Public Economics Research Group

Public Economics Research Group

What is the right level of tax progression? What are the consequences of basic income? How should universities be financed? What is the right way to support poor people? How should the pension system be financed? How limiting are the external constraints on public finance? What is the degree of inequality in Finland? Should local communities be supported by the government and if yes, how? How should usage of common goods such as natural resources be regulated?

Public economics provides a framework for thinking about the planner’s or the government’s intervention to the market. To this end, microeconomic models are used to assess how various market failures, inefficiencies, and inequalities can be corrected.

Much of modern public economics is related to inequality. The market economy does not necessarily produce a socially desirable distribution of income, and government intervention is again needed. Public economics research can inform policy discussion about the impacts of inequalities, how effective public policies are in reducing them, and how policymakers can address possible tradeoffs between economic efficiency and distributional equity.

At the core of public economic analysis are various policy measures, including taxes, provision of public goods, and regulatory actions. Research in contemporary public economics is increasingly empirical.  Impact evaluation methods and sufficient statistics approaches are used to attempt to credibly estimate the impact of policy instruments and reforms on taxpayer and individual behavior.

Essi Eerola, research director

Marja-Liisa Halko, university lecturer

Anni Huhtala, director general 

Kristiina Huttunen, research professor

Kaisa Kotakorpi, research professor

Matti Liski, professor

Topi Miettinen, professor

Tuomas Pekkarinen, research professor

Jukka Pirttilä, professor, Chair of the group

Tuukka Saarimaa, assistant professor

Janne Tukiainen, associate research professor

Roope Uusitalo, professor


Anustup Kundu, PhD student

Lauro Carnicelli, PhD student

Aliisa Koivisto, PhD student

Caroline Schimanski, PhD student

Mats Ekman, PhD student

Tuomas Nurminen, PhD student

Empirical analyses of taxation, especially taxation of labor income and housing taxes

Pension policies and life-cycle earnings distribution

Impacts of schooling reforms and early-life policies on various outcomes

Optimal income taxation

Economic analyses of energy policies

Tax and development

Labor and Public Economics Seminar

Public Economics Research Group organizes jointly with Labor Economics Research Group a biweekly seminar on Tuesdays. VATT seminar on Thursdays covers frequently topics related to group activities.


Helsinki GSE/FDPE Labor and Public PhD Student Workshop

  • Time: 17.5.2019 Fri
  • Place: Helsinki, Arkadiankatu 7, Economicum building, seminar room 1
  • Programme (PDF, revised May 10)