Browsing by Subject "competition"

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  • Kar, Ashim Kumar; Bali Swain, Ranjula (2018)
    Do microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate in a monopoly, monopolistic competition environment or are their revenues derived under perfect competition markets? We employ the Panzar–Rosse revenue test on a global panel data to assess the competitive environment in which MFIs of five selected countries operate: Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru and Philippines, over the period 2005–2009. We estimate the static and the dynamic revenue tests, with analyses of the interest rate and the return on assets. We control for microfinance-specific variables such as capital assets-ratio, loans-assets and the size of the MFI. The analyses also account for the endogeneity problem by employing the fixed-effects two-stage least squares and the fixed-effects system generalized method of moments. Our results suggest that MFIs in Peru and India operate in a monopolistic environment. We also find weak evidence that the microfinance industry in Ecuador, Indonesia and Philippines may operate under perfect competition.
  • Repetti, Sonja I. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    My master’s thesis aims to determine the effect of salinity on phytoplankton traits related to nutrient acquisition, and particularly how this interacts with resource availability. Salinity is an important driver structuring phytoplankton communities in the Baltic Sea. Salinity can also influence nutrient uptake by increasing metabolic rates required for osmotic adjustment. Thus, interaction between salinity and nutrient availability is expected to change community structure by altering phytoplankton traits determining resource competition. This is a particularly relevant area of study for the Baltic Sea due to predicted future freshening of the sea’s upper layer. We performed a microcosm experiment using artificial communities of 10 diverse phytoplankton species grown under different combinations of salinity (0, 5, 12 and 24), Nitrogen to Phosphorus molar ratio (N:P ratio = 2, 10, 16 and 80) and light (10 and 130 µmol photon m-2 s-1) conditions. A three-way interaction among these environmental parameters influenced phytoplankton traits associated with resource competition, as well as the presence and proportions of phytoplankton taxa. Light limitation inhibited community growth under all salinity conditions, but allowed diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to dominate. Community growth rate was higher under high light, but also more variable between salinity conditions. The strongest negative effects of nutrient limitation (N, P, and both nutrients together), both on growth rate and taxonomic diversity, were observed in the highest salinity treatment. In the freshwater treatment with the highest proportion of green algae Monoraphidium sp., N-limitation did not inhibit phytoplankton community growth and P-limitation had a more profound negative effect on community performance. Decreasing salinity appeared to decrease community C:N and C:P ratios. This shift is in opposition to the increasing C:N and C:P predicted as a consequence of other climate change-related drivers. Our results emphasise the importance of a trade-off between salinity and resource limitation in functioning of phytoplankton communities and suggest that future freshening of the Baltic Sea is likely to modify phytoplankton community composition and performance.
  • Prinkkilä, Maija-Liisa (University of Helsinki, 1993)
  • Vesala, Timo (2002)
    Our study examines implications of banking sector competition on economic development in an endogenous growth model, where the role of business creation is emphasised as a driving force. Production of information on potential investment projects by exerting screening is identified as a key function of viable banking sector. Assuming perfect screening technology, we derive the anticipated result that intensity of screening is adversely affected by increasing competition in banking sector. As a novelty, we also discuss a case where the assumption of perfect screening is relaxed, and introduce an option to liquidate unprofitable projects in an interim stage of financing relationship. It will be shown that screening activity may actually rise along with intensified competition, because banks start to substitute imperfect screening for liquidation as selection mechanism. Regarding the linkage to real sector, monopolistic competition tends to cause inefficiencies dampening the fraction of 'productive finance' in financial intermediation, which results from monopoly banks' tendency to lend 'too little with too high price', and possibly from excessive investment in entrepreneurial selection. Under plausible assumptions, liquidation option will amplify the distortions caused by market power. Increasing competition in banking in turn may hurt Financial efficiency by inducing too 'slack' screening, which unambiguously impairs the average quality of financing projects in the economy. In addition, since intensifying competition narrows the intermediation margin, the fixed start-up costs become harder to bear causing 'over-investment' in single projects with diminishing returns. Consequently, the relationship between banking sector competition and growth is likely to be non-monotonic. Under plausible assumptions, we derive an 'inverted U-shape' as a general pattern to describe competition-growth relationship, implying that a growth-maximizing market structure would be an oligopoly.
  • Markkula, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis evaluates the effects of entry on incumbent firms' prices and procedures volume in dental care markets using difference-in-differences regression and administrative data on private dental care visits reimbursed by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The entry is considered as a competition increasing shock. The entrant's prices were remarkably low at the time of the entry and the firm was able to acquire a large share of volume in common procedures performed at the market. Thus, the entrant offered a real low-cost alternative to the residents of the Capital Region. I focus on examinations and fillings, which are two of the most common procedures. Patients face switching costs when changing their dental care provider. This means that incumbent firms with locked-in customers might be able to accommodate the entry easier, than without the switching costs. The results show that incumbent firms do not lower their prices in response to the entry by economically significant amount. However, the results suggest that incumbent firms perform less fillings after the entry. The effect is driven by summer months. The pattern where the incumbent firms do not change their prices and lose a share of their turnover to the entrant is consistent with the theoretical switching costs literature.
  • Pukkala, Timo; Kolström, Taneli (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1987)
  • Santavirta, Torsten (2003)
    The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between competition and innovations. Making use of growth models where the incentive effects of competition on innovation, and consequently growth, are considered, the effect of competition on technological progress is examined. The interplay between competition and corporate governance and their combined effect on innovations are also examined. Furthermore, the interaction between R&D subsidies and competition and the additionality of an R&D subsidy are analytically elaborated as an extension to the already formulated model of an inverted U-shape relationship between competition and innovations. The three key hypotheses analyzed in this study are: 1) competition policy has important complementarities with R&D policy in the fostering of an innovative environment; 2) R&D subsidies should in all cases be carefully monitored; 3) the additionality of R&D subsidies tends to be strongest at moderate degrees of competition. The findings are that the degree of competition within the industry should be taken into account in the granting of R&D subsidies. A policy mix of R&D policy and competition policy may increase the additionality of an R&D subsidy. As for the monitoring of subsidies, the findings are that all forms of subsidies to R&D ventures should be carefully monitored. Finally, an R&D subsidy tends to have strongest additionality at moderate degrees of competition.
  • Kalela, Erkki K. (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1949)
  • Li, Yan; Kang, Jieyu; Li, Zhijun; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang (2020)
    Aims Populus deltoides and P. euramericana are widely used in China as major forestry species. At present, little is known about their responses to nitrogen (N) deficiency when grown in monocultures or mixed plantations. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the growth, and morphological and physiological responses of P. deltoides and P. euramericana to different N levels under competition conditions. Methods We employed two Populus species (P. deltoides and P. euramericana) to discover how N deficiency affects plant traits under different competition types (P. deltoides x P. deltoides, intraspecific competition; P. euramericana x P. euramericana, intraspecific competition; P. deltoides x P. euramericana, interspecific competition). Potted seedlings were exposed to two N levels (normal N, N deficiency), and nitrogen- and competition-driven differences in growth, morphology and physiology were examined. Important Findings Under normal N conditions, interspecific competition significantly decreased the total root weight, root mass fraction (RMF), root-shoot ratio (R/S) and carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N), and increased the leaf dry weight, leaf mass fraction and total leaf area of P. euramericana compared with intraspecific competition. The same conditions significantly affected the growth and morphological variables of P. deltoides, except for the dry weight of fine roots, R/S, specific leaf area, RMF, total nitrogen content and C/N compared with intraspecific competition. In addition, chlorophyll a (Chla), total chlorophyll (Tchl), carotenoid contents (Caro) and the carbon isotope composition (delta C-13) of P. deltoides were significantly lower in interspecific competition than in intraspecific competition, but no difference was detected in P. euramericana. The effects of N deficiency on P. deltoides under intraspecific competition were stronger than under interspecific competition. In contrast, the effects of N deficiency on P. euramericana between intraspecific and interspecific competition were not significantly different. These results suggest that under normal N condition, P. deltoides is expected to gain an advantage in monocultures rather than in mixtures with P. euramericana. Under N deficiency, the growth performance of P. euramericana was more stable than that of P. deltoides under both cultivation modes.
  • Hogle, Shane L.; Hepolehto, Iina; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Cairns, Johannes; Hiltunen, Teppo (2022)
    A popular idea in ecology is that trait variation among individuals from the same species may promote the coexistence of competing species. However, theoretical and empirical tests of this idea have yielded inconsistent findings. We manipulated intraspecific trait diversity in a ciliate competing with a nematode for bacterial prey in experimental microcosms. We found that intraspecific trait variation inverted the original competitive hierarchy to favour the consumer with variable traits, ultimately resulting in competitive exclusion. This competitive outcome was driven by foraging traits (size, speed and directionality) that increased the ciliate's fitness ratio and niche overlap with the nematode. The interplay between consumer trait variation and competition resulted in non-additive cascading effects-mediated through prey defence traits-on prey community assembly. Our results suggest that predicting consumer competitive population dynamics and the assembly of prey communities will require understanding the complexities of trait variation within consumer species.
  • Merikanto, Ilona (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Many pathogens are able to survive and reproduce in the environment outside of host for instance by saprotrophic lifestyle. These kinds of pathogens are called opportunistic as compared to obligatory pathogens that cannot interact or reproduce in the environment outside of host. Opportunistic pathogens are subject to strong selection forces in the environment outside of host for instance while they compete for resources they share with other microbes. Ecological interactions in the environment outside of host can therefore influence on the disease dynamics and evolution of virulence of an opportunistic pathogen. No proper theoretical model that would acknowledge opportunistic reproduction and ecological interactions in the environment out side of host has been developed before. Yet it is essential to develop this kind of theoretical model so that the development and dynamics of opportunistic diseases could be predicted and prevented. In this work, an opportunistic disease model was developed that considers both the opportunistic reproduction and the influence of a superior competitor as compared to pathogenic strain on pathogen growth in the environment outside of host. Differential equations in the model represent the density changes in time in the populations of susceptible and infected host, pathogen and rival strain outside host that is not pathogenic. Evolution of virulence of the new opportunistic pathogen meaning the ability to grow from low density in presence of superior competing strain was modeled in differing circumstances. Opportunistic disease dynamics was modeled in differing circumstances, when non-pathogenic competing strain was either present or absent. Equilibrium equations were solvable to a system, where non-pathogenic competing strain was absent, but to a system where non-pathogenic competing strain was present. Analyses of the model were performed with Math Works MATLAB – program. Reproducing inside host gives an opportunity for new opportunistic pathogen to increase in density under circumstances where competition is moderate enough so that the reproduction in the environment outside host may compensate opportunistic pathogen's weaker ability to compete. Reproduction and competition in the environment outside host produce disease dynamics that differ from more traditional SI-models. Density dependence of the reproduction in the environment outside host stabilizes host-parasite system in the absence of competition in the environment outside host. Instead, in the presence of competition the competitive advantage of the non-pathogen strain destabilizes disease dynamics and prevents extinction of the susceptible host. Reproduction in the environment outside host also enables opportunistic pathogen to remain in the environment in the absence of susceptible hosts and functions thus as a potential mechanism for disease out breaks when circumstances change. However, increasing competition in the environment outside host at the expense of opportunistic pathogen may potentially prevent epidemics. Among other things, the model could be applied to biological control with the intension of removing an opportunistic pathogen naturally by weakening its survival in the environment out side of host in a competiotion situation. This kind of biological control could for example be possible in the case of saprotrophic Flavobacterium columnare –fish pathogen that is found in fish farms.
  • Fattorini, Simone; Mantoni, Cristina; Di Biase, Letizia; Strona, Giovanni; Pace, Loretta; Biondi, Maurizio (2020)
    The concept of generic diversity expresses the 'diversification' of species into genera in a community. Since niche overlap is assumed to be higher in congeneric species, competition should increase generic diversity. On the other hand, generic diversity might be lower in highly selective environments, where only species with similar adaptations can survive. We used the distribution of tenebrionid beetles in Central Italy to investigate how generic diversity varies with elevation from sea level to 2400 m altitude. Generic diversity of geophilous tenebrionids decreased sharply with elevation, whereas the generic diversity of xylophilous tenebrionids showed similarly high values across the gradient. These results suggest that geophilous species are more sensitive to variation in environmental factors, and that the advantages of close relationships (similar adaptations to harsh conditions) are greater than the possible drawbacks (competition). This is consistent with the fact that geophilous tenebrionids are mostly generalist detritivores, and hence weakly affected by competition for resources. By contrast, xylophilous species are more protected from harsh/selective conditions, but more limited by competition for microhabitats and food. Our results support the environmental filtering hypothesis for the species composition of tenebrionid beetles along an elevational gradient.
  • Kaitaniemi, Pekka; Lintunen, Anna (2021)
    In many cases, the traditional ground-based estimates of competition between trees are not directly applicable with modern aerial inventories, due to incompatible measurements. Moreover, many former studies of competition consider extreme stand densities, hence the effect of competition under the density range in managed stands remains less explored. Here we explored the utility of a simple tree height- and distance-based competition index that provides compatibility with data produced by modern inventory methods. The index was used for the prediction of structural tree attributes in three boreal tree species growing in low to moderate densities within mixed stands. In silver birch, allometric models predicting tree diameter, crown height, and branch length all showed improvement when the effect of between-tree competition was included. A similar but non-significant trend was also present in a proxy for branch biomass. In Siberian larch, only the prediction of branch length was affected. In Scots pine, there was no improvement. The results suggest that quantification of competitive interactions based on individual tree heights and locations alone has potential to improve the prediction of tree attributes, although the outcomes can be species-specific.
  • Koskinen, Hanna (Kela, 2018)
    Studies in social security and health 150
    This study examines the impact of the implementation of a generic reference price system on pharmaceutical prices and competition within the market. The focus is particularly on antipsychotic medications. Furthermore, the impact of reference pricing on previously implemented generic substitution is assessed. Antipsychotics and antidepressants were, in terms of value, among the fastest growing pharmaceutical groups in Finland at the turn of the 21st century. For antipsychotics, most of the cost growth resulted from the rise in the mean daily cost of treatment, whereas the main reason for antidepressant cost growth was the increased number of patients. The implementation of reference pricing decreased the daily cost of the studied antipsychotics. The decreases ranged from 30% to 66% in the short term and from 25% to 51% in the medium-to-long term. When the study was extended to other pharmaceutical groups, the average decrease was 35% at the end of the first year, 56% at the end of the second year and 60% at the end of the third year. However, there were large differences in the size of the decrease between groups. Being included in the reference price system had the largest decreasing impact on prices. However, the reference price system’s impact on prices appeared to be waning; the later an active substance was included in the system, the higher the price level remained. In addition, the impact of the reference price system on previously implemented generic substitution remained low, and 2.5 years after the implementation of the reference price system it was almost non-existent. Generic pharmaceutical markets are highly concentrated in Finland. In addition, there is an overall lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical distribution chain. Further research is needed on the barriers of entry and on the role different operators of the pharmaceutical distribution chain have in promoting price competition in the generic market sector.
  • Pekkonen, Minna; Ketola, Tarmo; Laakso, Jouni (2013)
    Resource availability is one of the main factors determining the ecological dynamics of populations or species. Fluctuations in resource availability can increase or decrease the intensity of resource competition. Resource availability and competition can also cause evolutionary changes in life-history traits. We studied how community structure and resource fluctuations affect the evolution of fitness related traits using a two-species bacterial model system. Replicated populations of Serratia marcescens (copiotroph) and Novosophingobium capsulatum (oligotroph) were reared alone or together in environments with intergenerational, pulsed resource renewal. The comparison of ancestral and evolved bacterial clones with 1 or 13 weeks history in pulsed resource environment revealed species-specific changes in life-history traits. Co-evolution with S. marcescens caused N. capsulatum clones to grow faster. The evolved S. marcescens clones had higher survival and slower growth rate then their ancestor. The survival increased in all treatments after one week, and thereafter continued to increase only in the S. marcescens monocultures that experienced large resource pulses. Though adaptive radiation is often reported in evolution studies with bacteria, clonal variation increased only in N. capsulatum growth rate. Our results suggest that S. marcescens adapted to the resource renewal cycle whereas N. capsulatum was more affected by the interspecific competition. Our results exemplify species-specific evolutionary response to both competition and environmental variation.
  • Purkamo, Lotta; Bomberg, Malin; Nyyssönen, Mari; Ahonen, Lasse; Kukkonen, Ilmo; Itävaara, Merja (2017)
    Acetate plays a key role as electron donor and acceptor and serves as carbon source in oligotrophic deep subsurface environments. It can be produced from inorganic carbon by acetogenic microbes or through breakdown of more complex organic matter. Acetate is an important molecule for sulfate reducers that are substantially present in several deep bedrock environments. Aceticlastic methanogens use acetate as an electron donor and/or a carbon source. The goal of this study was to shed light on carbon cycling and competition in microbial communities in fracture fluids of Finnish crystalline bedrock groundwater system. Fracture fluid was anaerobically collected from a fracture zone at 967 m depth of the Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole and amended with acetate, acetate + sulfate, sulfate only or left unamended as a control and incubated up to 68 days. The headspace atmosphere of microcosms consisted of 80% hydrogen and 20% CO2. We studied the changes in the microbial communities with community fingerprinting technique as well as high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The amended microcosms hosted more diverse bacterial communities compared to the intrinsic fracture zone community and the control treatment without amendments. The majority of the bacterial populations enriched with acetate belonged to clostridial hydrogenotrophic thiosulfate reducers and Alphaproteobacteria affiliating with groups earlier found from subsurface and groundwater environments. We detected a slight increase in the number of sulfate reducers after the 68 days of incubation. The microbial community changed significantly during the experiment, but increase in specifically acetate-cycling microbial groups was not observed.
  • Oiva, Mila (Routledge, 2014)
    Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Welsh, John W (2021)
    This historical materialist analysis places rankings into the imperatives both to govern and to accumulate, and positions academic ranking in particular as the telos of a more general audit culture. By identifying how rankings effect not merely a quantification of qualities, but a numeration of quantities, we can expose how state governments, managerial strata and political elites achieve socially stratifying political objectives that actually frustrate the kind of market-rule for which rankings have been hitherto legitimised among the public. The insight here is that rankings make of audit techniques neither simply a market proxy, nor merely the basis for bureaucratic managerialism, but a social technology or 'apparatus' (dispositif) that simultaneously substitutes and frustrates market operations in favour of a more acutely stratified social order. This quality to the operation of rankings can then be connected to the chronic accumulation crisis that is the neoliberal regime of political economy, and to the growing political appetite therein for power-knowledge techniques propitious for oligarchy formation and accumulation-by-dispossession in the kind of low-growth and zero-sum environment typical in real terms to societies dominated by financialisation. A dialectical approach to rankings is suggested, so that a more effective engagement with their internal and practical contradictions can be realised in a way that belies the market-myths of neoliberal theory.