Helsinki GSE appoints Jukka Pirttila and Roope Uusitalo as Professors of Public Economics

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Professor Jukka Pirttilä D.Sc. (Econ) and Professor Roope Uusitalo D.Sc. (Econ) are appointed Professors of Public Economics at the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (GSE). Both professorships are joint professorships funded by the University of Helsinki and the VATT Institute for Economic Research. Pirttilä and Uusitalo will start in their offices on August 1st.

The Helsinki Graduate School of Economics was founded in spring 2018 to increase both the quantity and quality of academic economic training and research and to promote collaboration between economics and other disciplines. The Helsinki GSE is a joint unit established by Aalto University, the Hanken School of Economics and the University of Helsinki.

Jukka Pirttilä specializes in questions relating to public economics and development economics. In his research, he examines the development of optimal tax systems, uses empirical evidence to study the effects of tax reforms and investigates public sector challenges in developing countries.

Pirttilä received his PhD in economics from the University of Helsinki in 1998. Prior to the joint Professorship in Public Economics at VATT and the University of Helsinki, he was employed by the Faculty of Management at the University of Tampere as Professor of Economics since 2008. Jukka Pirttilä is also a Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations University World Institute of Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

Roope Uusitalo's research areas are education economics, public economics and labour economics. His latest research covers protection against unfair dismissal, demand for social skills in the job market and the effects of education policy reforms.

Uusitalo received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in 1999. Prior to the Professorship in Public Economics, he was employed by the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics as Professor of Education Economics since 2015. Uusitalo is the Chairman of the Finnish Economic Policy Council, which was established in 2014, and a Research Fellow at the German IZA Institute of Labour Economics.

"In Finland, there are relatively few academic economists compared to, for example, other Nordic countries. Therefore, it is great that VATT and the GSE are able to make this investment to strengthen the capacity of public economics research in Helsinki", says Pirttilä.

"The aim is to improve both academic training and research in the field of public economics and thereby provide better information to support policy decisions concerning, for example, education system reforms, health care, job markets and taxation", Uusitalo envisages.

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