Activities in a nutshell: Research, forecasting and policy assessment
The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla) is engaged in applied economic research with emphasis on topics that are important from the Finnish point of view. The main focus is on issues that relate to productivity and drivers of its growth, to the functioning of the labour market, as well as to challenges in maintaining a balanced macro economy including sound public finances. Etla monitors economic development, compiles forecasts as well as assesses economic policy and comments on it.
Etla is a private non-profit organisation. Its operations are backed by the supporting association, the members of which comprise the Confederation of Finnish Industries and the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers (TT) Fund as well as Federation of Finnish Commerce, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, Finance Finland and Technology Industries of Finland. The funding from the background organisations covers more than a third of the institute’s budget and forms a solid base for its operations.
The greater part of the remaining two thirds is obtained as project funding for various research undertakings. Over the years such funding has been provided by the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), several government departments, various foundations, The Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Commission. The grant for advancement of science allocated by the Ministry of Education and Culture covers roughly 5 per cent of the budget.
Etla’s personnel comprise around 45 employees, three quarters of whom are trained economists. A majority of the institute’s research staff have completed a doctorate degree. Etla collaborates extensively with other domestic and foreign research institutes and universities, also with researchers that have other than economic training.
The results of research activities are as a rule public, and are reported through a multitude of channels. Findings of extensive research projects are published as books or research reports, articles aimed at academic journals in the Working Papers series and short topical reports in the Briefs series. The institute completes 10 – 15 major research projects annually. A macroeconomic forecast is drawn up twice a year.
As a significant part of Etla’s operations, researchers lend their expertise to various committees and working groups set up by government departments and other instances, appear in hearings of parliamentary committees, and give presentations in scientific conferences and other events. Etla’s researchers publish articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, write non-technical pieces and columns for various media and are readily available for comments and interviews.
Etla has two subsidiaries, Etlatieto Oy, active in project research, and Taloustieto Oy, a publisher of books on economics. Etla and The Finnish Business and Policy Forum (EVA) have a joint board of directors, managing director and financial administration.