The FCCA develops the impact assessment of competition and consumer policy: a new unit will start in May 2019

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) appointed Senior Financial Adviser Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo as Head of the new Market Research Unit. Currently she acts as Head of the Ministry of Finance’s Structural Policy Unit. Mika Maliranta, who acts as Research Director at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla) and as Economics Professor at Jyväskylä University School of Business, was appointed as the unit’s Research Professor.

As competition and consumer policy impacts the market’s functionality, it affects the economic growth and welfare of the entire country. The FCCA finds it crucial that scientific data on the impacts of various regulation options is available so that decision-making can be supported with facts. In order to support the provision of scientific data, the FCCA launches the new Market Research Unit on 1 May 2019. The unit’s assignment is to conduct competition and consumer policy-related research, surveys and comparisons. The current research topics include, for example, pharmacies and the pharmaceuticals market, the gambling market, instant loan activities and health care.

In addition, the Market Research Unit may prepare proposals and initiatives for promoting the functionality of the market as well as assess the impacts of new legislative proposals on competition and consumers.

“The opportunity to complement our team of leading specialists with Tuulia’s and Mika’s expertise and experience is great news,” states Kirsi Leivo, Director General of the FCCA. “The development of Finland’s competitiveness and welfare requires thorough impact assessment and insight based on scientific data. They reduce disputes and improve the capacity to reach political compromises.”

“Governmental actors unanimously agree that impact assessment must be developed, but there is a lack of operators capable of performing the development. Until now, I have had the opportunity to develop the assessment of employment impacts in particular. However, impact assessment related to competition and regulations has suffered from the lack of personnel. I’m excited about the FCCA’s increased investment in research and impact assessment, and I gladly join the new unit,” says Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo.

“As I’m a market-oriented economist specialised in economic growth, competition and consumers’ interests have always been dear topics to me,” says Mika Maliranta. “This new position in the FCCA provides me with an extremely interesting viewpoint into the functionality of the market. The importance of competition and consumer policy to Finland’s productivity growth will become increasingly underlined in the coming years. Our economic policy should pay more attention to this development,” Maliranta states.

“The FCCA’s task is to provide the public debate with the perspective of public interest in order to support consumers and the national economy. We also defend the cause of those who do not have the chance to do so themselves,” states Kirsi Leivo.

Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd) has acted as Head of the Ministry of Finance’s Structural Policy Unit since 2007. The Structural Policy Unit’s assignment is to build a bridge between research and decision-making: the unit gathers and interprets scientific data for decision-makers, it develops numerical impact assessment and the use of the state’s research instruments, and it manages the performance of the VATT Institute for Economic Research. Hakola-Uusitalo has led working groups on unemployment traps and regional mobility and acted as Chair of the EU’s Economic Policy Committee Eurogroup. In addition, she has acted as Chief Economist at the Finnish Centre for Pensions and as a consultant for the OECD and the World Bank.

Mika Maliranta, PhD (Economics), acts as Research Director at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy Etla and as Professor at the University of Jyväskylä. He has conducted research on productivity, competitiveness, salaries and the dynamics of employment structures on the level of companies and individuals. He has extensive and versatile experience in collaborative research in both national and international forums. Maliranta is a member of the Bureau of the OECD’s Working Party on Industry Analyses. His research results have been published in various international high-grade scientific journals as well as in writings and presentations directed at the wider public. In addition to his research activities, Maliranta acts in several confidential and advisory positions

Further information:

  • Kirsi Leivo, Director General of the FCCA, tel. +358 29 505 3351
  • Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo, Head of Research at the Market Research Unit (as of 1 May 2019), tel. +358 29 553 0382
  • Mika Maliranta, Research Professor at the Market Research Unit (as of 27 May 2019), tel. +358 50 369 8054

Further information on the topic is available in Etla’s press release of 12 April 2019.