and price developments. Due to these reasons, the goal of this thesis is to find an economic theory to study the demand for Bitcoin. In this thesis, I will write about Bitcoin applying it to Walsh’s Money in Utility function (MIU function). I will modify Walsh’s original model by incorporating Bitcoin to it. In this model, Bitcoin is used as payment method and as a store of value. Both Bitcoin and money can be used to buy any goods, but there are certain goods that are easier to buy using bitcoin. Hence, Bitcoin has transaction benefit and the households will always need some bitcoin holdings in their portfolio. Using Walsh’s MIU function, I will derive a demand function for Bitcoin. In addition to this, I will go through the working paper “Bitcoin Pricing, Adoption, and Usage: Theory and Evidence” written by Athey et Al. (August 2016). In this paper, Bitcoin is used both as a payment method and a store of value. From the findings by Athey et Al., Bitcoin seems to be mainly used as a store of value. I will present an overview of the paper including the results and then concentrate on their aggregate analysis on Bitcoin exchange rate. Based on the Bitcoin exchange rate equation presented by Athey et Al., I will study whether Bitcoin demand function derived from MIU model is able to explain the changes in Bitcoin’s aggregate demand in real market. As expected, due to the assumptions and restrictions of the model, Bitcoin demand function derived in this thesis is not able to fully explain the changes in demand for Bitcoin in real world. Nonetheless, subject to the assumptions and restrictions of the model, Bitcoin demand function can be used to study the relationship between bitcoin demand, domestic nominal interest rate and consumption. Finally, I will present an alternative approach to further study Bitcoin’s demand.
  • Nissinen, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Greenhouse gases can be considered as negative externalities that harm the climate. Externalities can be internalized by setting a tax equal to the marginal damage from the externality; a lesson taught by Pigou already a hundred years ago. Carbon pricing has long been seen as the most prominent tool to fight climate change. In recent decades there have been efforts to agree on a global carbon emission reductions. Although international agreements have been implemented, most of those have lacked either effective quantity goals or adopting of global carbon price. The failure of global agreements is ambiguous, but a tendency to trust on countries altruism in agreeing on costly emission reductions has hardly helped. There are already numerous scientists who have suggested that adopting a single global carbon price would be both relatively easily agreed and sufficient as a tool to restrict global carbon emissions. By adopting a mutual price for carbon, the national authorities would be left with implementing the emission reductive policies. As some countries and unions have adopted carbon pricing schemes, knowledge on the effectivity of those instruments are beginning to emerge. Carbon taxes and cap and trade systems are common mechanisms to implement carbon pricing and in optimal settings, the outcomes of the instruments will be identical. Nevertheless, in practise the outcomes of the instruments depend on the regulative authority’s capability in estimating an effective level for the tax or the emission cap. It is suggested that it is easier to reach an international agreement of a price rather than quantity measure. Although a global single carbon price would likely represent a compromise, having a shadow value of carbon can help in knowing price ranges given by modern models that combine climate science with economical approaches. With carbon taxes the national authorities gain tax revenue, which is a specific benefit with taxes over emission caps. This revenue recycling makes interactions of carbon taxes and specifically labor taxes especially important to investigate. This study goes through the backgrounds of carbon pricing in the perspectives of international agreements, efficiency, modern integrated assessment models and their estimates for the social cost of carbon. Further, we will go through a simple model which shows the interactions of environmental taxation and the economy. The guiding light of the study is especially Weitzman’s (2014) idea of the single carbon price. The study aims on combining the knowledge on carbon pricing and pointing to the urgency for emission mitigative actions to be made.
  • Norring, Anni (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    In this thesis I consider studying the determinants of international investments with the gravity model of international financial asset trade. I discuss the relevant literature and present a theoretical framework for gravity in cross-border investments. I compare three empirical approaches, the classic approach that studies the determinants of the observed levels of cross-border holdings by a fixed effects panel model, the dichotomous approach that studies the effects of determinants on the probability of there being a positive cross-border investment by a probit model and finally an approach which combines the two previous ones by a double-hurdle model. I propose that the double-hurdle model is the correct approach in the context of cross-border investments.
  • Lagerspetz, Mattias (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This thesis examines the drivers behind the formation of housing prices in Tallinn, Estonia. The focus is, more specifically, on the relation between changes in demographics and housing prices. There will be significant changes in Tallinn’s demographic composition in the years to come, as the number of births in Tallinn have declined steeply from the 1990s on. Past studies have shown, that most significant increase in people’s demand for housing occurs in their 20s, and as such the sharp fall in the number of young people in Tallinn, could result in a decrease of demand for housing. First, a model suitable for examining demographics’ effect on housing is introduced. In the model demand for housing by age-group is first estimated from cross-sectional data. Next, the obtained estimates are combined with demographic time series data to obtain a demographic demand time series. Lastly, the relations between housing prices and demographic demand (as well as other macroeconomic variables) are examined. Results from a number of previous studies employing a similar model are also presented. In the empirical section of this thesis, a similar model is applied on data from Tallinn, spanning from 1997 to 2014. Firstly, the demand for housing by age-group is estimated from cross-sectional data obtained by combining estimates for the value of almost 170 000 Tallinn housing units with the inhabitants of the units, as reported in Estonian 2011 census data. Next, the demand estimates are combined with time-series of past demographic data on Tallinn, to construct a total demographic demand time series variable. Thirdly, the long-run relationships between housing prices, demographic demand and other macroeconomic variables are examined using cointegration analysis. Tallinn housing prices are modelled in vector error correction model framework, along with the obtained demographic demand, GDP per capita, as well as other macroeconomic time series. Housing prices’ long run elasticity estimates obtained are generally in line with results from previous studies. However, the results seem quite sensitive regarding model specification. Importantly, effects of increases in demographic demand on housing prices are found to be negative for some of the alternative model specifications. The forecasted changes in future demographic demand are also of not a very great magnitude, so the predictions for future housing prices for the models are affected relatively modestly by the forecasted changes in demographic demand.
  • Kinnunen, Aleksi (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    In this thesis, I study the determinants of Finland-Sweden bond yield spread during 1995-2013 by using the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) approach. I form different regression models, where Finland-Sweden 10-year bond yield spread is dependent variable and variables, based on the bond pricing theory, are explanatory variables. In addition to the regression analysis, I conduct a plot analysis, in which I aim to study whether there are any certain events that may have affected the bond yield spread. The idea behind the plot analysis is that the EMU membership of Finland may have increased the bond yield spread, mainly due to the lack of a lender of last resort. The results from the regression analysis suggest that risk aversion was possibly an important determinant of Finland-Sweden bond yield spread developments during the crisis period 07/2007-12/2013. The risk aversion was measured by the VIX-index. The study also finds some support that other things rather than country specific fiscal fundamentals where driving the bond yield spread during 01/1995-12/2013. The plot analysis results suggest that It is possible that the convergence of bond yields across euro countries and Sweden, were one reason for bond yield spread developments before the crisis period. The results also show that the announcement of the new European Central Bank`s Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program in 2012, likely started the fall in the bond yield spread. In addition, during the crisis period, Finland`s bond yield may have benefited from the global risk aversion but not as much as Germany and Sweden.
  • Markkanen, Valtteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Abstract Student selection has been a widely researched topic in economics and a lot of the literature has focused on how the student’s performance in the university can be predicted. In Finland most of the people applying to a university take an entrance exam and the admittance is determined by both the entrance exam and the score from high school’s end exam – the matriculation examination. Basing the student selection on the entrance exam has aroused a lot of criticism claiming that it can be unpredictable for the applicant and that it slows down the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Currently the Finnish Government is urging universities to abandon overly burdensome entrance exams in favor of basing the student selection more on the matriculation exam scores. In this thesis I examine how well success in matriculation exam and university’s entrance exam predict later performance in the university. The data used comes from the student registry of University of Helsinki where I will focus on students who applied to the Faculties of Law and Social Sciences in years 2011 and 2012. The student’s performance in the university is measured by his or her grade point average and the study pace. The results show that the matriculation exam and entrance exam are both statistically significant and positive predictors for university grade point average but matriculation exam score has much more substantial effect. For students in the Faculty of Law matriculation exam score explains 17 % of the variance in the grade point average while the entrance exam accounts for 2 %. Results for the Faculty of Social Sciences support the findings with matriculation exam explaining 13 % and entrance exam just 1 %. Both variables fail to predict the study pace. The findings from these two faculties support the notion that matriculation exam score is a better predictor for academic success than entrance exam score in terms of grade point average.
  • Peltola, Juuso (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In this thesis the existence of Long Tail effect in Finnish music industry is studied. The Long Tail effect is defined as the expansion of music supply to include a higher number of niche products instead of focusing on fewer ‘superstar’ hits. Emergency of ‘superstar’ hits has been the trend in entertainment industry since the invention of mass media and music recording, but new technological innovations can start to challenge it. The source of the Long Tail effect is in newer technological innovations, such as online distribution services and digital production tools, which lower the cost of producing music and distributing it to customers. Previously the costs of production and distribution limited the amount of producers that entered the market, but with new technologies the barrier of entry is lower than ever. This allows higher number of producers to produce music and bring it to the market, thus expanding the variety of supply. The new products won’t take hits’ place on the top of the charts, but they can take bigger share of the market than before. The goal of this thesis is to study whether the Long Tail effect exists in Finnish music market or not. To do this the record companies are assumed to produce commercial and creative output, and production functions for both are defined. Then two hypotheses are formed regarding these outputs and digitalization. First hypothesis states that if the Long Tail effect exists, the creative output is higher for firms that have adapted to digitalization. Second hypothesis is that if the Long Tail effect exist, the commercial output is not affected by the adaption to digitalization. To test the hypotheses, empirical data for 52 record companies is collected and used. Business register data is used to measure companies commercial output, labor input and capital inputs. National Library legal deposit database is used to measure creative output and intangible capital input. A measurement for digitalization is created by observing the availability of companies’ releases in YouTube and Spotify. Commercial output is estimated from the empirical data with OLS regression model and creative output is estimated with Negative Binomial regression model. The significance of digitalization is tested for both outputs. The results for these estimations show that in case of commercial output, none of digitalization variables used in the estimation affects the output. This is in line with the hypothesis regarding commercial output, which supports the existence of Long Tail effect. In case of creative output, all digitalization variables have significant and positive effect on the output. This is in line with the hypothesis regarding creative output, which supports the existence of Long Tail effect. Similar estimations are also done for second dataset, where three largest companies are excluded as potential outliers. The results for this dataset are the same. Digitalization doesn’t affect commercial output, but it increases the creative output. Conclusions from the results of this thesis are that they support the existence of Long Tail effect in Finnish music market. The two hypotheses that support the Long Tail effect were that digitalization doesn’t affect the commercial output and digitalization increases the creative output, and the results show that both hypotheses are true. For robustness the estimation was done for a second dataset where three largest companies were excluded as potential outliers, and results from this estimation also support the existence of Long Tail effect.
  • Louhivuori, Valtter (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Innovations can be seen as an engine of long-term economic growth. Firms conduct research and development (R&D) activities to create new production technology, methods or products in order to rival their competitors. In addition to benefiting the inventor, new innovations have considerable positive externalities through knowledge spillovers. However, the socially optimal level of innovations may not be achieved, because firms can underinvest in R&D if they are not compensated for the positive externalities produced by their R&D activities. Public R&D programs aim to encourage innovation by compensating firms for the positive externalities that they produce. Finland’s recent public efforts on fostering innovation have been globally high by many indicators. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these efforts has been relatively little scrutinised. This thesis studies the effectiveness of Finnish R&D program in fostering innovation outputs at the firm level. Firm-level patent statistics are used as a proxy for the innovativeness of a firm. A major contribution of this thesis is the comprehensive database that has been constructed and employed for the analysis. The database includes firm-level innovative characteristics for all the Finnish firms during a ten-year sample period, altogether covering more than two million observations for over 400 000 firms. Most of the studies on the effectiveness of the Finnish R&D program rely on the assumption that the researcher has full information on the relevant innovative characteristics that affect a firm’s program eligibility. This thesis addresses the program selectivity concern by employing an instrumental variable approach that exploits regional variation in public R&D funding stemming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aid regulations. The estimates suggest that when the program selection bias is neglected, program participation is associated with around 10 percentage point increase in patenting probability among active patentees, whereas for all firms, the increase in patenting probability is only around 0.1 percentage points. However, the instrumental variable estimates do not confirm any significant causal effect of R&D program on patenting. This thesis highlights the importance of accounting for the selection bias induced by the R&D program selection criteria. The public R&D agency is found to select firms strongly based on the same characteristics that are highly associated with innovation within firms. Therefore, it is important to ask if some of the supported firms might have had conducted their R&D projects even in the absence of the public support. Analysing the R&D program’s selection criteria plays a major role in scrutinising the effectiveness of public R&D subsidies and in the further development of public innovation policies.
  • Vanhala, Vili (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Thesis aims to investigate the motivations of the 2018’s planned policy in Finland, that would have allowed small companies to lay off workers easier. Policy was motivated by small companies’ having more uncertainty about employment decisions. It was assumed that when companies that were small enough could dismiss workers more easily, they would hire more employees, which would increase overall employment. At first, thesis discusses about effort and employees in a more general level using the one difference of dismissal conditions that exists in the Finnish labor market. It is found that there are differences in the employment decisions: employers do not want to hire any worker, they know that some perform better than other and there are incentives to choose a suitable worker. From these results, discussion becomes about potential moral hazard that could cause small companies to be less willing to hire additional workers. It is theoretically motivated, that easing dismissal conditions could improve employment through increased effort that can follow from the easing of dismissal conditions. However, there is not found a moral hazard problem that could only exist in small companies. Small companies may have harder to find a suitable worker for the potentially open position. Moral hazard might not be the only thing that explains this. It can also be attributed to the different characteristics of small and large firms. In addition, even if the employment could increase when dismissal conditions are eased, effects would be relatively small in the theoretical framework.
  • Tervonen, Lassi (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Finnish high schools are different in terms Matriculation Examination results. In some of the schools the results are very good on average. However, schools also differ in terms of student characteristics and some of the schools can be seen as ‘elite’, at least in terms of academic ability. If elite high schools students end up with good results in Matriculation Examination, to what extent the results are due to the school environment and to what extent due to the baseline characteristics of students? The Finnish National Joint Application procedure allocates students to general upper secondary schools based on applicants’ preferences and comprehensive school grade point average (GPA). Schools have limited number of seats, which means that they can admit only a limited number of applicants. This procedure leads to an entrance threshold, which determines a cutoff GPA for every school. This study’s focus is on schools in the Helsinki Capital Region which have very high entrance threshold. Those who have GPA above the cutoff are offered a seat, while those who have GPA below the cutoff are not. Because this cutoff is determined randomly, a regression discontinuity design (RDD) can be used to obtain a quasi-experimental setting. RDD exploits thresholds as a rule assigning applicants just above and just below the threshold to treatment and control groups, respectively. This makes it possible to estimate causal elite high school effects using rich data sources containing information on students’ application preferences, GPA, background characteristics, enrollment, Matriculation Examination results, and the cutoff GPAs. However, due to imperfect compliance, the enrollment to elite high schools is probabilistic, so only the elite high school offers are randomized. These offers are used to estimate intention-to-treat effects. Also, by using the offer as an instrumental variable to elite high school enrollment, the effect of enrollment is estimated. This is done by using fuzzy RDD, which allows for imperfect compliance. These estimates represent local average treatment effects for compliers, i.e., for those whose enrollment is determined by their offer status. An elite high school offer gives a possibility to study with high-achieving peers in terms of comprehensive school GPA. The peer group one gets is also often more homogenous in terms of GPA. In some cases, the peers are also more often female and have more often highly educated parents. Nevertheless, intention-to-treat and local average treatment effect estimates suggest that receiving an offer to an elite high school or enrolling to an elite high school does not have systematic positive or negative effect on learning outcomes, as measured by Matriculation Examination results. These results can be seen as evidence against the importance of peer group in terms of learning outcomes. On the other hand, attending in an elite high school can be beneficial in some other way that is not observed in Matriculation Examination grades.
  • Kalmbach, Aino (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Even though female education has boomed in recent decades, women remain underrepresented in study fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) both in the number of students as in the number of graduates. Female underrepresentation in STEM study fields leads to inefficiency, if top talents opt out of STEM education regardless of their relatively higher ability. In this Master’s thesis I study the effect of culture on female underrepresentation in STEM study fields. Previous literature has linked female underrepresentation in STEM to e.g. differences in preferences, ability and competitiveness. The number of studies on the effect of culture on economic outcomes has been increasing in the 2000s. In this thesis, I use the epidemiological approach that has been used in previous literature on the subject. The approach studies the economic decisions of immigrants, as they differ by their cultural background but face the same markets and institutions in Finland. Thus, differences in cultural background would possibly lead to e.g. different educational decisions. I use a panel dataset from Statistics Finland. I concentrate on the cross-section of the year 2012. The dataset consists of two samples: firstly, a sample of immigrants who have moved to Finland not older than 10 years of age and who are 18-36 years old at the time of observation. Secondly, a 1/3 random sample of the 18—36 year old individuals in the original population is included. In this thesis I find that the culture of an immigrant woman’s country of origin is correlated with the likelihood of her enrolling in a STEM major study subject at the tertiary degree in Finland. I measure the culture of the country of origin by an odds ratio that reflects the likelihood of being a female STEM graduate in the country of origin. The result implies that women, who are originally from cultures where female share in STEM is relatively larger, have a higher likelihood to enrol in STEM in Finland, too. The sample size, however, very small due to the small amount of immigrants in Finland and limitations in the data. Hence, no definitive conclusions can be drawn from the result. The education of the parents of the immigrants is not tabulated in the data, so it is not possible to distinguish whether the higher likelihood to enrol in STEM is due to a higher likelihood to have a parent who is a professional in STEM.
  • Vänskä, Bettina (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    In contrast to conventional economic growth theory, natural resource abundance can harm country's economic growth. This puzzling phenomenon is called resource curse. Resource curse is defined as a decrease in national income due to an increase of natural resources. In general, resource rich countries have had lower growth rates than their resource poor counterparts during last four decades. However, not all resource abundant countries perform poorly. There are also countries with large natural resources that have experienced fast economic growth. Recent studies have suggested that institutional quality could explain this divergence. By institutions it is referred for example to the level of corruption, rule of law and government accountability. This thesis examines whether institutional quality has any effect on resource curse and whether differences in institutional quality explain the divergence between well and poorly performing resource abundant countries. The problem is examined with two rent-seeking theories. The first one (Mehlum et al. 2006a) examines entrepreneurs' allocation between two competing activities: production and rent-seeking activity. The institutional quality of the country determines whether or not natural resources induce the entrepreneurs to participate in rent-seeking activity. The second theory (Robinson and Torvik 2013) differs from Mehlum et al. in the specialization possibility and functional forms used. It shows that the allocation decision of entrepreneurs and the aggregate income of the country are conditional on the institutional quality of the country. Both theories examine how entrepreneurs' allocation decision and national income respond to an increase in natural resources. Resource curse is shown to exist only in countries with poor institutions. In that case an increase in natural resources decreases national income because talents are transferred into rent-seeking activity. Strong institutions mitigate the entrepreneurs’ participation to rent-seeking activity. As more entrepreneurs are participating in production activity and incentives to participate in rent-seeking are mitigated, the national income is increased. Institutional quality determines whether a resource rich country suffers from resource curse. Institutions are shown to be essential in explaining the divergence of resource rich countries to well and poorly performing. Resource rich country can turn the curse over by improving its institutions. The results stress the importance of underlying institutions on economic performance.