Academy of Finland Awards presented to Teemu Lyytikäinen
Housing market and urban economics researcher Teemu Lyytikäinen wins Award for Scientific Courage.
(Picture: Kari Likonen. The Academy of Finland)
The Academy of Finland has presented awards to two internationally distinguished researchers of the new generation. The 2020 Award for Scientific Courage goes to Academy Research Fellow Teemu Lyytikäinen (b. 1977) and the 2020 Award for Social Impact goes to Academy Research Fellow Mikko Sipilä (b. 1978).
Teemu Lyytikäinen studies the housing market, urban economics and housing taxes. His research is innovative in combining econometric methods with very high-quality and extensive data on the Finnish and British housing markets.
“Scientific courage requires an open mind when tackling a research problem”
Teemu Lyytikäinen studies the function of the housing market. He examines factors affecting the housing choices of households and the effects of state and municipal taxes and subsidies on the housing market. Lyytikäinen conducts empirical research to analyse how economic policy affects the housing market.
His research is concerned with, among other things, the impact of housing subsidies on rents and housing choices, the impact of real estate taxes on housing prices, and the distortions caused by transfer tax in the structure of household investment assets and in housing consumption. The research also provides new information for discussion and decision-making on the differentiation and income transfers of residential areas.
What interests Lyytikäinen in the research on housing markets and housing policy is its multidimensional nature: “When you buy a home, you also choose the neighbourhood and the municipal services and taxes. Your dwelling is not only a consumer commodity but also an investment. When I was planning my dissertation, I noticed a lack of reliable research data on the housing market and housing policy, and a huge societal demand for it.”
- Thanks to the development of research methods and improved research data, the reliability of research results has improved and many old concepts have had to be updated. This is of course part of normal scientific progress, but standing behind results that contradict previous studies and general perceptions does also require courage, Lyytikäinen says. For him, scientific courage also refers to an open-minded attitude when tackling research problems.
Lyytikäinen finds inspiration in the opportunity to have a positive impact on the surrounding society by producing knowledge on the functioning of the economy and the effects of economic policy. Thanks to his international collaborations and research visits, he has been able to expand his competence to new themes and research methods: “International research visits and conferences help you to stay at the forefront of the field and often lead to new research ideas.”
Teemu Lyytikäinen obtained a PhD in economics at the University of Helsinki in 2009. He received Academy Research Fellow funding in 2018 and currently works as Senior Researcher at VATT Institute for Economic Research. He has also been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the London School of Economics Spatial Economics Research Centre, a Visiting Scholar at Tufts University (USA) and a Visiting Researcher at Stockholm School of Economics. In 2014–2016, he served as Secretary-General of the Economic Policy Council of Finland.
Encouragement through awards
The Academy of Finland Award for Scientific Courage is granted to a researcher who has shown exceptional scientific audacity, creativity or innovation in research. The Award can be granted for a novel or original research idea, forward-looking work that cuts across scientific boundaries, or a willingness to take risks in research.
The Academy of Finland Award for Social Impact is granted to a researcher who has significantly contributed to increasing public awareness of scientific research or the researcher’s job, inspired interest in science, actively contributed to public debate in society, or otherwise strengthened the role, application and impact of science and research in society.
This is the 18th time that the Academy of Finland Awards are presented. The recipients must be Academy Research Fellows or work as Academy-funded Postdoctoral Researchers. Nominations are submitted by the Academy’s research councils to the Academy Board, which makes the final award decisions. The winners are presented with a mouth-blown glass ornament, “The Moment”, designed by Miia Liesegang.
Teemu Lyytikäinen, Academy Research Fellow, VATT Institute for Economic Research, tel. +358 295 519 431, teemu.lyytikainen(at)vatt.fi