A heated debate has erupted over the policy recommendations provided by researchers at the Economic Research Institute Etla, with their “Finland rescue package” publication at the heart of the controversy. This publication included several changes such as cuts in corporate and income taxes, which sparked a dispute over the selectivity of research references and the ideological nature of the tax proposals.
As the week progressed, the CEO of Etla Aki Kangasharju accused professor Heikki Hiilamo of lying and exhibiting bias towards party politics. The debate eventually drew attention from many experts, who were asked to weigh in on three different economics researchers’ views.
Mika Maliranta, Director of Labore, argued that publications such as “rescue package” should be seen as reviews presenting the scope of research literature on a particular issue. He pointed out that these are more beneficial to public debates than individual research results. Maliranta emphasized that it can be challenging to provide strong or explicit policy recommendations given the uncertainty associated with social science research. He believes that meticulous reviews require generous funding, citing former State Council investigations and research activities as a successful model.
Marita Laukkanen, a WATER research professor and working life professor of economics at the University of Tampere, highlighted the importance of good scientific practice and thorough analysis when formulating policy recommendations. She underscored that evaluating and qualifying prior research is necessary to ensure credibility and high quality while taking into account factors like age and relevance of materials and methods.
Kaisa Kotakorpi, also a professor of economics at the University of Tampere, added that writing clear policy recommendations from economic research literature can be challenging due to limited policies benefiting everyone directly. She emphasized that examining both advantages and disadvantages