Browsing by Subject "consumption"

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  • Nissinen, Ari; Savolainen, Hannu (Finnish Environment Institute, 2020)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 15en/2019
    The aim of the research was to analyse the carbon footprint (i.e. life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions) and raw material requirements (RMR) for public procurement and household consumption. The main method used was the environmentally extended input-output model ENVIMAT, supplemented with statistics on public procurement. Greenhouse gas emissions for the final domestic demand, i.e. the consumption-based emissions of Finland, amounted to 73.4 million tons carbon dioxide equivalents (Mt CO2e) in 2015. This can also be seen as the carbon footprint of Finland, and it was 33 % bigger than the territorial emissions which form the basis of the official national inventories. The carbon footprint for public procurement in 2015 was 8.3 Mt CO2e. State procurement accounted for 1.78 Mt, municipalities for 4.73 Mt CO2e, and federations of municipalities (FM) for 1.79 Mt CO2e. The carbon footprint of investments made by public organisations amounted to 2.7 Mt CO2e. In state procurement 42 % of the emissions were caused by buying services, 38 % from goods, 12 % from rents, and 8 % were due to other costs. Buying goods caused the largest emission share in the defence administration (55 %), whereas services caused the largest share (81 %) in the traffic and communications sector. In the procurement made by municipalities and federations of municipalities 42–43 % of emissions were caused by the procurement of services and 52 % from goods. Looking at state administration, defence caused the largest share (43 %) of emissions, and next were the traffic and communications (21 %) and the ministry of the interior (10 %). Urban municipalities caused 3.33 Mt of emissions, and semi-urban municipalities caused 0.69 Mt and rural municipalities 0.71 Mt. Hospital districts had the largest emissions (1.03 Mt) among the federations of municipalities. The raw material requirement of public procurement amounted to 19.5 Mt in 2015. The share of state procurement was 34 %, whereas municipalities and FM caused the remaining 66 %. The RMR of investments made by public organisations amounted to 25.7 Mt. The RMR of household consumption in 2015 was 64.8 Mt. The share of other products and services came to 32 %, housing including energy use amounted to 30 %, foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages contributed 26 % and transport 12 %. Regarding the carbon footprint of households in 2016, transport caused 30 % of all carbon emission equivalents, housing and energy use 29 %, foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages 19 %, and other products and services 22 %. The overall carbon footprint was 53.4 Mt CO2e in 2000 and 60.1 Mt in 2016 (12.5 % growth). Emissions were the largest in 2007 (66.6 Mt). A structural decomposition of the change in the carbon footprint from 2000 to 2016 shows three major factors: change in consumption expenditure (which alone would change the footprint by +30.7 %), change in consumption structure (-5.7 %) and technological change (-12.5 %). The annual average carbon footprint per capita varied between 10.1 and 12.6 tons of CO2e. Statistics Finland’s Household Budget Survey was used to analyse different households. In the lowest income decile the carbon footprint was 7.2 t CO2e per consumption unit, and in the highest income decile it was 19.0. The emission intensity (i.e. emissions per euro consumed) did not have any clear relationship to the income. Regarding types of households, couples without children and couples with children had the largest footprint per consumption unit. When housing was not taken into account, households in inner urban areas had the smallest and households in peri-urban and rural areas close to urban areas had the largest carbon footprint per consumption unit. Of the consumption sectors, transport had the highest emission intensity (0.81 kg CO2e /€). Additionally, food had a high emission intensity (0.76). The two expenditure categories related to housing had smaller intensities (0.51 and 0.45), and other goods and services had the smallest (0.24). The average emission intensity was around 0.5.
  • Joas, Markus (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The Finnish forest industries are going through heavy adjustments as especially the western world is moving towards a more digitalized model where the amount of paper and pulp consumed is diminishing. It is obvious that the whole industry is in need for new solutions. These new solutions and innovations can be found from the field of bioenergy. Finland is rich with forest-based raw material which can provide a long-term and local source of energy. In the future this will be of primary importance as the prices of the non-renewable energy sources will climb higher as the deposits of the fossil fuels dry up. The usage of the renewable energy sources are also very important in order to prevent the global climate change and to achieve the goals regulated for Finland in the Kyoto Protocol and the European RES-E directive. This Master’s Thesis takes a look at the current state and the future trends of the Finnish wood pellet industries. The domestic wood-based pellet industries are studied with a concise literature review and a SWOT analysis based on the earlier literature. The analysis is linked to the future expectations and current retailer perspectives with a survey conducted between June and October 2013. The sample consists of 39 low, medium and high sales volume wood pellet manufacturers and retailers whom mostly do only domestic pellet trading business. Most of the strengths of the domestic wood-based pellet industries are related to different kinds of ecological aspects or different kinds of raw material related issues. In the future especially the prices of the raw materials, prices of other energy sources and prices of the end-product will be in a crucial role. Most of the survey participants underlined the significance of the governmental acts concerning the future of the whole business in Finland: a favorable taxing policy and different subsidies can make Finland truly a greener economy but this have not happened yet, much due to the unfavorable domestic politics. According to the survey respondents, in the future the demand of wood-based pellet services, especially tailored and ready-to-use services from maintenance to deliveries are going to increase.
  • Berg, Annukka; Antikainen, Riina; Hartikainen, Ernesto; Kauppi, Sari; Kautto, Petrus; Lazarevic, David; Piesik, Sandra; Saikku, Laura (Finnish Environment Institute, 2018)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 26/2018
    As a new paradigm for economic development, the circular economy has significant environmental, economic and social benefits at the global scale. The circular economy concept highlights the notion of replacing the ‘end-of-life’ in current production and consumption practices by reducing, reusing, and recycling products and materials in production, distribution and consumption processes. Promoting circularity aims to accomplish sustainable development, and the circular economy has links to many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the United Nations in 2015. This report is a background contribution asked by the Independent group of scientists writing the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019. The GSDR 2019 is the first in a series of comprehensive, in-depth Reports that will be produced every four years to inform the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened under the auspices of the General Assembly. Thus, this background report seeks to provide a condensed package on the circular economy; the concept, its history, potentials, business opportunities, management and measurement. Some of the key messages entail that moving towards a circular economy presents vast opportunities for businesses of various kind, and that increasing the material circularity of economy can also be a way to alleviate poverty. Yet, the systemic and disruptive changes required for a circular economy transition will not take place without significant changes to existing regulatory structures.
  • Lauhakangas, Vilma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Käsittelen tutkielmassani Edith Whartonin teosta The Custom of the Country vuodelta 1913. Wayne C. Boothin (1961) teoriaa mukaillen pohdin oletetun kirjailijan eli ’implied authorin’ henkilöllisyyttä ja mahdollisen omaelämänkerrallisuuden vaikutusta tekstin tulkintaan. Lähden näkemyksestä, että oletettu kirjailija on Wharton, ja arvioin tätä näkökulmaa analyysin eri vaiheissa. Varsinainen tutkimuskysymykseni koskee sitä, millainen viesti teoksesta välittyy 1900-luvun alun muuttuvasta maailmasta. Esitän Whartonin käyttäneen retorisia keinoja ja erilaisia kerronnan muotoja tuodakseen teoksessaan esiin kiihtyvän kulutusmyönteisyyden, jopa ahneuden, kasvun. Tutkin sitä, miten kasvavan keskiluokan uusrikkaat ja heidän kantamansa arvot kirjan mukaan horjuttavat sekä newyorkilaisen että ranskalaisen yläluokan asemaa länsimaisessa yhteiskunnassa. Henkilöhahmot tarjoavat karikatyyrimäisiä esimerkkejä jokaisesta mainitusta ryhmästä. Kulutusmyönteisyys, joka hallitsee päähenkilö Undine Spraggin elämää, toimii tutkielman pääasiallisena temaattisena aspektina. Keskeisiksi käsitteiksi nousevat imitaatio ja yksityisyys. Lähestyn aihepiiriä erityisesti Jean Baudrillardin (1998) teorioiden kautta. Analyysissäni käsittelen romaanissa esiintyviä rakennuksia ja asuinpaikkoja. Ryhmiä, joihin kuuluvat newyorkilainen yläluokka, ranskalainen aristokraattisuku ja amerikkalaiset uusrikkaat, lähestyn tarkastelemalla heitä yhdistäviä ja erottavia kulttuurisia tekijöitä sekä taustatarinoita. Teoksessa kuvaillut hotellit ja asuintalot kertovat muutoksista yhteiskunnassa, ihmisten mieltymyksissä ja kulutuskäyttäytymisessä. Käsittelen kerronnan fokalisaatiota, eli tutkin, mistä eri perspektiiveistä katsellen tarinaa kerrotaan. Lähteinäni käytän Gérard Genetten (1980) sekä Mieke Balin (2009) teorioita. Toinen kirjallisuusteoriaan viittaava näkemykseni liittyy teoksen satiirillisuuteen. Lähestymistapa tarjoaa mahdollisuuden tutkia, kohdistaako Wharton satiiriaan erityisesti uusrikkaiden ryhmään. Tähän soveltuu Dustin H. Griffinin (1994) erittely satiirin erilaisista kohteista ja käyttötarkoituksista. Näyttää siltä, että Wharton ei kohdista satiiriaan niinkään yhtä ryhmää kohden, vaan kaikki kolme yhteiskunnallista ryhmää ovat kriittisen kommentoinnin kohteena. Kuvauksellinen ja retorinen kieli, jota hotellien ja asuinpaikkojen kuvauksissa käytetään, paljastaa ryhmien välisiä näkemyseroja. Tekstianalyysi osoittaa, miten Wharton käsittelee kulutusmyönteisyyttä ja liiallisen kulutuksen aiheuttamaa ahneutta. Tekstistä käy ilmi, kuinka jatkuva muiden omistamien asioiden ihannointi ja kyltymätön uutuuksien hankinta saa ihmisen kadottamaan kykynsä arvostaa laatua. Tällainen toiminta johtaa turhaan kuluttamiseen ja arvojen rapautumiseen. Modernisaation tuoma muutos, eli elämän kaupungistuminen, liittyy keskeisesti henkilökohtaisen tilan mallien muuttumiseen. Ihmisiä asuu tiheästi kaupunkialueella, mikä vaikuttaa tilakäsitykseen. Whartonin teksti heijastelee ristiriitaisia tunteet muuttuvaa aikaa kohtaan. Näin ollen teos on tulkittavissa myös eräänlaiseksi Whartonin itsetutkiskeluksi. Vaikka kirjan satiiri kohdistuu yksittäisiin henkilöihin, välittyy viesti, että kyseessä on laajempi ilmiö, johon yksittäiset ihmiset eivät enää voi vaikuttaa. Tämä tuo kerrontaan myös surumielisen aspektin sen näennäisen humoristisuuden ja esteettisyyttä korostavien seikkojen lisäksi.
  • Suominen, Kimmo; Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic manage-ment, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use the in-stitutionalized discourse of strategic management, which is not their own product, in nov-el and creative ways. In this paper, we focus on the tactics that managers, as central strat-egy practitioners, use to consume strategy. Drawing on the work of the late Michel de Certeau as a theoretical lens, we conduct an empirical analysis of discourse, produced by 36 managers operating in three case organizations. This analysis allows us to elaborate on three different tactics of strategy consumption: instrumental, playful and intimate. The results capture the reciprocal dynamics between the micro and macro-levels of strategy discourse, that is, between strategic management as an institutional body of knowledge and the discursive practice of individual managers.
  • Häkkinen, Anu (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Kawah Ijen is the picturesque crater of the Ijen volcano located in Eastern Java, Indonesia. However, it is not just any volcano crater, as it happens to be the locus of labour-intensive sulphur mining operation. Each day up to 15 tons of sulphur is extracted from the Ijen crater by the 350 men working as manual miners. These men carry even 100 kilogram loads of sulphur out from the crater with bare brawn and the work is with no doubt burdensome. Kawah Ijen's natural beauty has also caught the interest of tourists', and the crater has become commodified as a tourism destination, visited by hundreds of international tourists each day. Thus the storyline of this master's thesis is two-fold. The first research objective scrutinizes the Kawah Ijen sulphur mine from a commodity chain perspective, emphasizing the tough work the sulphur miners have to bear in order to satisfy the needs of the consumers at the end of the chain. The second, and the essential objective of this research in turn interrogates how the presence of the sulphur miners has become also an inevitable part of the Kawah Ijen tourism experience. In this the aspiration is to elucidate how the sulphur miners have become aestheticized as a Global South tourism attraction. In other words, this research aims to interrogate the peculiarity of this reality, by exploring how both trade and culture, and human and commodity mobilities are entangled and enshrouded within the crater of the Ijen volcano. In human geography, a research framework of 'Follow the thing' has been adopted by scholars in order to study the geographically far-flung production chains of consumer goods. As a framework it aims to make critical political-economic connections between the consumers and distant, and often also underprivileged, producers. In this Marxist-influenced undertaking emphasis is placed particularly on commodity fetishism. This notion has been mobilized to illuminate how consumers have become alienated from the means of production, in their symbolically-laden everyday consumption. As sulphur is a raw material needed in the production processes of many goods such as white sugar, fertilizers, medicines, and rubber, this research shows how these commodities were 'followed' into their origins to this particular sulphur mine. During a period of field work, a method of participant observation was utilized to get contextual understanding of this production site. The initial research objective is therefore to make connections and create awareness of the inequalities within commodity production networks. In the final research objective of this master's thesis, a postcolonial approach is mobilized to critically interrogate this initial setting, in which the miners are seen as poor and stagnant producers. Thus the Kawah Ijen tourists are taken under lens in order to gain understanding of this touristic encounter nuanced with cross-cultural and socio-economic differences between the tourists and the miners. Therefore the setting of Kawah Ijen will not only be observed as a place of production, but also as a site - and object - of consumption. By analysing blogged travel stories written by the tourists themselves, this research aims to illuminate what the tourism experience of the Kawah Ijen is about in the realm of consumption. Special attention is given to how the encounter with sulphur miners has become a constitutive part of the adventurous and authentic tourism experience of Kawah Ijen. The blog post analysis on the Kawah Ijen tourism narrative shows how the imaginaries of the sulphur miner as the 'Other' are adhered to, as the tourists construct their travel identities, make meaning of their experiences and finally represent their experience to the outside world. Finally this research aims to make ruptures to Global South fetishism by elucidating how the Kawah Ijen sulphur mine has become both commoditized and fetishized in its own right. In this fetishzation process the sulphur miners are depicted as poor and primitive, which as categories act as symbols for authentic tourism consumption in the social frameworks of the tourists. However, the aim is not to demonize the tourists, but to give recognition to the nuanced personal and social realities they are embedded in their consumption. Hence, the tourism experience of Kawah Ijen is constructed through a point of view more sensitive to the subjective negotiation of authenticity. It is argued that the Kawah Ijen tourism experience is a process in which the meaning of the experience is negotiated in a wider framework, which is vicariously embedded in postcolonial discourse. Finally, it is concluded that although there is some unequal power relations at presence in the tourism consumption of Kawah Ijen, the tourism can be the means to make more sustainable living for the miners. The leapfrog from the mining to tourism has to be only carried out in a deliberate way with respect to all of the stakeholders.
  • Adebayo, Folasade A.; Itkonen, Suvi T.; Koponen, Päivikki; Prättälä, Ritva; Härkänen, Tommi; Lamberg-Allardt, Christel; Erkkola, Maijaliisa (2017)
    Aims: We evaluated the consumption of healthy foods among Russian, Somali and Kurdish immigrants in Finland, and examined the relationship between socio-demographic factors and food consumption. Methods: We used data from the Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study (Maamu), a population-based health interview and examination survey in six different municipalities in Finland between 2010 and 2012. Altogether, 635 men and 737 women, aged 18-64 years, of Russian (n = 527), Somali (n = 337) and Kurdish (n = 508) origin were included. The important socio-demographic determinants of healthy food consumption - sex, age, education, place of residence and household size - were assessed by logistic regression. Results: Based on the consumption frequencies of recommended healthy foods - fruits, berries, vegetables, fish and rye bread - immigrants of Russian origin had higher consumption of healthy foods than their peers of Kurdish and Somali origin. Low consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits and berries was found among Somali immigrants. Sex and age were the most important determinants of healthy food consumption, as women and older age groups had diets closer to the national nutrition recommendations. High educational level was also positively associated with healthy food consumption. Conclusions: We found ethnic differences in the consumption of healthy foods among the immigrant groups of Russian, Somali and Kurdish origin in Finland. Socio-demographic factors, especially age, sex and education, seem to also play an important role in immigrants' food consumption. Further studies examining the consumption of fruits, berries and fresh vegetables among Somali immigrants in Finland are needed.
  • Gronow, Jukka (Helsinki University Press, 2020)
    Jukka Gronow’s book Deciphering Markets and Money solves the problem of the specific social conditions of an economic order based on money and the equal exchange of commodities. Gronow scrutinizes the relation of sociology to neoclassical economics and reflects on how sociology can contribute to the analyses of the major economic institutions. The question of the comparability and commensuration of economic objects runs through the chapters of the book. The author shows that due to the multidimensionality and principal quality uncertainty of products, markets would collapse without market devices that are either procedural, consisting of technical standards and measuring instruments, or aesthetic, relying on the judgements of taste, or both. In his book, Gronow demonstrates that in this respect, financial markets share the same problem as the markets of wines, movies, or PCs and mobile phones, and hence offer a highly actual case to study their social constitution in the process of coming into being. Jukka Gronow is professor emeritus of sociology at Uppsala University, Sweden, and docent at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has published on sociology of consumption, history of sociology and social theory.
  • Ryynänen, Toni Taisto; Hyyryläinen, Torsti Tapani (University of Helsinki, 2018)
    CEUR workshop proceedings
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Salminen, Jani; Alhola, Katriina; Knuuttila, Seppo; Toivonen, Marjaana; Furman, Eeva (Finnish Environment Institute, 2020)
    SYKE POLICY BRIEF / 31.08.2020
  • Pursiainen, Tero (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The long-run average return on equities shows a sizable premium with respect to their relatively riskless alternatives, the short-run government bonds. The dominant explanation is that the excess return is compensation for rare but severe consumption disasters which result in heavy losses on equities. This thesis studies the plausibility of this explanation in a common theoretical framework. The consumption disasters hypothesis is studied in the conventional Lucas-tree model with two assets and with constant relative risk aversion preferences, captured by the power utility function. The thesis argues that this oft-used model is unable to account for the high premium, and a simulation experiment is conducted to find evidence for the argument. The consumption process is modelled by the threshold autoregressive process, which offers a simple and powerful way to describe the equity premium as a result of a peso problem. Two statistics, the arithmetic average and the standard deviation, are used to estimate the long-run average and the volatility of the returns. The simulated data is analyzed and compared to the real world financial market data. The results confirm that the potential for consumption disasters produces a lower equity premium than the case without disasters in the Lucas-tree model with power utility. The disaster potential lowers the average return on equity instead of increasing it. This result comes from the reciprocal connection between the coefficient of relative risk aversion and the elasticity of intertemporal substitution, and from the special nature of the equity asset, which is a claim on the consumption process itself. The risk-free asset remains unaffected by the disaster potential. The equity premium remains a puzzle in this framework. The advantage of the threshold autoregressive consumption process is to show this result with clarity. Breaking the link between aversion to risk and intertemporal substitution is indeed one possible direction to take. Changing the assumptions about expected consumption or about the equity asset might offer another way forward. Another form of utility or another model is needed if the equity premium is to be explained in financial markets that are free of frictions.
  • Seppälä, Timo Tuomas (2004)
    Consumption-saving behaviour of individuals has been contemplated since the early days of economics. Increasing pressure on the current public pension system in Europe has raised new questions for consumption-saving analysis concerning retirement saving. Several studies using the tools of the conventional economics give answers how the transition from the current system to a new tolerable system should be made. One extreme suggested policy is to substitute the public pension with a private one. Recent studies in behavioural economics show, however, that many results in retirement-saving analyses change when the conventional assumption of exponential discounting is substituted with the assumption of hyperbolic discounting. Hyperbolic discounting is justified by number of empirical and experimental studies of time preference that find discount rates to be much greater in the short-run than in the long-run. This paper studies ex-post effects of a pension reform, in which the public pension system is substituted fully with private saving. The main focus of the study is on existence impacts of a fixed-contribution retirement saving program (SP). We then contemplate consumption-saving behaviour and procrastination to start SP with heterogeneous types of the hyperbolic agent. The contemplation is done in the absence and in the presence of SP, and enrollment on it is costly in terms of utility. The different types of the agent are classified according to their awareness about the reversing future intertemporal preferences. The naïve is fully unaware, sophisticated is fully aware, and a new type, the learning naïve learns in time, about his future preferences. The results establish that in the absence of SP all the types of the agent make the same consumption-saving decisions, but differ in their retirement saving plans. In the presence of SP with an enrollment-effort cost, naive is usually worse off, sophisticated always better off, and learning naive better off, worse off or at the same level than in the absence of it. Hence, if the pension reform aims to private funding with a retirement saving program the enrollment-effort cost should be very low, or then possibilities to learn about preferences should be provided due to retirement savings lowering procrastination.
  • Laakso, Senja (2019)
    This article presents the results from an experimental project in Jyvaskyla, Finland, in which five 'pioneer households' aimed to reduce their environmental impacts by a variety of trials in different domains of daily consumption. The article analyses this 'home lab' experiment from a practice-theoretical perspective, focusing particularly on everyday mobility and the social interplay that occurs in mobility practices in different contexts. In so doing, the article explores the reasons behind the various outcomes of experimentation and discusses the potential of such experimentation to facilitate transformation in mobility practices. The results suggest that in order to shift daily mobility onto a more sustainable path, the social dynamics related to mobility practices should be better addressed. For example, the negotiations both inside and outside the participating households proved important in challenging the ways of doing mobility. Moreover, the potential for the diffusion of alternative mobility practices was shown to depend on a variety of factors that maintained the normality and acceptability of private driving. Utilising practice-theoretical insights in living laboratories can open new areas for experimentation and facilitate understanding of the shift in everyday practices towards greater sustainability.
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Salo, Marja; Lyytimäki, Jari; Furman, Eeva (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2020)
    British Food Journal 122 (11), 3313-3329
    Purpose The critical role of diet in climate change mitigation has raised behavioural approaches to the top of the agenda. In this paper, the authors take a critical look at these behavioural approaches and call for a more dynamic, practice-oriented understanding of long-term changes in sustainable food consumption and supply. Design/methodology/approach This approach is based on the experiences from a long-term experiment promoting sustainable eating in a workplace lunch restaurant using a series of informational and nudging techniques. In the experiment, the authors found that focussing solely on eating behaviours did not help to capture the multi-level change processes mobilised. The authors therefore propose a more dynamic, practice-oriented methodology for examining long-term changes in sustainable eating. The emprical data of the experiment are based on qualitative and quantitative data, consisting of customer survey, customer and kitchen personnel focus group discussions and monitoring data on the use of food items in the restaurant and their climate impacts. Findings The results draw attention to a series of practical challenges restaurants face when promoting sustainable eating. Directing analytical attention to tinkering helped to reveal the tensions brought about by labelling and nudging in menu planning and recipe development. The results show how tinkering required attentiveness to customers' wishes in both cases. Nudging offered more freedom for the restaurant to develop menus and recipes. In the case scrutinised, however, nudging customers towards tastier and more satiating vegetarian dishes included the use of dairy. This partly watered down the climate benefits gained from reduced meat consumption. Originality/value Rather than looking separately at changes in consumer behaviour and in the supply of food, the authors show how we need analytical concepts that enable the evaluation of their mutual evolution. Tinkering can assist us in this endeavour. Its adaptive, adjustive character, however, calls for caution. The development of praxis in food services and catering requires critical companions from the transdisciplinary research community. Research can provide systematic knowledge on the impacts of labels and nudges on kitchen praxis. However, research itself also needs to tinker and learn from experiments. This necessitates long-term speculative research strategies.
  • Roitto, Yrjö (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1970)
  • Sandberg, Maria; Klockars, Kristian Erik; Wilén, Kristoffer (2019)
    Scientists agree that changes in the organization of human society and economy are needed to stop the degradation of the natural environment. The most commonly proposed solution, green growth, has been increasingly criticized, but the offered alternative of degrowth has remained a marginal undertaking in academia and in practice. This article further develops the argument for degrowth. The article conducts a comparative analysis of the normative foundations of green growth and degrowth using frameworks from critical social theory. The analysis shows that green growth and degrowth work toward different normative ideals that are justified in different ways. The analysis shows that degrowth has a stronger normative justification than green growth and therefore, should be preferred. The article contributes to the debate about green growth and degrowth by establishing normative grounds for focusing efforts for environmental sustainability on degrowth rather than green growth. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Huotari, Antti (2008)
    Time-separability is a conventional assumption of utilities in financial economics. It produces often unrealistic results. This problem is solvable by applying more general utility formulation. One generally used unconventional utility formulation is habit formation in preferences, which is a more general form of the utility function. It assumes that utility in period t depends on not just consumption in same period but also the level of consumption in the previous periods. This means that a consumer does not like consume less than his living standard today Some empirical studies implies that habit utilities is better description of consumer's behavior than time-separable utilities. In the seminal paper, Merton (1971) examines the continuous-time consumption-portfolio problem for an individual whose income is generated by capital gains on investments in assets with prices assumed to satisfy the geometric Brownian motion hypothesis. The consumer/investor invests his wealth in risky assets and in a risk-free asset, whose rate of return is constant. Merton solves optimization problem using Ito's Rule and finds out the optimal consumption and portfolio choice. Merton assumes that the consumer's utlities are time-separable. The optimal consumption can also be solved by the martingale approach. Then the dynamic problem can be reformulated as a static problem. Habit utility function can be applied to the Merton's problem. In this study, I review how the assumption of habit utilities changes the optimal consumption and investment choice. I consider different cases. In the simplest case the coefficients of interest and stock markets and the coefficients of habit utility function are assumed to be deterministic. In the more general case, these coefficients are assumed to be stochastic. In the literature has been shown isomorphism between solutions in the separable and linear habit cases. This isomorphism is useful for solving the problem in the habit case. Solutions in the separable case can transform to corresponding solutions with habit formation. I use this isomorphism in the case where all investment opportunities are stochastic. I also consider an interesting situation in which non-addictive consumption has been assumed. This assumption changes significantly results. Generally consumer/investor with habit presence invests less in the risky assets than consumer/investor with time-separable utilities. Through research, I accept the common assumption of complete markets. It makes easier or even possible to find closed-form solutions.
  • Warde, Alan; Southerton, Dale (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2012)
    COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 12
  • Lettenmeier, Michael; Hirvilammi, Tuuli; Laakso, Senja; Lahteenoja, Satu; Aalto, Kristiina (2012)
    The article assesses the material footprints of households living on a minimum amount of social benefits in Finland and discusses the consequences in terms of ecological and social sustainability. The data were collected using interviews and a questionnaire on the consumption patterns of 18 single households. The results are compared to a study on households with varying income levels, to average consumption patterns and to decent minimum reference budgets. The low-income households have lower material footprints than average and most of the material footprints are below the socially sustainable level of consumption, which is based on decent minimum reference budgets. However, the amount of resources used by most of the households studied here is still at least double that required for ecological sustainability. The simultaneous existence of both deprivation and overconsumption requires measures from both politicians and companies to make consumption sustainable. For example, both adequate housing and economic mobility need to be addressed. Measures to improve the social sustainability of low-income households should target reducing the material footprints of more affluent households. Furthermore, the concept of what constitutes a decent life should be understood more universally than on the basis of standards of material consumption.