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Bengt Holmström, a professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spoke to members of the media at MIT on 10 October, 2016, after winning the Nobel Economics Prize.
Bengt Holmström, a professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spoke to members of the media at MIT on 10 October, 2016, after winning the Nobel Economics Prize.

Both Finnish and Swedish news outlets have pointed out that the winner of the 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Bengt Holmström, has distinguished himself as a critic of the spending cuts announced by the Government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre).

Holmström, a Finnish-born professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has questioned the cuts in education spending and the general approach to higher education adopted by the Finnish Government.

Who?

- Bengt Holmström, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was born in Helsinki in 1949.

- He and Oliver Hart, a professor of economics at Harvard University, were awarded the Nobel Economics Prize on 10 October, 2016, for launching contract theory as a fertile field of basic research.

- Holmström has continued to contribute to the public debate in Finland despite living more than half of his life in the United States.

“The cuts are big. We've made cuts also in the United States, but never anything like this. Universities focus on long-term results and sudden decisions are not good,” he said in an interview with Hufvudstadsbladet, a Swedish-language newspaper based in Helsinki, in November 2015.

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture, received her share of the criticism for urging in an open letter higher education institutions to improve their efficiency despite the announced cuts and re-allocations of research subsidies.

“Universities are responsible for maintaining a high-quality civil society. You can't [infringe on the autonomy of universities] by manipulating and tweaking, especially not in a hurry,” said Holmström.

Holmström and Oliver Hart, a professor of economics at Harvard University, were announced as the winners of the 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for their ground-breaking work on contract theory, according to the official website of the Nobel Prize.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Kayana Szymczak – Lehtikuva/AFP
Source: Uusi Suomi

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