Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Hohenthal, Michael (2018)
    This paper discusses possible consequences of tax reforms. The tax system consists of labor income, capital income and consumption taxes. I consider the effects on Gross Domestic Product, capital stock, the employment rate, the wage rate, the representative worker's wealth, private consumption and the welfare of the households. I assume that the government's budget is balanced. I establish a macroeconomic model that consists of heterogeneous households, firms, labor market organizations and the government. There are two types of households – workers and firm owners. In the model, the firm owners and the firms are merged into one agent, entrepreneurs. The labor market organizations – the labor union representing the workers and the employers' federation representing the entrepreneurs – bargain over the wages and the level of employment. Hence, the labor market is neither perfect nor based on a monopoly labor union. I consider imperfect capital markets, where borrowing is subject to a risk premium, and an open economy with the possibility to import or export capital. I show that decreasing the taxes on labor income, capital income and consumption separately, combined with decreased government expenditures, has mostly positive effects on the Gross Domestic Product, the capital stock, the employment, the consumption of workers and entrepreneurs as well as the utility of the entrepreneurs. However, the reforms’ effects on the workers' wealth are contradictory. The same concerns the workers’ utility. A combined decrease of the taxes on labor income, capital income and consumption with a decrease of government expenditures generally impacts the economy positively. The exception is a decreased gross wage, which is, however, compensated by the lower labor income tax. The contribution of this paper is that I examine taxation in an open economy with imperfect labor and capital markets. I show that a decreased tax burden with decreased government expenditures has a number of positive macroeconomic effects. Thus, the reforms examined in this paper indicate what kinds of policy action could be of benefit to the economy.
  • Mattsson, Anne (University of Helsinki, 2012)
    Seela Sella and Her Supporters – A Biography of an Actress and Life Span Psychology Seela Sella and Her Supporters is a licentiate thesis in political and social history. It is a biography of a famous Finnish actress and also a case study in the biography genre. Its aim is to make a picture of a person's life by using historical methodology and by applying the concept of life span psychology. Life span psychologists focus on the crises or transitional phases in the human life. In this study the focus is on the structures of life, not the individual choices. Hence, the term and concept of life span, not that of the currently popular life course. The American psychologist Erik H. Erikson has formed a theory of eight crises that everyone faces during their lifetime. This theory is used as a tool for discussing the important transitions and behavior models in the life of Seela Sella. In the biography of Seela Sella, identity is an important element. It is elaborated upon and taken into consideration during important phases and in different themes in her life. In this view this is a modern biography that takes interest in the private sphere along with the public. The biography shows that women strive for their own goals, not only for those of or given by their husbands. Seela Sella is the subject matter and the source herself. For this study she was interviewed several times during 2009–2012 in order to gain understanding of her views and attitudes, not so much for gathering information. The facts have been collected from written materials, documents and article clippings of the Sella family and public archives. Seela Sella never kept a diary but has kept a notebook during her school years. Her mother also wrote autobiographical texts. The biography shows how important the supporters and the background were for the young Seela and how they influenced her in her decision to devote her life to the theatre. Her family retold her stories of her vocation for performing arts, and eventually she took them for granted. Her identity as an actress became extremely strong. This case study in the biography genre shows how splendid a tool a biography can be in describing the human life in the historical context, and what kind of problems and choices a person faces. The genre is still alive and strong – still 2000 years after the Plutarch times of Greek antiquity.
  • Laiho, Maija Sirkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aged people in the target group of my study belong to generation, which has experienced the shift from agricultural society via industrial society up to the society which has been described as information society. They have grown up concurrently with the technological development, but during the recent years the technological development has accelerated. One can say that the older the target study group has come the more information technological skills they need to possess to be equal actors in our society. However, especially in case of aged people the learning and maintaining of skills in information technology has mainly been left dependent on their personal motivation. The purpose of this report is to study the use of computers in the life of the aged people. The report studies the will and ability of the aged people to learn the skill of using computers, and the new possibilities which this brings into their lives. The study questions are the following: 1) Why the aged people start to use computers? 2) How the aged people benefit information technology in their own life? 3) How computers have extended the environment of the aged people? 4) What kind of problems the aged people have experienced in use of computers? The research material consists of group interviews and individual interviews (total of 23 people). The interview material has been collected among the participants on information technology courses of the Senior University of Helsinki University during years 2004-2005. The research method used is theme interviewing. In addition, the material of opinions about information technology of people born in decades of 1920 and 1930, gathered as part of the Ikihyvä Päijät-Häme 2002 -research has been used. On basis of this research one can say that the aged people do have motivation to study the use of computers, although many interviewees commented that they also have met problems in use of computers. The motivation has grown also because the fear that without the skills to use computers they could drift into outsiders of the society, whereas instead as skilled computer users they felt to be equal citizens compared with the younger age groups, and that they can maintain their independence and autonomy. Especially, the independent use of banking routines over the Internet and use of emails seem to give them a position as modern actors. Many interview statements also underline that computers will bring both joy and benefit to the users. Studying the use of computers is a new and interesting hobby, which can fill the hole left in the life after leaving the working life. Using skills of text processing and processing of pictures one can, for example, record the traditional knowledge of the family and ancestry to the younger generations, and write articles or even books on the professional area of ones own. Single people emphasize that computers can even act as companionship substitutes. One can use Internet for virtual traveling, which provides a new dimension in use of computers. Internet can also be used to maintain family relationships, especially between grandparents and remote grandchildren. Typical problems in use of computers appeared to be that reaching the right professional helpdesk advisers of the service providers is difficult and requires lots of time and patience. However, the interviewees were not willing to give up their computers, because they had already used to these. Keywords: digital divide, aging, Internet, usability, motivation, information technology, information society.
  • Lindström-Stachon, Kerstin (University of Helsinki, 2011)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract Anorexi ses i Finland som en psykisk sjukdom med en psykopatologi, som bland andra innefattar rädsla för att bli fet. I min undersökning har jag fått fram tre huvudteman, som förutom andra bakomliggande omständigheter, bidragit till ett insjuknande. De handlar om anorexi som livsstil, bantning och viljan att leva sunt och äta rätt. Med den vaknande sexualiteten väcks intresset för det andra könet och för kroppens utseende i övrigt. I bakgrunden finns känslor av bl.a. ensamhet, ett sökande efter den egna personligheten, ångest och depression. Jag har byggt min studie på patienternas egna berättelser om sitt liv. Perspektivet är samhällsinriktat, och som analysmetod har jag använt mig av narrativet. Jag har lånat idéer både från Vilma Hänninens (1999), Gerhard Riemann och Fritz Schützes (1991) narrativa modeller, och rör mig mellan dem båda. Jag har i första hand intresserat mig för tiden före insjuknandet och de bakomliggande orsaker, som kan tänkas befrämja insjuknandet. Jag har speglat anorektikernas problematik i bl.a. Anthony Giddens (1997) och Zygmund Baumans (1999) teorier om det postmoderna samhället, och ser ätstörningar som en uttrycksform för dåligt befinnande. Samhällsklimatet har blivit hårdare och omsorgen om personer i omgivningen har glömts bort. Vi lever, enligt Giddens (1997), i en skenande värld, viket betyder att förändringarna påverkar existerande beteendemönster i större omfattning och på ett djupare plan än tidigare. Enligt Pennanen (2000) är målsättningen för ätstörningspatienter stressande, svåruppnådd och svårkontrollerbar. Mina informanter berättar om höga målsättningar, prestationskrav, dålig självkänsla och skam över sina kroppar. För att tillfriskna behövs stöd. Men det vikigaste är att personen själv vill bli frisk, och själv ta ansvar för sitt tillfrisknande. Sjukdomen är individuell. Varje person, upplever sin sjukdom personligt men anorektikerna har också många styrkor i sin sjukdom. Avainsanat – Nyckelord – Keywords: ätstörningar, anorexi, bulimi
  • Erästö, Panu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Siivonen, Jonita (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
    The aim of this licentiate thesis is to analyse how femininity is constructed in twelve portrait interviews of women in the dailies Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm) and Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki) in September 1996, and to explore the portrait interview as a media genre. The qualitative analysis has a feminist and constructionist perspective and is connected to critical text analysis. It was carried out on two levels: first, femininity is identified on the linguistic level by choice of words, and second on the level of content (topical motifs/themes). The portrait interview as a genre constitutes a third dimension in the analysis: The aim is not towards the identification of femininity, but rather towards the identification of the portrait interview a relatively unexplored media genre. References (Swedish: omtal) to the principal character (or protagonist) are traced mainly through reference chains which consist of names, pronouns and substantive phrases. The interviewees were referred to by their full names in Dagens Nyheter (with the exception of the oldest and youngest interviewees, both of whom were mainly referred to by their first names), while the style of reference varied more in Hufvudstadsbladet. The position of the principal character was also analysed through her relation in the text to minor characters from her working life and from her private life. These minor characters maintained their subordinate positions in all of the portraits except that of the youngest principal character, in which the subsidiary voices became at least as strong as the voice of the principal character. Three frequently-recurring topical motifs occurred in the portraits: The first involved explanations for the principal character s success divided into three categories, agent, affect and ambition, the second concerned using journeys or trips as symbols for turning points in life, and the third referred to the ambiguity in the contradiction between private (family/other private life) and public (work) life. This ambiguity is connected to the portrait interview as a text type (genre) which features conclusions at the end of portraits, which in turn is characteristic of reportage. However, the analysis showed that the conclusions of the portrait interviews often also included elements of ambiguity. This was evident in the contradictions be14 tween private and public life that arose in the portrait interviews that focused on these two spheres. The portraits that focused on the principal character s public life showed ambiguity on a more general level concerning questions about being a woman and having a profession, and they often ended with a description of some details of her private life. The women in the portraits were all constructed as being successful, in terms of having achieved direct success, reflective success or success in the form of life wisdom. The women of direct success were described as ambitious individuals with no sidetracks on their life paths, while those of reflective success were described as active heroines who had received help from different agents, who could use their affects as enriching ingredients in life, but who in the end had control over their own lives (life stories). The elderly women were constructed as having achieved life wisdom and their portraits were focused upon the past. The portrait interview as a genre is characterised by journalistic freedom (in relation to the more strict news genre), by a now room (Swedish nurum ) where the journalist meets the principal character (usually via spoken dialogue that she or he transforms into written text to be read by a mass-media audience) and by the relatively closed structure of the portrait. The portrait is relatively independent in relation to the news genre and in relation to the context of what has previously been written, what is being written at the time and what will be written in the future the principal character does not need to belong to the newspaper s usual gallery of actors. Furthermore, the principal character is constructed as being independent in relation to the subsidiary characters and other media actors. The conflict is within the principal character herself and within her life story, unlike the news genre in which equal actors are in conflict with each other. The portrait is also independent in relation to the news lifespan; the publishing timetable is not as strict as in the news genre, but is still dependent on the factors initiating the portrait. The enclosures consist of a raw analysis of two of twelve portrait interviews and of copies of all portraits.
  • Laitila, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Repo-Kaarento, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The main aim of this work is to study the possibility of applying the cooperative learning approach to develop academic learning and teaching culture. In this work cooperative learning refers to a pedagogical approach that applies social psychological knowledge of group dynamics and small group teaching. Furthermore, theories of collaborative learning and organization development have been applied. Based on these theories a model of developing learning and teaching culture was developed. The model was tested in the development project that was carried out in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of Helsinki University. The research questions were: How were the theories of cooperative and collaborative learning and organization development applied in the project? What kind of effects did the development project have on the learning and teaching culture? Through which kind of mechanisms did the project influence this culture? How should the development model be revised after the empirical test? The project lasted five years and the major part of the project consisted of a one-year pedagogical training course. Altogether 145 people (teachers, researchers, library staff, and students) participated in the training, two to three departments at a time. In the pedagogical training cooperative learning methods were widely used. A questionnaire was used to study effects of the development project. The questionnaire was sent to 87 people and 65.5 % answered it. Both the answers to the questionnaire and a sample of learning diaries (n=61) were used to study the mechanism of the project. A sample of the learning diaries consisted of two pedagogical training group members diaries. The frequency distributions were calculated as extrapolations from the answers to the structured questions. Furthermore the answers were classified by the main background variables. The analysis of the open answers to the questionnaire and the learning diaries were data-based. According to the answers to the questionnaire, the effects of the pedagogical training were as follows: The participants consider learning more as an active process of constructing knowledge. Furthermore they considered the individual learning styles and strategies, cooperation and motivation as more important part of the learning process than before the pedagogical training. The role of the teacher was viewed more challenging than before. Additionally the cooperation between teachers, other staff members and students had projected to increase. After the project had ended the teaching methods in the whole faculty were viewed to become varied and the teaching was considered to be more valued than before. According to the answers to the questionnaire, the project influenced through the following ways: the project stimulated the change process, provided new methods for learning and teaching, had an effect on conceptions of learning and teaching and facilitated meaningful communication with others (staff and students). The analysis of the learning diaries supported these findings. In addition, the analysis of the learning diaries deepened the understanding of how the cooperative learning methods supported positive learning atmosphere and reduced the negative effect of the status differences between the members of the group. The critical comments in the learning diaries could be interpreted as collision between cooperative and traditional teaching culture. Cooperative learning gives theory-based methods to develop academic learning and teaching culture. The approach helps the developer to create positive collaborative learning environment and gives ways to support learning in small groups, which can promote cultural change. On the other hand, to understand the whole process of organization development and promote change the theories of organizations and more sosioconstructivist theory of learning are needed. Cooperative learning, collaborative learning, higher education, group dynamics, social constructionism, organisational culture, organisation development
  • Tervala, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This licentiate's thesis analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in a small open economy under a flexible exchange rate regime, assuming that the government spends exclusively on domestically produced goods. The motivation for this research comes from the observation that the literature on the new open economy macroeconomics (NOEM) has focused almost exclusively on two-country global models and the analyses of the effects of fiscal policy on small economies are almost completely ignored. This thesis aims at filling in the gap in the NOEM literature and illustrates how the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in a small open economy depend on the specification of preferences. The research method is to present two theoretical model that are extensions to the model contained in the Appendix to Obstfeld and Rogoff (1995). The first model analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy, making use of a model that exploits the idea of modelling private and government consumption as substitutes in private utility. The model offers intuitive predictions on how the effects of fiscal policy depend on the marginal rate of substitution between private and government consumption. The findings illustrate that the higher the substitutability between private and government consumption, (i) the bigger is the crowding out effect on private consumption (ii) and the smaller is the positive effect on output. The welfare analysis shows that the less fiscal policy decreases welfare the higher is the marginal rate of substitution between private and government consumption. The second model of this thesis studies how the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy depend on the elasticity of substitution between traded and nontraded goods. This model reveals that this elasticity a key variable to explain the exchange rate, current account and output response to a permanent rise in government spending. Finally, the model demonstrates that temporary changes in government spending are an effective stabilization tool when used wisely and timely in response to undesired fluctuations in output. Undesired fluctuations in output can be perfectly offset by an opposite change in government spending without causing any side-effects.
  • Ylikoski, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 1997)
  • Penttilä, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The polarization of asteroids and comets, and especially the various models for polarization observations, are studied. The goal of this study is to compare existing models for polarization and their properties. Based on the results presented here a particular model and estimation technique can be found suitable for a certain types of polarization observations and research frames. With the polarization particularly the linear polarization ratio is referred here. The Sun radiates light or more generally electromagnetic radiation - in the framework of this study to an asteroid or to a comet - in where all the linear polarization planes are equally represented, i.e. non-polarized light. Depending on its surface structure the target might scatter the different polarization planes of the radiation with different intensities making the scattered radiation polarized. The ratio between the difference and the sum of the perpendicular and parallel polarized components is called the linear polarization ratio. The linear polarization ratio can tell the researcher something about the target properties, e.g. about the surface material composition, packing density and roughness. Some models have been developed for the linear polarization ratio, and the models can be fitted to the observations as a function of the phase angle. These models are fully empirical and are not based on actual physical modeling of the polarization event. The estimated models are, however, useful when comparing polarization properties between different targets with often quite sparse and limited observational data. The nonlinear regression analysis and also Bayesian nonlinear regression analysis are used in the model estimation. With the Bayesian method the a priori information about the behavior of the polarization curve can be utilized, making the estimation robust also in cases where the number of observations is small or the data is insufficient in other ways. The polarization is also studied as a function of the wavelength of light when the interest is in the effect of the wavelength on the polarization properties. Modeling these effects reliably requires a delicate selection of the proper model and the estimation technique. The possibilities of the multiple response and the hierarchical Bayesian regression analysis in modeling are studied. Suitable models for analyzing the polarization observations are presented and compared in the thesis, and some results concerning the wavelength effect in polarization are studied.
  • Weckström, Jonna (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan asiakkaiden osallisuuden mandollisuuksia vammaispalvelujen järjestämisestä, kun sosiaalityöntekijät käyttävät harkintaansa. Tutkimuskysymykset ovat: miten asiakkaat kokevat päässeensä vaikuttamaan omiin asioihinsa, kun heille suunnitellaan ja järjestetään vammaispalveluja ja miten he kokevat palvelujen järjestämiseen liittyvän harkinnan. Tutkimuksen lähtökohtana ovat hyvinvointivaltiossa tapahtuneet muutokset ja kansalaisten muuttunut rooli aktiivisiksi toimijoiksi. Osallisuus ja harkinta ovat tutkimuksen teoreettisia avainkäsitteitä. Tutkimuksessa on haastateltu kymmentä vaikeavammaista henkilöä, jotka on tavoitettu Helsingin sosiaaliviraston vammaisten sosiaalityön kautta. Kohderyhmän valintakriteerinä oli se, että henkilölle on myönnetty vammaispalvelulain mukainen palveluasuminen omaan kotiin henkilökohtaisen avustajan turvin. Tähän kohderyhmään kuuluvia asiakkaita oli tammikuussa 2008 Helsingissä 166. Haastattelut on tehty ennen 1.9.2009 voimaan tullutta vammaispalvelulain osittaisuudistusta. Haastatellut olivat pääosin tyytyväisiä osallistumis- ja vaikuttamismandollisuuksiinsa vammaisten sosiaalityössä. Haastatelluista löytyi kuitenkin myös niitä, jotka kokivat, että heidän näkemyksiään ei aina kuunneltu riittävästi. He olivat yrittäneet käyttää ääntään, mutta se oli syystä tai toisesta sivuutettu. Näissä tilanteissa sosiaalityöntekijät näyttäytyivät palvelun saamisen portinvartijoina, jotka määrittelivät asiakkaiden tarpeet ja palvelujen toteuttamisen. Haastatellut kokivat vammaispalvelujen hakemisen ja vammaispalvelujen myöntämiskriteerit ajoittain hankaliksi. He toivoivat sosiaalityöntekijöiden käyvän syvällisesti läpi heidän kanssaan vammaispalvelulain mukaisten palvelujen ja tukitoimien myöntämiskriteereitä ja eri palveluvaihtoehtojen vaikutuksia heidän yksilöllisiin tilanteisiinsa. He kokivat myös sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelujen toimijakentän hankalaksi. Edes vuosia kestänyt vammaisuus tai sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelujen käyttö ei aina taannut sitä, että heille olisi ollut selvää, mistä esimerkiksi erilaisia apuvälineitä hankitaan. Haastatellut arvioivat, että sosiaalityöntekijät eivät voi käyttää kovin paljon harkintaa päätöksenteossa, vaan noudattavat pitkälti sosiaaliviraston ohjeita. He pitivät hyvänä kuitenkin sitä, että sosiaalityöntekijät eivät tee yksin päätöksiä, vaan niihin ottavat kantaa myös muut työntekijät. Kaikki haastatellut olivat asiakkaina myös Kelassa, terveysasemalla ja erikoissairaanhoidossa. Muutama henkilö oli asiakkaana myös toimeentulotuessa. TE-toimiston palveluja käytettiin pääasiassa henkilökohtaisten avustajien etsimiseen. Osallisuuden kokemuksia esti Kelassa etenkin henkilökohtaisen kontaktin puuttuminen päätöksentekijään. Toimeentulotuen joustamattomuus vaikeutti haastateltujen osallisuuden kokemuksia omien asioiden hoitamisessa. Terveydenhuollossa asiantuntijoiden tekemät yksipuoliset päätökset hoitoon pääsystä tai sen lopettamisesta nousivat suurimmaksi esteeksi osallisuuden kokemiselle. Asiakkaiden osallistumisen ja vaikuttamisen mahdollisuuksia on kehitetty useiden lakien turvin, mutta silti asiakkaiden asema ja vaikutusmandollisuudet näyttävät aineistossa ajoittain ongelmallisilta. Mikäli asiakkaiden mielipiteitä ei kuunnella, luottamus hyvinvointivaltiota ja sosiaalipalveluja kohtaan voi vaarantua.