Why Have Business Investments Decreased?


In this study we analyse the development of business investments in Finland and in other countries of comparison on the basis of national accounts, survey data and a sector-level general equilibrium model. According to the results, the decline in investments in Finland is mainly explained by two factors: the decrease in the investments in construction and the collapse of the research and development costs of the Nokia cluster. The aggregate production has, however, dropped almost at a corresponding rate with the investments. For this reason, the investment rate of companies is currently almost at the same level as in the years 2000–2008. However, after the financial crisis the development of investment volume has been weaker in Finland than in many other countries. The differences cannot be explained by the availability of debt financing, as access to capital in clearly better in Finland than in most other European countries. The investment rate in Finland is reduced especially by weak future prospects for the growth of productivity. The anticipated decline in the labour force also somewhat hinders the rate of investment. The analyses also show that Finland competes against Estonia for manufacturing investments as well as for headquarter locations. In the long term, the greatest concern is that in industries other than electronics, the Finnish private R&D investments are no higher than the European average. In other words, Finland does not seem to have an especially strong ambition to seek for a competitive advantage in innovations.

Publication info

ETLA Raportit - Reports 70
Investment, Business, Structural change, Comparison, Financial constraint
2323-2447, 2323-2455 (Pdf)
E22, O34