Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Hämäläinen, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Our thesis has three individual papers and an introduction. It contributes to dynamic price and search theory. The first paper deals with the classic problem of trading under asymmetric information. The other two analyze retailing strategies that help lock in buyers by creating in-store frictions. In the first paper, we investigate welfare and equilibrium trading in a decentralized search market with asymmetric information and bilateral communication opportunities. Sellers and buyers meet randomly and pairwise and view a shared signal of the seller's quality. In the following signaling game, the sellers can either rely on this costless signal (pool) or costly signaling (separate). We observe that, although the average market quality is high, additional information is not generally welfare improving. All equilibria are inefficient. Contrary to the usual tradeoff between price and liquidity, we find that the signals can help sustaining stationary Markovian equilibria where higher quality is traded faster. In the second paper, we construct a novel search model that features in-store frictions and equilibrium price dispersion both within and across stores. The frictions originate from the gradual arrival of price information within stores and the existence of deadlines for buyers. We show that sellers have an incentive carry several similar items and generate price variation among these items to amplify the existing search frictions and create barriers to switching in an environment where none exist initially. It also helps them to discriminate better between buyers, who end with diverse degrees of price information. As the number of items in stock expands, sellers can extract more profits. In our third paper, we develop a price search model that features endogenous frictions in a duopolistic environment. These frictions originate from the gradual arrival or price information within stores and the existence of deadlines for buyers. We show that both sellers have a strategic incentive to generate frictions. There exists exactly two equilibria with a unique asymmetric pattern: a prominent seller, whose expected price is higher but the in-store frictions lower, and a non-prominent seller. The buyers are divided exactly equally into informed and uninformed consumers, and into those who fail to find anything. Under the Poisson process, this surplus loss is about 6 %.
  • Turunen, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    I study the importance of variation in the higher moments of macroeconomic and financial quantities. The first essay considers the effects of uncertainty on the fiscal multiplier when the economy has hit the zero lower bound (ZLB) on the nominal rate in a relatively standard New Keynesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model. As the ZLB is a very strong form of nonlinearity, the model is solved using a numerical method. Uncertainty in government spending and productivity are modeled as stochastic volatility. Confirming previous research (e.g. Christiano, Eichenbaum and Rebelo, 2011), the multiplier is found to be higher when at the bound, and the effects of volatility shocks are found to be noticeable (e.g. Basu and Bundick, 2015). Uncertainty is found to have an impact on the multiplier: when future spending is uncertain, the multiplier is high, but when future productivity is uncertain, the multiplier is low. The second essay studies whether or not DSGEs are able to generate simulated realizations with realistic third and fourth moments. Many time series in macroeconomics and finance exhibit either excess kurtosis or skewness or both. However, as was shown by Ascari et al (2013), standard DSGEs such as the neoclassical growth model or the model of Smets and Wouters (2007) are unable to produce realizations with reasonable moments, regardless of shock distribution or the order of the Taylor approximation applied. My results however indicate that this is mostly due to lack of nonlinearity in the models, since especially a model with a very strong form of nonlinearity, such as the ZLB, is able to generate non-Gaussian realizations. The third essay considers the pricing of macroeconomic risk. The theory of Merton (1973) implies that there can be other sources of priced risk than the risk associated with the return on the market portfolio and that an appropriate measure for sensitivity of a stock to this risk is the covariance of the return of that stock with the source of that risk. I apply the multivariate volatility model of Engle (2002) to estimate time-varying covariances of US stock portfolios with a variety of US macro time series. The finding is that inflation and unemployment are priced in the market and earn a negative premium, while the growth rate of industrial production and the Case-Shiller house price index are not priced.
  • Stewart, Timo R. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study analyses Finnish Christian Zionism from the end of the 19th century to the 1960s using the methodology of the history of ideas. It evaluates previous interpretations and investigates how Finns and in particular Finnish Christians related to Zionism and the State of Israel and why many Finnish Christians gave Zionism and the State of Israel a religious significance. The study points to three significant sources of growing Finnish Christian interest in Palestine, Jews and prophecy before Israeli independence. The first was through early visits to Palestine and the travel accounts that ensued. Pastors and theologians were particularly active in seeking out the lands of the Bible and the Fifth Gospel that they saw in it. The second was missionary work, which created a small but influential group of Finnish experts on Palestine. Of the people they encountered in Palestine, the missionaries clearly identified most with the Zionists and conveyed their worldview to their Finnish audiences. The third source was the increasingly prevalent prophecy literature that more frequently and confidently linked Zionism with the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies. This was most common amongst Pentecostals, but soon Lutheran missionaries and Evangelical revivalist followed suit. With the creation of the State of Israel even broadly read Lutheran papers made use of the same interpretive traditions. Interpretations varied in detail, but general allusions to an unspecified connection between Bible prophecy and the State of Israel founded in 1948 become common to the point of not requiring explanations. Even bolder forms of Christian Zionism were never challenged. These interpretations were facilitated until the middle of the 1960s by very favourable popular impressions of Zionism and Israel, in which the national experiences of Finland and Israel were seen to have much in common. In contrast, the voice of the Palestinians was not heard at all. Many Finnish Christians saw the State of Israel as a sign of the times and a miracle from year to year. Zionism and the State of Israel seemed to offer an answer to the question of God s continuing involvement with the world and the significance of the Bible. They were constantly relevant signs, but also seen as proof that settled the question of whether the Bible could be trusted. In the eyes of many Finnish Christians this gave the State of Israel a very special significance indeed.
  • Juvonen, Tarja (Nuorisotutkimusverkosto/Nuorisotutkimusseura, 2015)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the construction of agency among young people on the threshold of adulthood who are, or risk being, socially excluded. Adolescence involves many choices and decisions that impact later life, such as leaving the parental home and transitioning to independent living, establishing financial independence, making decisions about education and careers, and starting a family. An essential part of adolescence is the pursuit of autonomy and finding one s place in the adult world and its social order. Adolescents who cannot attain these goals are easily rejected as non-adults who fail to meet social expectations for different age groups and life stages. This rejection has the effect of excluding them from full citizenship. Emerging adulthood is particularly challenging for adolescents living in vulnerable circumstances who feel they are not yet ready or able to make decisions about their life. The choices they must make may also involve options that adolescents find dissatisfactory or difficult to handle. This dissertation explores young people s agency from a relational perspective, emphasising the social and contextual basis of agency rather than its individualist foundation. The relational perspective relates to autonomous agency primarily because the construction of autonomy can require the context of human relationships and mutual dependency. In contrast, an emphasis on agency that stresses individuality and independence may engender feelings of loneliness and insecurity as well as of going through the motions of a life with no true sense of meaning. People who work with and support adolescents should also bear in mind that wellbeing depends substantially on the ability of individuals to connect with others. A lack of relationships and a feeling of loneliness characterise the lives of many socially excluded and disadvantaged people. The relational perspective is particularly obvious among those without relationships. This dissertation employs a constructionist philosophy and a relational viewpoint. It focuses on outreach work and, more broadly, the service network that strives to help young people. The research data comprise documents from 2001 on street-based youth work, recordings from the development seminar of a working group, interviews with young people encountered during outreach work in 2010 and 2011, the working group s focus group discussions and recorded client visits. The four scientific articles included in the dissertation use content analysis and the voice-centred relational method to consider the themes of control, the construction of autonomous agency and the concept of having-to as it pertains to young people. The first of the articles discusses elements of control in outreach work. The three other articles explore the theme of agency and the associated relational perspective. The second and third articles examine the construction of young people s autonomous agency, first in tense meetings with outreach workers and the authorities, and then from the perspective of the challenges of independent living. The fourth article analyses the construction of adolescents agency from the viewpoint of cultural expectations, particularly the concept of having-to. The results of the articles inform the concluding section, which addresses the two research questions: How is the autonomous agency of young people constructed in the tense relationship of social control, professional support and having-to, and how is the relational approach connected to the construction of young people s autonomous agency? The results demonstrate that various social structures and service systems provide a framework for the construction of agency, particularly among young people who are or risk being socially excluded. Even the most autonomous individual must deal with certain have-to s and is the subject of control through both societal and social relationships. Both control and culturally defined having-to are factors that define the limits of agency based on freedom and choices. As clients of outreach work, adolescents who are or risk being socially excluded must negotiate with various societal representatives about the limits of their autonomy and range of choices and must respond to the expectation of stronger agency. Young people s experience of their agency and place in the world depends partly on social ties, relationships and the various resources available to them. Strengthening the agency of young people encountered through outreach work requires long-term partnership and support to help them succeed in the challenging transition to adulthood, which is limited by having-to. Interaction in outreach work, the parties meetings or failures to meet each other, plays an important role. Those involved in such work have the power to profoundly affect young people s lives as well as their ideas of themselves and their significance. External compulsion or decisions made without the adolescents contribution do not improve their self-understanding or autonomous agency, which are important to any definition of a good life.
  • Anttila, Erkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Suburban century: Local community in the working-class suburbs of Helsinki in the twentieth century. The study discusses working-class suburbs that sprang up outside Helsinki in the early twentieth century and their change into affluent middle-class suburbs in the second half of the century. The focus of the study is on local community life and its change in the studied suburbs. Moreover, the study discusses how the suburbanites' ways of life and their relationship to their social and physical surroundings changed due to modernization in the latter half of the century. The research data consist of historical documents and personal reminiscences of residents that deal with topics such as neighbourhood life, practices of everyday life and local clubs and associations. In the first half of the twentieth century the working-class suburbs under study (e.g. Malmi, Pakila, Tapanila and Leppävaara) were fairly rural communities, which were characterized by their close-knit community life, widely practiced subsistence gardening and animal husbandry and numerous local small businesses. Another important characteristic of these suburbs was the central role played by local formal and informal organizations in solving problems of everyday life and in organizing leisure activities for local residents. This manifested itself, for example, in the form of local road maintenance associations, voluntary fire brigades and community festivals. Such practices indicated that the residents of these suburbs were in many ways functionally dependent on their local suburban community. Soon after the Second World War the way of life in the suburbs under study began to change towards a more privatized way of life. Behind this change was the growing prosperity of the post-war era, technological progress and the strengthening of extra-local networks and organizations. These factors diminished the suburban residents' dependence on local community networks and widened their horizons beyond narrow local circles. The suburbanites actively contributed to this change by lobbying state and municipal authorities to hasten the modernization of local infrastructure and public services. By the late twentieth century the working-class suburbs under study had changed into modern middle-class suburbs which were characterized by a high standard of living, a privatized way of life and the residents' dependence on extra-local networks and organizations. The local social and economic practices that were typical of the first half of the century had by now mostly disappeared. Instead, local community action now focused on maintaining the peace and quiet of the residential area. There were also aspirations to revive some aspects of the old community life. However, unlike in the local community networks of the early twentieth century, participation in these new forms of community building was entirely voluntary.
  • Metsola, Lalli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This is a study of Namibian ex-combatant and veteran policies after the country s transition to independence in 1990. Instead of assessing the successfulness of reintegration against its stated objectives or the perspective of post-conflict policy discourses, it examines the politics of reintegration as a process of multiform negotiation over recognition and entitlements for the ex-combatants, and political authority and legitimacy for party and government leaders. The study interrogates the ways in which this process reflects and contributes to postcolonial Namibian politics, state formation and citizenship. It is based on nine months of fieldwork in 2002, 2003 and 2009 and its main sources include ethnographic observation, life historical interviews with ex-combatants, thematic interviews with politicians and civil servants, grey literature as well as Namibian newspapers and internet sources. The study finds that instead of being a neutral exercise in post-conflict management and peacebuilding, Namibian reintegration has been motivated by more exclusive ideas of the nation and by the special bond between the ruling party and the former liberation movement Swapo and its formerly exiled cadres. This close tie and the characterization of Swapo combatants as heroes who hold a special place in the Namibian narrative of national liberation have repeatedly enabled Swapo ex-combatants to demand recognition, employment, monetary compensation and other benefits. Coupled with this, the relative strength of the Namibian state and economy has made it possible to plan and implement ex-combatant reintegration as a predominantly domestic process without the close involvement of international agencies. Hence, it has been possible to diverge from mainstream disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes and attempt to solve the ex-combatant question by broad-based public employment. After most ex-combatants were employed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, their demands and policy responses shifted towards monetary compensation. The domestic character of Namibian reintegration also made it possible to implement ex-combatant and veteran policies selectively so that former Swapo exiles have gradually been transformed into an officially recognized group of veterans while their former enemies, Namibian fighters of South African surrogate forces, have been sidelined. This process of domestically driven, selective reintegration has multiple broad implications. First, as Namibia has recently emerged from a long period of violent conflict, security concerns and the imperative to control organized violence are clearly visible. The targeting of Swapo ex-combatants in reintegration and their recruitment to the public service, particularly the uniformed services, have relinked their fates with that of the Swapo government, pacifying them and making them useful in consolidating the hold of the regime over the security agencies and the marginal and frontier areas and populations. Indeed, a key reason why the demand politics of the ex-combatants have been so successful is that their interests have been largely congruent with the perceived interests of the political elite. Second, the tendency of Namibian reintegration to entrench involvement in liberationist history as a criterion of full membership in the political community, creating an ever-widening circle of veterans versus others, provides and interesting comparison with struggles over recognition and citizenship elsewhere in Africa which are often framed in terms of language, religion, ethnicity, race or historical origins. The movements thus generated may adopt anti-national stances but they are as likely to seek to reformulate and colonize nationalism itself. Namibian ex-combatant reintegration, on the other hand, exemplifies a situation where nationalism as a supposedly unifying force still has salience but has been appropriated by a particular narrative of belonging. Thus, instead of representing a break from inclusive citizenship towards increasingly codified particular identities that compete within the national space, the Namibian case demonstrates the coexistence of a legal concept of universal national citizenship with a pervasive ideology of national belonging. The latter, however, inherently contradicts the supposed universalism of legal citizenship. The long-term effects of Namibian veteran politics remain to be seen. On the one hand, the aim to reconcile and build a nation, evident in some of the decisions and statements associated with reintegration as well as in Namibian political discourse more generally, is countered by the persistence of pre-independence political logics and divisions, and a concentration of power according to liberationist fault lines. It is not surprising that a militant version of nationalism seems appealing to certain political elites in their bid to justify the current regime and entrench their own positions in it. On the other hand, in the long run the politics of ex-combatants and veterans may also offer a template for more broad-based demands that question entrenched patterns of economic and political privilege, and provoke responses that may lead towards more inclusive citizenship and more broadly legitimate authority.
  • Ojajärvi, Anni (Nuorisotutkimusverkosto/Nuorisotutkimusseura, 2015)
    This study observes young men´s health behaviour during military service. In addition to individual health choices, the study analyses how the practices of the military institution, the conscript community and the images of and expectations for the conscript role guide and restrict the health choices of the conscripts. The purpose of this study is to determine how health behaviour is constructed in different social contexts, amongst the orders of a total institution. The study is situated in the field of qualitative health research. The research material involves an ethnographic field study conducted in Parolannummi Panzer Brigade in 2008. The researcher participated, during eight weeks and full time, in the initial conscript training, lived with the conscripts and observed the everyday life in the army. The conscripts were also interviewed; altogether 39 individual interviews of 15 men and 8 women, some of them twice, were made. On the basis of the results, the conscripts´ health behaviour can be determined as a communal process that is restricted by the institution. An individual conscript makes choices in the midst of the strictly defined everyday life of a total institution and the social reality of the conscript community. In the absence of a strong personal motive for guiding the individual health choices, the young person adheres to institutional practices and to the conscript community. The logic and objectives of military training or the practices of the conscript community do not always support the aims of health education. Instead, the everyday life in the army often contradicts the health perspective. In the empirically chapters the study analyses the limits between sickness and health, eating, smoking and alcohol consumption. Findings include answers to questions such as how smoking may seem as a smart choice from the conscript point of view, how collective army stories are related to conscripts´ alcohol consumption, how being occasionally sick is connected to conscript´s social identity, and how eating is split to fuelling up and eating for pleasure. At the same time, the study discovers how a 21st century young man revives the ethos of sustaining but, differing from the traditional ethos of self-sustaining, shares his difficult life situations with others. The empirical chapter also introduces conscript ideals, constructed on the basis of the study material, which define the limits of a socially acceptable conscript role. Whenever aiming at influencing the conscripts´ health behaviour, the study calls attention to everyday practices in the institution and the conscript community´s ways of acting.
  • Hirvilammi, Tuuli (Kelan tutkimusosasto, 2015)
    The starting point of this study is a paradoxical situation: the wellbeing of average Finns is very high but simultaneously their environmental impacts threaten the carrying capacity of the earth. The paradox raises the question of what would sustainable wellbeing be and how is it to be studied. This study aims to develop a theory of sustainable wellbeing that recognizes the interaction between people and nature, as well as the goals of sustainability. In this interdisciplinary study the ecological issues are integrated into wellbeing research both in theory and in the empirical research settings. The empirical substudies are based on data that explores the wellbeing, standard of living and natural resource use (material footprints) of minimum income receivers. Material footprints were measured with the MIPS method.The results present a theory of sustainable wellbeing that is based on a relational conception of man. It enables us to see the connections between people and ecosystems, and humans as a part of nature. Sustainable wellbeing is defined as an entity that consists of a sufficient and sustainable standard of living, purposeful and responsible behavior, significant relations and an alert presence. The study develops a dynamic framework that can be used to explain the relations between capabilities, functionings and natural resource use. In order to be sustainable, wellbeing should be eco-efficient, which means satisfying needs with a minimal load on the environment. The results also present an interdisciplinary methodological setting, which can be used to assess the limits of a socially and ecologically sustainable standard of living. The aim of the sustainable standard of living is to secure all people with necessary resources within the carrying capacity of nature.
  • Paalanen, Tommi (Sexpo-säätiö, 2015)
    The topic of the dissertation is applying of liberal sexual ethics to sexological work with clients, sexual politics and jurisprudential problems. The work consists of an introduction and six articles that look into 1) ethical challenges and tools in therapeutic practice concerning sexuality, 2) the ethical basis of sexuality counselling and utilizing ethics in working with clients, 3) societal and ethical dimensions of women s sexual power, 4) the meaning of objectification to the ethics of pornography, 5) legislative problems and consequent ethical questions caused by child pornography, and 6) the ethical justification of criminalizing sadomasochistic sex and violent pornography. The introduction presents philosophical background for the articles: John Stuart Mill s ethical liberalism and the liberal tradition built on it, including the concepts of liberties and rights, which compose the most central ethos of modern sexual culture. The philosophical basis of liberal sexual ethics is built on egalitarian social philosophy, ethical neutrality of sexual acticity and rejection of paternalism and moralism as liberty-limiting principles. The articles are concerned with questions about supporting freedom and autonomy in helping professions and justifying limiting them in the society. Each article looks into the questions within their own context and thus expands into necessary theoretical backgrounds, arguments, questions and consequences in legal philosophy, criminalization theory, ethical basis of helping professions and sexual politics. The articles share a question about, how liberal sexual ethics support sexual wellbeing of individuals in different contexts. A shared result emerges: prevailing practices should be consistently liberalized in professional ethics and policies concerning equality, sexuality and criminal issues. All of these fields nurture practices that are illiberal, inconsistent and moralist due to their historical and cultural contexts, and thus impede the highest possible realization of sexual rights and well-being.
  • Valaste, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In sample surveys, the uncertainty of parameter estimates comes from two main sources: sampling and measuring the study units. Some aspects of survey errors are quite well understood (e.g. sampling errors, nonresponse errors) and reported but others, like measurement errors, are often neglected. This thesis studies measurement uncertainty in covariates. Focus is on the adjustment for covariate measurement errors in logistic regression for cluster-correlated data. Three methods for adjustment for covariate measurement errors in surveys are studied. The methods are Maximum Likelihood, Multiple Imputation and Regression Calibration. These methods require information obtained from validation study. The thesis consists of a theoretical part and extensive Monte Carlo simulation experiments. At the first simulation experiment, the simulation study is conducted with artificial data and with independent observations to test and have experience of the three methods: MI, ML and RC. The second and third simulation study is performed with cluster-correlated data. In these simulation studies, the first simulation uses artificial data and the latter uses real data. In both simulations regression calibration and multiple imputation approaches are examined in various simulation designs. The quality of the methods is assessed by the bias and accuracy. The bias is measured by absolute relative bias percentages (ARB%) and the accuracy by relative root mean-squared error percentages (RRMSE%). The results suggest that additional information from validation (calibration) data enables more accurate estimates in terms of bias percentages.
  • Zeller, Wolfgang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Some argue that the territorial boundaries of African countries, having largely survived the transition to independence, are now like a poorly tailored suit: It does not fit in many places but African leaders have by and large accepted that they and their societies must somehow try to wear it. But has history stood still since independence? What is the everyday reality of those who live with these inherited colonial boundaries today? This dissertation investigates how competing claims of territory, authority and citizenship are negotiated between state representatives and residents in the Namibia-Zambia and Uganda-South Sudan borderlands. It asks: What kinds of governance regimes result from these negotiations? From considering these questions emerges the argument that borders do not only exist as an abstract construct, separate from or above the people and territories they are supposed to separate. Borderland actors in the study regions instead actively engage, challenge and thereby reshape the state, over time and repeatedly. They contribute to fine-tuning the state in ways that do not necessarily undermine or hollow it out. However, there are clear differences in how this happens between the more peaceful setting of the Namibia-Zambia borderland, with its annual rhythm of life patterned according to the seasonal rise and fall of the Zambezi river, and the Uganda-South Sudan borderland, where the memory of recent and fear of future large-scale organised violence strongly affect daily life. This dissertation consists of two articles published in peer-reviewed journals and two chapters published in peer-reviewed edited volumes in 2007-2013, and a synopsis which discusses these works comparatively and introduces their wider conceptual framework.
  • Airila, Auli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In today´s work life, employees are expected not only to be reasonably healthy, but also to be highly engaged and work efficiently. However, at the same time, the prevalence of mental health disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal systems is high. Therefore, understanding and enhancing employee well-being as a whole is essential. This study examined the longitudinal effects of work characteristics, personal resources, and lifestyle on employee well-being by applying three theoretical frameworks Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model, Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, and Broaden-and-Build (BaB) theory. Employee well-being was understood as a multidimensional construct covering affective, cognitive, and health-related components. The data was collected with questionnaires among Finnish firefighters during a 13-year period with three measurement points (i.e., 1996, 1999, and 2009). Two slightly different datasets were used in the four sub-studies (dataset 1: n = 403; dataset 2: n = 360). The study showed that a positive state of work engagement was significantly associated with work ability even after adjusting for various individual and work characteristics. Secondly, job and personal resources had long-term effects on work engagement, and consequently on work ability, thus expanding the potential positive outcomes of the motivational process included in the JD-R model. Thus, the dual role of work ability both as a predictor (i.e., health-related resource) that may foster engagement, and as an outcome of the motivational process was found. Moreover, this study showed that different developmental paths in positive (i.e., vigor) and negative (i.e., fatigue) affective states are possible and these paths differently predicted well-being. Although both vigor and fatigue were rather stable over time, some changes occurred over the 13-year follow-up period. The results suggest both the possibility and need to foster positive developmental paths in affective states in order to maintain and improve employee well-being. Similarly, different developmental paths in multisite musculoskeletal pain and depressive symptoms were observed, and changes over time proved to be possible. Job demands, job and personal resources as well as lifestyle were partly differently related to pain-depression trajectories. This needs to be acknowledged when planning interventions for preventing musculoskeletal pain and depressive symptoms. To conclude, the beneficial role of job resources and personal resources, and similarly the detrimental effects of job demands in explaining employee well-being were shown, and thus, proving further support for the assumptions of the JD-R model, COR theory, and BaB theory. Evidently, a motivated and energetic worker, who has a resourceful job and not too high mental and physical demands has better well-being than a co-worker who is less engaged and experiences a more unfavourable situation in terms of demands and resources. Moreover, a good level of self-esteem, an optimistic view of the future and healthy lifestyle habits may increase the likelihood of being healthy and happy. As such, work organizations have good opportunities to reinforce and maintain well-being of their employees, and consequently prevent ill-health and promote long work careers.
  • Pahkin, Krista (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The overarching aim of the thesis was to identify work-related and personal factors which support employee well-being during working career and organizational restructuring. The empirical part of this thesis was based on a prospective cohort study of employees in the Finnish forest industry. Data included responses to questionnaires (N up to 4279) and records from organizational and national registers, all collected between 1986 and 2009. The data covered a period of stable growth, strong international expansion and organizational downsizing. The findings first of all show that the level of employee well-being was relatively stable over time. Employees who reported feeling unwell at work at follow-up worked in considerably worse working conditions (compared to people with good well-being) already 10 years before the follow-up. Their personal resources were weaker both at the 10-year follow-up and at baseline. Furthermore, the resources seemed to increase among those feeling well, whereas the development trend was vice versa among those feeling less well. There was an overall trend of decreasing mental well-being through the restructuring process, irrespective of the type of changes. The findings showed that the same factors which helped individuals to stay well over the long run also helped them during the turbulence of work life. Strong sense of coherence and strong social support were also associated with indices of employee well-being during organizational restructuring as well as a more positive view of the restructuring and its consequences. However, pre-change social support from co-workers did not provide a buffer against the detrimental effect of negative change experience on employee well-being. There was an association between the change appraisal and employee well-being, both health and mental well-being, during organizational restructuring: A negative appraisal of the restructuring process increased the risk of lower employee well-being. The findings showed that also the positive, motivational aspects of mental well-being can be damaged if the change appraisal is negative. Finally, the findings showed that by offering opportunities to participate in the planning of the changes related to one s own work and through the actions of top management and the immediate superior s organizations can support the development of positive change experience.
  • Ahvenniemi, Rasmus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The thesis consists of an introduction and 3 essays presenting stochastic dynamic optimization models concerning decision making in the banking sector. The first two essays consider individual banks in an environment where financial crises may occur. The third essay considers the whole banking sector as one entity which is a part of the economy, and thereby the process of money creation in the banking system becomes a central issue. The first essay presents a model for analyzing the optimal dynamic decision making of a bank, which adjusts the size and composition of its balance sheet over time. The model considers the development of the bank's balance sheet in a situation involving the risk of a financial crisis which may or may not materialize, and the timing of which is uncertain. The crisis may involve defaulting of loans and a reduction in the availability of funding. The maturing of loans and deposits taking place in each period is explicitly modeled, assuming maturity mismatch. The outcomes of the model show e.g. a tendency of the bank to deleverage its balance sheet in preparation for an anticipated financial crisis, as well as a tendency to accumulate cash reserves in order to maintain sufficient liquidity. The second essay presents a portfolio model for analyzing a bank making decisions over time in a stochastic environment. The bank is assumed to make decisions regarding the amount of new loans given out in each period, thus affecting the allocation of its funds between liquid cash and non-liquid loans. The model involves maturity mismatch and the risk of a liquidity crisis during which the availability of new funding is restricted. Simulations of the model show that a positive amount is allocated to cash even though cash pays zero returns and no credit risk or investment risk is present in the model, as long as maturity mismatch and the risk of a liquidity crisis are both present. The third essay presents a model of an economy consisting of a central bank, a commercial banking sector, and a real economy experiencing stochastic productivity shocks. A stochastic dynamic programming model is formulated for modeling the policy decisions of the central bank, which dynamically adjusts the size of the monetary base, attempting to keep inflation close to a target. It is assumed that reserve requirements may or may not be binding at a given time. When reserve requirements are not binding, money creation is endogenous, i.e. determined by lending decisions of commercial banks. These lending decisions are affected by the condition of the real economy and, to some extent, by central bank policies acting through transmission channels such as the portfolio rebalance effect. Lending stimulates the real economy while also accelerating inflation as it causes the money supply to grow. The outcomes show that during a recession lending by commercial banks is reduced, deflation prevails, and the central bank carries out expansionary monetary policy. When the recession ends, lending increases and there is a period of increased inflation, while at the same time contractionary monetary policy is carried out.
  • Uysal, Ülke Evrim (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis analyses urban tourism in Istanbul from the point of view of urban studies. Urban tourism is analysed by examining urban regeneration, mega-events and city marketing and branding and the impacts of these in the city of Istanbul between 2007 and 2011. The main argument of the thesis is the following: urban tourism is a complex phenomenon that is not limited to the business of providing services for people on holiday. Several aspects of urban tourism are closely connected to urban development, thus calling for an urban studies point of view. Case studies on Istanbul and a comparison between tourism promotion strategies in Helsinki and Istanbul give empirical evidence to support this argument. The main body of the thesis consists of four scientific publications. The first article analyses the development of cultural tourism projects in Istanbul and the connections between tourism business and urban regeneration policies at the time when Istanbul prepared strategies to become the European Capital of Culture. Tourism-led urban regeneration projects did not only led to the growth of number of tourists but also revived deindustrialised landscape. The article also examines the role of the mega-event of the European Capital of Culture in the transformation of the built environment in Istanbul in general. The second article, drawing on the analysis of locals perceptions and activists vision towards tourism-led urban regeneration, investigates locals resistance against tourism-led regeneration project in Sulukule, a historical neighbourhood of Istanbul. The article analyses the formation, structure, mobilisation and activities of an emerging urban social movement, the Sulukule Platform. The article demonstrates that tourism-led regeneration projects in a deteriorated residential area can have negative economic, spatial, social and cultural impacts. The third article compares tourism promotion strategies in two European cities, Helsinki and Istanbul. The article examines the selling points used in the cities tourism promotional campaigns and published materials. Introducing tourism promotion materials as significant tools of city marketing, the article studies different contextual meanings of similar selling points in these two cities. The fourth article is a case study of city branding in Istanbul during the European Capital of Culture event in 2010. Drawing on analysis of representations in tourism promotion materials through content analysis and semiotic analysis, the article identifies the main components of Istanbul s city brand and presents how tourism promoters used religion as a key theme in the branding processes.