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  • Magnusson, Roland (2006)
    Over the last fifteen years, the connection between free trade and the environment has been the subject of considerable debate. Among other things, it has been proposed that freer trade may harm the environment if it induces national governments to compete by undercutting each others environmental standards. We assess this proposition in a federal economy with free movement of capital and goods, but labour that is immobile. Our analysis shows that if the member states are small, firms perfectly competitive and pollution non-transboundary, the national governments choice of environmental standards coincide with that of the federal government s. However, if the third assumption is relaxed, without cooperation, all states choose less strict standards than the federal government, even if pollution is only partially transboundary. If we assume monopolistically instead of perfectly competitive firms, the result that non-cooperative regulations are federally efficient when pollution is non-transboundary holds no longer. Nonetheless, there is nothing to suggest that environmental policy is less strict under non-cooperation than under cooperation. Intuitively, this is because the choice of emission tax by one country imposes a number externalities on the other. These externalities are partly positive and partly negative. Without assigning values to at least one of the model s parameters, we are not able to say whether the negative or the positive externalities dominate, that is, whether the non-cooperative equilibrium is characterised ecological dumping or not-in-my-back-yard. In the special case of perfectly transboundary pollution, we find that ecological dumping occurs regardless of the choice of values for the model s other parameters. We contribute to the literature in three ways. First, we show that the existence of pollution that spills from one country into another works in favour of ecological dumping both in perfect and in monopolistic product market competition. Second, we show that for ecological dumping to occur, a priori, pollution must be perfectly transboundary if firms are monopolistically competitive, whereas it suffices that pollution is partially transboundary if firms are perfectly competitive. Third, we show that perfect competition, and the standard results associated with it are obtained as a special case of monopolistic competition when the monopolistically competitive firms market power is eliminated.
  • Luuppala, Linnea (2015)
    Growing human populations and their growing appetites have caused severe environmental degradation. Ecological restoration promises an answer to environmental degradation and consequently serves as a major form of environmental management in the future. This Master’s thesis is a conceptual analysis of ecological restoration, also looking at the ethical implications that should follow from the concept. It is important to define the concept clearly to ensure that it fully responds to the causes and challenges of environmental degradation instead of simply justifying them by assuming that it is possible to restore nature without any problems. In addition, ecological restoration goes to the very heart of environmental philosophy, by challenging the dichotomy between nature and humans and therefore, offers a welcome perspective to the search of human place in the natural world. The thesis takes an analytical approach to the search for an appropriate definition of ecological restoration. Conceptual analysis is the main form of inquiry and the aim is to understand how the term has been understood and how it should be understood in a global context. This thesis looks at how ecological restoration has been defined in both philosophical and ecological literature, but the emphasis is on the philosophical literature. The analysis is confined to the most influential work covering ecological restoration, that is, of Robert Elliot (1982 and 1997), Eric Katz (1992 and 1997), Andrew Light (2000, 2012 and 2009), Eric Higgs (2003) and William Throop (2000 and 2012). Also Aldo Leopold’s (1949) work will be covered, even though he does not write about ecological restoration. The analysis is done by framing ecological restoration within four categories: goals, values, means and overall attitude. Framing ecological restoration within these categories ensures a thorough analysis of all the aspects of the concept that might otherwise remain hidden. If one of these categories is missing the concept would be lessened. The concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’ have a major impact on how ‘ecological restoration’ is understood. The dichotomy of nature and humans distorts the debate surrounding ecological restoration. Therefore, the concept of nature needs to be defined clearly or even redefined in order to allow ecological restoration. The aim of the thesis is to resolve this conceptual conflict. Ecological restoration has the potential to re-build the relationship between nature and humans and offers the opportunity to re-evaluate the concept of nature, so that it does not necessarily exclude humans. If defined carefully, ecological restoration has the potential to restore damaged ecosystems.
  • Yrttiaho, Pihla (2013)
    The subject of the research was the expectations of Finnish consumers in electronic commerce, especially concentrating on electronic products. The goal was to find out which underlying characteristics arise when the valuations of online shopping are surveyed. These dimensions were also compared to the background variables. In addition the point of interest was on expectations on delivery, payment and customer service. The research was conducted with a questionnaire form using a convenience sample. The survey was conducted in the areas of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kotka and Turku. The aim was to reach different aged Finnish respondents, who were on the moment of the survey 16 years or older. The final sample consisted of 103 respondents. The data was analysed mainly with a Principle Component Analysis and further tests were made using the Analysis of Variance and t-tests. According to the Principle Component Analysis the characteristics of e-commerce in Finland were: privacy control, delivery, mobile-shopping, complete price, Finnish service language and design & navigation. These components followed mostly the original dimensions that were based on earlier research. However a new component of Finnish service language was found. Based on t-tests women valued privacy, mobile-shopping and design more than men. Differences according to the place of residence were examined in the same way. According to this research respondents living outside the capital area value Finnish service language in ecommerce more the residents of capital area. Approximately half of the respondents preferred to pay their purchases using online banking. The second most popular method was a credit card. Most of the respondents expect the package to arrive in 4 to 5 days from the ordering. Over half would pick up the parcel from the post office and approximately one fifth chose the home delivery. The traditional customer service mediums were the most preferred. Together over 90 percent of the respondents would contact the customer service by phone and by e-mail.
  • Rautiainen, Timo (2017)
    In Finland the recovery of pure economic loss in tort law is regulated under Chapter 5, Section 1 of the Tort Liability Act. The section identifies three possible situations where pure economic loss may become recoverable; firstly, where the injury or damage has been caused by an act punishable by law; secondly, where the injury or damage is caused in the exercise of public authority; and lastly, where there are especially weighty reasons for the recovery. The recovery of pure economic loss has prompted a considerable amount of academic discussion, but the precise scope of application of the provision remains still somewhat unclear. This paper analyses the recovery of pure economic loss in tort law from an economic point of view. The main tool for analysis is an analytical framework provided by William Bishop. Bishop's analysis showed that a large divergence between private and social loss is characteristic to pure economic loss. The loss suffered by an injured party, when not resulting from an injury or property damage, is often merely private loss in a sense that there is a corresponding benefit to another person equal in amount to the loss suffered by the injured party. For example, the customers of the injured party may divert to another place of business, provided there is enough capacity available on the market to accommodate the flow of diverted customers. In such a case, the overall wealth of the society does not decrease, and the recovery of the loss would only increase the likelihood of inefficient outcomes. When analysed from an economic perspective, each of the three categories in Chapter 5, Section 1 of the Tort Liability Act require a different approach. The analysis in relation to the first category, an act punishable by law, is similar to the economic analysis of criminal law. Here, the recovery of pure economic loss is connected to activity that can be understood as coercive means of bypassing the market. The analysis in relation to the exercise of public authority, on the other hand, centres around the issues associated with providing public authorities with effective economic incentives to start with. The third category, especially weighty reasons, is more open-ended and allows for a wider range of economic considerations to be taken into account. The analysis points to the fact that the provision seems to promote economic efficiency in many respects. However, to properly accommodate for economic considerations, the recoverability of pure economic loss should be extended beyond the three categories outlined in the provision.
  • Huisman-Dellago, David (2020)
    Dairy farms account for a large portion of the greenhouse gas emissions in the planet. Since cow manure provides a good medium for anaerobic digestion, this study analyzes the economic feasibility of installing a biogas plant adjacent to a 200-cow farm in Finland. The farms in this study produce only cow manure and grass silage to feed the digester. This paper focuses in comparing different scenarios such as electricity production for farm needs and the production of biofuels such as compressed biomethane as an additional business activity. After designing the farm economic model and the biogas installation, we provide an economic analysis of each scenario. The first one shows that it is not feasible to run the biogas business model based only on electricity savings for the farm. The second one proves that additional revenue streams such as biofuel production can revitalize and strengthen the financial model of the plant. Then, the sensitivity and reliability of the model is discussed by providing reasons (i.e. Finnish electricity tariff system) for the outcome of the results. The model reinforces the idea that farms must base their biogas business model on alternative side-streams and do not rely on energy production only. For further research, it is recommended that real life farm business models are incorporated as input data and a proven plant and CHP engine energy balance is secured.
  • Salenius, Fredrik (2014)
    Fishing vessels run on fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases, which are harmful to the environment and costly to society. Since fuel use in fisheries is often subsidized through tax concessions, private fuel consumption will be higher than what is socially optimal. Furthermore,fuel tax concessions will lead to greater fishing effort, with overfishing as a possible consequence. This thesis deals with these negative externalities associated with fisheries. The aim of the study is to elicit the economic and environmental effects fromremoving fuel tax concessions, and to view these effects in relation to the results of current and optimal fisheries management.To this end, four different fuel costscenarios are introducedas basis for the analysis.The current situation of the fishery is compared to an optimized fishery with fuel tax concessions maintained andremoved, i.e. with fuel costs implemented. The target of the studyis thecommercial Baltic salmon fishery, which is a small-scale coastal fishery carried out with trapnets. The analysis employs a bioeconomic model, which accounts for the economic and biological features of this specific fishery. Results from the analysis conveyed that the fishery is currently unprofitable, and therefore not capable of coping withadditional costsimposed on it. However, results from the optimization suggest that economic performance can be improvedby managing the fishery in an optimal way, i.e. by adjustingthe fishing effort to an efficient level. Furthermore, amovement to optimal management is suggested to be an efficient way of gaining both economic and environmental benefits. An optimally managed fishery is thus better equipped to pay for the external costs fromtheCO2 emissions arising from its fishing operations.
  • Malkamäki, Katariina (2020)
    Chinese infrastructural investments in Africa have increased significantly. In mainstream development studies, such investments are strongly encouraged due to their potential to create economic growth and modernisation. Because of controversies around such projects, regarding their impacts on the economy and locals, they require continuing political-economic analysis. Using Lamu Port in Kenya as a case study, this thesis provides a critical analysis of the justification, planning, implementation and construction processes of the project are examined especially from the point of view of local artisanal fishermen. Framed around the theory of social costs developed by K.W.Kapp, as a critique of neoliberal modernisation, fieldwork was carried out in Lamu to systematically analyse both the official justification of the project and the perceptions of local fishers and other locals on the impacts of the port construction on their lives. Data collected from one-on-one interviews have been systematised using Attride-Stirling’s thematic networks analysis. Along with a textual analysis of original official documents by the Government of Kenya and the LAPSSET authority, the thesis avoids earlier problems of methodological nationalism and, instead, develops a holistic analysis of social costs. The results show that, while some local jobs have been created, they are temporary and marginal and are nowhere near significant enough to make up for the undermining of local livelihoods through the reduction of fish stocks. A wider question of food security and long-term job security needs to be raised. The local economy before the construction of the port was stagnant, but it was stable. New jobs related to port construction proved not to be available. Widespread discrimination against locals further complicates the social costs of public-private enterprise. These results show a lack of congruence between the statements by the Government of Kenya, the optimism by international development agencies, and modernisation theorists on the one hand and the lived realities of fishers on the other. The transnational corporations constructing the port in this case the China Communications Construction company have, in the meanwhile, continued to make more profit and increased the price of their share on the world market. This disconnect indicates one way in which development projects are socially constructed and justified, while the dominance of a profit-oriented capitalistic system shifts costs of production to third parties and the environment in order to continue to extract profit from the Global South. As these social costs are systemic, their remedy would require restructuring the institutional foundations of the local, national, and global political economy of development and change
  • Mäki, Ilona (2022)
    Biochar is a porous, carbon-rich material, made from organic material by pyrolysis in low oxygen conditions, and it can be used to sequester carbon into the soil. This review aspires to give an overview of the economic dimensions of using biochar in Finnish (Boreal and sub-boreal) forests. A literature review was conducted to collect and summarize the information about studies and applications elsewhere, and how we could possibly apply them into Finnish forest ecosystems. This thesis is done as part of Helsus Co-Creation Lab -project, where our group was tasked with looking into how biochar could enhance biodiversity in soil and accelerate transformation to low carbon economy. From this larger topic, this paper is looking into the economic side, and whether it is economically viable to use biochar to enhance and uphold biodiversity. This is evaluated by reviewing and categorizing 164 papers and conducting a literature review. My conclusions are that the current biochar applications show lower economic efficiency than other carbon dioxide abatement technologies. The stability of biochar in soil is a key factor, as the half-lives of biochars may not be as long as commonly suggested. Furthermore, competition for biomass resource use can restrict the availability of feedstock, and make it more expensive. Subsidies for biochar application are required if biochar is to be- come a significant part of the national or global climate mitigation policy. The results in different articles are quite variable and there is currently no standard approach to them. There is a need for specific research on what kind of biochar benefits what soil and vegetation, which is expensive. A primary goal is to incorporate a consistent and standardized testing or analysis method for biochar stability into the certification programs run and administered by the International and the European Biochar Initiatives. In the foreseeable future, biochar by itself is unlikely to play a significant role in climate mitigation strategies. Biochar might be just one of several alternatives in a bundle strategy to re- duce carbon emissions. However, its potential use must still be researched more.
  • Taimela, Elli (2019)
    Disability imposes personal suffering but also economic consequences for individuals, employers, and the society. Finding an optimal method for disability prevention can be considered beneficial and increasingly important for a country with a prominent public sector and a weakening labor force participation rate like Finland. Previous studies show evidence of the effectiveness of worksite health promotion programs that target care for employees who face a high risk for disability. Evidence shows positive cost-effectiveness of targeted occupational health interventions in preventing short-term disability but a wider benefit-cost analysis of targeted occupational health interventions with a view on both short-term and long-term disability prevention has not previously been conducted. This study untangles the treatment effect of targeted occupational health interventions on societal net benefits resulted from disability prevention. Short-term disability as a concept is viewed through sickness absence, and long-term disability is represented by the disability benefits granted by the Finnish disability benefit system. The costs of disability preventing actions are limited to health care utilization. The research setting of this study has been observational, and the empirical analysis is conducted as a retrospective review of prospectively collected register data. The data registers cover health and disability related information of over 20,000 employees in Finland. In the main analysis, 1,679 treated employees identified with a high risk for disability are compared to 2,107 untreated high-risk employees. The benefit-cost analysis is constructed with the Average Treatment Effect framework combined with Net Benefits framework. The treatment of the framework of this study is an attendance to a targeted, pre-planned health check after an occupational health survey. The outcome of the framework is the net benefits that result from prevention of sickness absence workdays and granted disability benefits, and the investment costs resulted from health care utilization. The results are formed with Analysis of Covariance. Other methods to conduct the empirical analysis include polynomial regression, Multiple Imputation of Chained Equations, Propensity Scores, and Inverse Probability Weighting. The results of this study show that targeted occupational health interventions are likely to impose positive net benefits to the society. The Average Treatment Effect on the net benefits of high-risk employees, 1,875 euros with a 95% confidence interval from -759 to 4,509 euros (p-value: .155) (ANCOVA), can be considered worthwhile to the society. In the research setting, the net benefits were in practice gained from the prevention of long-term disability. The treatment was not effective on the costs of short-term disability or the total health care utilization costs per employee. Sensitivity analyses indicate that targeted occupational health interventions are not on average effective when predicted to employees without a disability risk.
  • Perälampi, Heidi (2020)
    Goals Economics and fertility are widely studied areas, and the link between economics and fertility is well proven. However, less research exists concerning economics as a life course factor to fertility. The first aim of this study is to research whether the 90's depression impacted Finnish children's future fertility. The hypothesis is that if the family's economic situation decreased during the 90's depression, the children would be less willing to have children of their own later in life. The other aim is to clarify whether this effect is different depending on children's age during the depression. Methods Participants in this study were selected among the FinnFamily-register data, consisting of a longitudinal following of 60000 Finish families for four generations. Among the FinnFamily data, 43 432 participants who were born between 1975-1989 were included in this study. Participants and their parents were followed to the end of 2012. Analyses were made using Cox regression. The robust covariance matrix -method was used to allow correlation among members of the same family. Results and conclusions A change in the parents' economic situation during the 90's depression was not connected to a decrease in the child's future fertility. Neither evidence of interaction between parents' income change and child's age was found. However, it was found that the decrease and a major increase in parents' income during the 90's depression was connected to the increase in the probability of having a first child in later life. The connection between income decrease and later fertility remained statistically significant after controlling the education level, sex, age cohort, and number of siblings. The connection between a major income increase and later fertility disappeared when the number of siblings was controlled. The finding was somewhat unexpected, and more research is needed to clarify the reasons behind this effect. Particularly longitudinal research, including measurements of participants' subjective experiences and narratives associating with parents' economic difficulties, is needed in the future.
  • Kangas, Johanna (2017)
    Biodiversity degrades at an alarming rate, both globally and in Finland. Habitat loss is the most significant threat for biodiversity. Biodiversity offsets (also called ecological compensation) are becoming a common market-based policy instrument, aimed at balancing economic development and conservation of ecosystems and species. Offsets are designed to compensate for the residual environmental impacts of development projects, after avoiding and minimizing impacts on site. The idea is that costs of conservation are allocated to the party responsible for habitat degradation, thus a polluter pays principle is implemented. Offsets complement the pre-existing conservation instruments. Ecological risks as well as the theoretical and practical challenges of offsetting are widely discussed in literature but economic analysis on biodiversity offsetting schemes is limited to few. The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of the economic basis of biodiversity offset markets and in particular, the influence of trading ratios and intermediaries. I developed an equilibrium model, and applied it to Finnish data and three selected habitat types: abundant mires, scarce herb-rich forests, and laborious and valuable rural biotopes. The supply of offsets comes from habitat restoration and nature management. Data on the areas suitable for habitat restoration, restoration measures and associated costs were obtained from several documented sources. I utilized the results of the working group on improving the status of habitats in Finland (ELITE, Kotiaho et al. 2015), and supplemented it with an expert survey that I designed to estimate the changes in the selected habitat types after restoration and management under uncertainties. I used Monte Carlo simulation to examine the impacts and risks of uncertainties. Further, I estimated demand based on a report by Tiitu et al. (2015) where they predict the increase of built-up areas and infrastructure in Finland for a time period of 2013-2040. I examined how the market equilibrium, prices, and quantities traded depended on trading ratios. Trading ratios differ depending on whether biodiversity losses from development are ecologically equivalent to gains from compensation or not. I also examined the role of an intermediary, a broker firm. The intermediary helps demanders and suppliers meet each other with minimal transaction costs, safeguards against risks and guarantees maturity and quality of offsets. The analysis showed that the presence of the intermediary affects the trading ratios as there is a time delay between losses and gains which must be discounted to present time if the intermediary is not in the market guaranteeing mature offsets. Time discounting further increases trading ratios. The results show that the market size could be considerable and providing offsets could be a profitable business for landowners. There is enough land for compensations in Finland, even when trading ratios are relatively high. The presence of the intermediary in the market decreases both the trading ratios and credit prices, which lowers the costs of compensation for developers. Both ecological and economic risks may decrease as the intermediary safeguards against failures in restoration by guaranteeing that all offsets provide good quality. Pricing these services in the market does not excessively increase offset prices and shrink the market size.
  • Carlson, Mari (2016)
    Economic integration refers to the theoretical background which is based on the functioning of regional trade agree-ments (RTAs). Trade in context of economic integration embodies special characteristics in comparison to classical free trade. The special characteristics are contested whether they are welfare enhancing or diverting. RTAs are trade agree-ments between two or more countries and their number has been increasing during the last decades. Such agreements play an important role in international agro-food trade as already over 50% of agricultural products are traded within or between RTAs. The increase in number of RTAs and wider inclusion of agricultural trade in these agreements have revealed new agricultural trade policy measures which distort trade in agro-food products. These are so called non-tariff measures of which this study focuses on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The legitimate intention of such measures is to protect plant, animal and human health and prevent the spreading of harmful pathogens through international trade. This study attempted to create a theoretical framework for analysis of trade effects caused by SPS measures. The ef-fects were found to depend first of all on the burden of compliance and the nature of a SPS measure. Burden of com-pliance was divided into three dimensions of specific, uniform or universal measures according to whom the costs are due. For the nature of the SPS measures three categories were identified: cost-increasing, quantity-restricting and combining SPS measures. The developed theoretical framework was applied to analyze the case of poultry meat trade between the EU and the US in a case where the SPS measure becomes ineffective. The SPS measure of pathogen reduction treatments (PRTs) applied by the EU was identified as a combining measure. After having analyzed the trade effects in partial equilibrium framework, the changes in economic welfare for the EU poultry meat market were quanti-fied. The quantification of the economic welfare measures was made by using partial equilibrium comparative static analysis combined with Marshallian economic surplus framework. Economic surplus measures were calculated by comparing the initial welfare levels with the corresponding levels after the policy change. The analysis concentrated on short-term effects and the base year used was 2013. The calculations proceeded by defining supply and demand equations to calculate equilibrium price and quantity in the present policy regime which enabled calculations of consumer and pro-ducer surpluses. Then, the new trade policy regime was introduced by manipulating producer price. Equations defined in the first stage were used to calculate new quantities for production and consumption in the EU. Then, consumer and producer surpluses were calculated in the new trade policy regime. Finally the obtained results were compared with each other. The results of the welfare analysis show that the SPS measure concerning the use of PRTs in poultry meat has impact on producer and consumer welfare in the EU. Consumer welfare increased after the SPS measure became ineffective. The explanation is the decrease in price which lead to increase in consumption. However, producer welfare decreased as a consequence of lower price. The production of poultry meat decreased which meant that the gap between the EU production and consumption increased. This indicated that the import demand for poultry meat increased for the EU. If the imports were not restricted from the US, consumers would be able to obtain the higher welfare level than before the change in policy regime.
  • Virkkunen, Eero (2017)
    This study aimed at conducting a baseline for optimal harvesting schedules with economic criteria for Scots pine, Norway spruce and silver birch in Estonia. Additionally, this study aimed at providing comparison to previous findings about optimal schedules in boreal forests and recommendation for practitioners. Faustmann’s (1849) forest rotation theory provides the theoretical foundation for the thesis. The study was performed by including Estonian whole-stand forest growth models and local timber prices and forest regeneration costs in the optimization, which was based on the Hooke and Jeeves’ (1961) direct optimization method. Scots pine was found to be the optimal species in most site classes, silver birch being the optimum in the most fertile site. The schedules for silver birch were found to be less sensitive to changes in the rate of interest, site fertility and timber price than the conifers. The current legal restrictions lead to longer rotations, more thinnings and economic losses when compared to the unrestricted optimal scenarios. The optimal number of thinnings in most scenarios for all species turned out to be three, if the legal restrictions are followed. In general, the optimal rotation periods were found to be shorter and the timing of the first thinning earlier in many scenarios than in Finland. Also the optimal number of thinnings was found to be more stable in Estonia than in Finland. It was found that if the initial stand stocking for the main tree species falls below a certain threshold in mid-rotation mixed-species stands including less valuable broadleaves, it is optimal to clear fell the stand immediately and regenerate the stand according to the optimal stocking recommendations. From the practical point of view, given the current limitations regarding the timing of clear fell, forestry practitioners have the most value creation potential in improving the forest regeneration methods and thinning schedule. In comparison to Finnish studies, it was found that there exists many similarities regarding the schedules and the suitability of species for different forest sites between the findings of this study and previous Finnish studies and the Finnish silvicultural recommendations. Thus, the extensive Finnish recommendations and findings provide a good basis for practitioners also in Estonia. However, given also the found differences, harvesting schedules in Estonia should be developed in more detail for more sophisticated recommendations for local practices.
  • Nurmi, Marisofia (2021)
    Globally, there is a constant shortfall of financial resources in conservation, which has partially been supplemented by combining conservation and conservation-compatible businesses. Many protected and conserved areas in sub-Saharan Africa are largely funded by revenues generated within the area, mainly through ecotourism. While ecotourism revenues are bringing in money into the system, dependency on this single type of revenue source is making conservation areas – or even the whole protected area system – vulnerable to changes in visitor numbers, which are prone to different political or socio-economic disturbances (such as conflicts, economic recession, and epidemics). A sudden substantial decrease in revenues or increase in costs may threaten the existence, extent, and quality of conservation areas in terms of biodiversity conservation. Collecting and analysing economic information on protected and conserved areas can help investigate their long-term sustainability and resilience to financial threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic outcomes. In this thesis, I assess how conservation costs and revenues vary between different types of protected and conserved areas, how financially self-sufficient they are, and how economically resilient these areas may be in the face of global changes. The analysis is based on financial data from different types of protected and conserved areas in South Africa: state-owned national parks (South African National Parks, later SANParks), provincial parks (Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, later Ezemvelo) and private conserved areas. With the use of simulation modelling and resilience theory, I discuss how potential economic resilience varies between protected areas. The findings indicate that there are significant differences in the cost-revenue structure of different kinds of protected and conserved areas, and especially between public and private. Ezemvelo receives most of its funds from the provincial government, whereas SANParks covers the majority of its costs from tourism revenues. Private game reserves again need to cover their costs independently. According to the findings, size is an important attribute to predict the per hectare net income and running costs of public protected areas but has no significant influence on those of private game reserves. For public protected areas, the running costs per hectare are significantly higher for protected areas less than 1000 hectares. Based on the economic modelling and resilience theory, I concluded that private game reserves are generally financially more viable, but their vulnerability lies in their lack of embeddedness within a larger system (e.g., a conservation organization) that could support them during difficult times and require and encourage a long-term commitment to conservation. The economic resilience of public protected areas is more closely tied to the political atmosphere regarding conservation funding: self-generated revenues form only a part of the budgets of public protected areas. In addition, protected areas which have large fixed costs and depend on high tourism revenues are likely to be less economically resilient. Because of the higher running costs and resultant sensitivity of net income to changes in costs and revenues, parks that are home to the “Big Five” species (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) are in a more vulnerable position in the face of disturbances, as the pandemic. To address the threats that upcoming socio-economic disturbances pose to the funding base of protected and conserved areas, more focus should be given to the economic resilience of these areas, especially in countries and occasions where the areas rely on self-generated revenues.
  • Johnston, Casey (2013)
    This Master’s Thesis aims to explore the link between the state of the economy and the outcome of elections in the United States. The thesis begins with an introduction that focuses on the importance that the economy has had in determining elections, in particular, the presidential election of 2012. After a brief opening, it then moves to a comprehensive review of previous literature related to what has been tagged the ‘economic voting theory: the idea that voters reward incumbents for positive economic outcomes and punish them for negative ones. Next, I suggest the addition of another dimension to the economic voting theory in order to separate my research from previous studies on this topic. The additional dimension is what is known as the ‘shale gas revolution’: an enormous increase in natural gas production capacity that has created jobs and pumped money into the American economy. I am interested in finding how and if the positive economic effects of the shale gas revolution helped to increase support for Barack Obama in the 2012 election as the economic voting theory would suggest. From there I will further refine the research question by selecting the state of Ohio as the focus of my study based on both its experience with the shale gas revolution and its history as a swing state. With this, the research question that this thesis aims to answer becomes: According to the economic theory of voting, did improved economic conditions help to boost support for Barack Obama in Ohio in the 2012 Presidential Election? Finally, I am able to begin the analysis using data in the form of economic indicators in order to establish the impact that the shale gas revolution has had on the economy and then explore whether these positive effects coincided with support for President Obama.
  • Parkatti, Vesa-Pekka (2017)
    This study optimizes the management regime of boreal Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestric L.) stands. The aim is to compare the economic profitability of continuous cover management and clearcut management and to study the hypothesis that continuous cover forestry is more favorable in the case of Norway spruce, compared to Scots pine. Additionally, the study analyses the outcomes of two different growth models for these tree species and compares the results with the requirements of the Finnish Forest Act of 2014. Earlier studies comparing the suitability of Norway spruce and Scots pine to continuous cover forestry have applied unclear model specifications and unnecessary limitations in the optimization methods. In this study, the optimization is carried out using a theoretically sound economic optimization model that determines the choice of the management regime as an outcome of the optimization. The model uses empirically estimated ecological growth models and includes both fixed and variable harvesting costs. Two different empirically estimated ecological growth models are used and compared. The optimization model is solved as a bi-level problem where harvest timing is the upper-level problem and harvesting intensity the lower-level problem. The optimization is solved using gradient-based methods for the lower-level problems and genetic and hill-climbing algorithms for the upper-level problems. This is the first study using this method to solve optimal continuous cover solutions for Scots pine. The results show that the main differences in optimal solutions between the two species are independent of the ecological two growth models used. According to both ecological models, continuous cover forestry is less favorable for Scots pine compared to Norway spruce, in both low and average fertility sites. However, the magnitude of this favorability and the characteristics of the optimal solutions strongly depend on the ecological model. Optimal continuous cover solutions for Scots pine are also found to have very low stand densities. Almost all economically optimal solutions are illegal because of their low number of trees or basal area per hectare.
  • Hohenthal, Louise (2018)
    The thesis examines the effects of tax progressivity on the stability of a growing economy. This is done based on the AK growth model. My interest in this topic regarding progressive taxation comes from two articles by Shu-Hua Chen and Jang-Ting Guo, published in 2013 and 2016. The articles do not include detailed mathematical proofs contrary to my thesis. The contribution of my paper is therefore the complete mathematical proofs. In this way I show that the conclusions of the papers really are based on mathematical facts, therefore increasing the value of the results. Two different externalities in the production structure are considered. Either the government expenditures are productive, contributing positively to the level of production, or there are productivity spillovers with the level of production depending on the average size of the capital stock as different producers may use different amounts of capital. In the presence of productive government expenditures, the effects of progressivity depend on the degree to which the expenditures impact the demand as well as the supply of the final good. If the government expenditures affect the supply of goods more than the demand, a sharp progressivity of taxation, as well as any degree of regressive taxation, creates instability in the economy. On the other hand, a moderate progressivity creates stability in the economy. However, if the government expenditures affect the demand of goods more than the supply, any degree of progressivity creates instability in the economy and any degree of regressivity creates stability. In the presence of productivity spillovers, any degree of progressive taxation results in an unstable economic development. However, any degree of regressive taxation results in a stable economy. Finally, regardless of type of production externality, a proportional taxation results in a stable economy and a stable growth path.
  • Huhtamäki, Olli Ilmari (2013)
    The thesis studies the economic policy of the United States from the first oil crisis of October 1973 to the 1980 elections via the perspective of Keynesian economic theorem. The main objective of the thesis is to analyze the perceived failure of Keynesianism during stagflation through practical policy and evaluate the policy connection to the economic theory paradigm shift that occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This is done by reviewing primarily the fiscal policies of the Ford and Carter administrations coupled with an analysis of the policy recommendations made by the contemporary congressional Joint Economic Committees. The thesis aims to add a historically minded policy analysis into the mix when explaining the fall of Keynesianism and see how well it elucidates this on its own. In primary material the thesis relies on various documents produced by the Councils of Economic Advisors and Joint Economic Committees during the previously mentioned time period. In particular the annually or biannually formed economic policy publications and statements related to them are under scrutiny since by revealing the policy directions and proposals one can examine the wider economic theory context at play. In addition the primary material is complemented by using a wide-range of previous literature and contemporary newspaper articles. Methodologically the study employs directed qualitative content analysis as a research method which carefully takes into consideration the chosen contextual theory – Keynesianism – when analyzing the material. Furthermore, an adaption of Douglass C. North’s theory on economic change is applied to the subject in order to create a more comprehendible framework to examine the change in economic thinking taking place. The analysis of U.S. economic policy through the theoretical lenses of Keynes finds that the theory was badly miscomprehended and practiced already in the late 1960s which continued for the entire 1970s causing increasingly significant reputational damage to it. The study concludes that a lack of belief among the Ford and Carter administrations towards Keynesianism and the difficult politico-economic circumstances lead to economic policies that cannot be classified as Keynesian. Thus the results stand in opposition to the notion that the theory failed through trial and error during stagflation and indicate that intellectual preference towards neoclassical economics began to impact policy increasingly since the Ford administration. The study recommends that future research focuses more on linking economic policies and theories to their historical and political context. A further recommendation is made to increase the study of empirical policy analysis when explaining the fall of Keynesianism.
  • Salojärvi, Joona (2014)
    The objective of this study is to assess the willingness to pay of the Finnish public for improvements in the ecological status of the Gulf of Finland using the choice experiment method (CE). The change in the status of the environment is described with four attributes that contribute to the provision of ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea: (1) the populations of key species (including species of mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates and plants), (2) the visibility of the key species, (3) the intensity and duration of algal blooms, and (4) possibilities for recreational fishing. The study considers moderate and substantial improvement scenarios resulting from a range of management measures proposed under the marine strategy framework directive (MSFD), and estimates the accruing benefits with multinomial logit and random parameters logit models. The results of the study show that significant benefits could occur for the Finns if improvements in the environmental status of the Gulf of Finland are achieved. Reduction in algal blooms was found to be most important to the respondents followed closely by improvements in the populations of key species. The third most important attribute was the recreational fishing possibilities, while significantly smaller willingness to pay values was estimated on the visibility of key species. This thesis is conducted within the European Union funded ODEMM project. The overall aim of the project is to develop management options and operational procedures to help in achieving the objectives of the MSFD and implementing ecosystem based marine management.
  • Kurvinen, Pasi (Helsingin yliopistoUniversity of HelsinkiHelsingfors universitet, 2003)