OECD Economic Surveys: Finland

Every 18 months
1999-0545 (online)
1995-3488 (print)
Hide / Show Abstract

OECD’s periodic surveys of the Finnish economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

Also available in French
OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2012

OECD Economic Surveys: Finland 2012 You do not have access to this content

Click to Access: 
  • PDF
  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/economics/oecd-economic-surveys-finland-2012_eco_surveys-fin-2012-en
  • READ
07 Feb 2012
9789264127234 (PDF) ;9789264127227(print)

Hide / Show Abstract

OECD's 2012 Economic Survey of Finland examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects; examines what could be done to restart economic growth  and includes a more detailed analysis of health care in Finland.
loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Basic statistics of Finland (2010)
  • Executive Summary
    The global outlook is weakening, slowing growth in Finland. The Finnish economy has still not recovered from the sharp 2008-09 recession and GDP remains about 3% below its mid-2008 level. Unemployment may start to increase again. Policymakers should cushion the downturn by strengthening active labour market policies. An even worse global outlook may materialise, however. Risks relating to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the euro area, and the weak health of the banking sector in many countries are significant.
  • Assessment and recommendations
    The global economy has slowed, dragging Finland along. In the 2008-09 recession the Finnish economy contracted by 10% peak-to-trough despite being cushioned by relatively resilient domestic demand, prudent fiscal policy and a sound financial sector (Figure 1). However, exports fell dramatically and have not recovered, reflecting a weak export performance compared to neighbouring OECD countries since 2008 (Figure 1). GDP still remains about 3% below its mid-2008 level (Figure 1). Unemployment peaked at 9% in early 2010, and has receded only slowly, but may rise again.
  • Restarting the growth engine
    Impressive productivity performance during the last decades has weakened since 2007, reflecting the 2008-09 recession but also a poor performance in important sectors, like the information and communication technology sector. Reforms to raise long term productivity growth need to be pursued. Current projectbased R&D-support and business subsidies seem inefficient and should be scaled back and remaining support should focus on addressing externalities in terms of the creation of high productive jobs and R&D spillovers. A R&D tax credit could provide higher flexibility, equity and efficiency than current targeted support. Capital taxation should be streamlined to improve incentives for entrepreneurship and growth. The performance of the higher education system could be improved through allocating more R&D funding and teaching resources based on quality rather than block grants. Productivity performance could be enhanced by exposing sectors like health provision, network industries and retailing to more competition through lowering government dominance in provision and loosening planning restrictions.
  • Enhancing efficiency and reducing inequalities in health care
    The Finnish health system provides universal coverage for a wide range of services and enjoys high public satisfaction. Nevertheless, performance has been mixed: infant mortality is low, life expectancy is high for women but below OECD average for men, health inequalities are large across socio-economic groups and regions, and efficiency has been declining in recent years. A rapidly ageing population, costly medical technology and rising patients’ expectations will strain resources going forward. Therefore, reforms aimed at enhancing efficiency are essential to ensure that high quality health care continues to be provided in a economically sustainable way and that health inequalities are reduced. As the fragmentation of health care provision is a major source of inefficiencies, planned reform to restructure municipalities and services should improve efficiency and quality of care, provided enough mergers are achieved to bring municipalities to a sufficient size. Announced reforms in service provision should improve the balance between primary and specialised care. Further measures to increase user choice and information and enhance prevention and health promotion will be needed to optimise the performance of the system.
  • Add to Marked List
Visit the OECD web site