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Most Finnish economists are unsure whether or not the additional activity measures drafted by the government will have their desired impact. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)
Most Finnish economists are unsure whether or not the additional activity measures drafted by the government will have their desired impact. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

 

Most Finnish economists view that the government proposal to make laying off easier for businesses with no more than 20 employees would promote productivity growth in Finland.

Over a half (58%) of the members of an independent panel of economists indicated that they agree with the statement that making lay-offs easier for small businesses will promote productivity growth.

“It’d be good for productivity if employees moved quickly to companies where their expertise has the most value. Rigorous protection against unilateral termination hinders this process,” explained Niku Mättänen, a research director at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).

Slightly over one-tenths (11%) of the 31 economists who responded to the question contrastively said they either disagree or strongly disagree with the statement. A quarter of economists said they are unsure about their position on the matter.

“The link between making lay-offs easier and rising productivity is complex,” reminded Markku Kotilainen, another research director at Etla. “More research data is needed.”

The 50-member panel was presented with a total of three question.

Almost a half (49%) of panellists also revealed that they agree with the statement that making laying off easier for small businesses will increase employment and 13 per cent that they disagree with the statement. Over a third (36%) of the 34 economists who responded to the question said they are unsure about their position on the issue.

“I believe this is an issue where we simply don’t have enough information to form an understanding, and therefore we can’t reject the null hypothesis – of there being no impact whatsoever,” commented Markus Jäntti, a professor of economics at Stockholm University.

Over a half of panellists also expressed their doubts about the effectiveness of the additional activity measures devised by the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).

Slightly over a third (37%) of panellists said they agree with the statement that obliging the unemployed to apply for at least four job openings every month will expedite the job seeking process. Only three per cent of panellists contrastively said they disagree with the statement, while as many as 56 per cent said they are unsure about their position on the statement.

“I don’t think we have any evidence of this,” said Roope Uusitalo, a professor of public economics at the University of Helsinki.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi