Researcher introduction: research leader Tuomas Matikka
We interviewed Tuomas Matikka for our researcher introduction series. Read the text below to see what Tuomas is working on.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Tuomas Matikka, a research leader and an associate research professor here at VATT in the social security, taxation, and inequality research theme. I received my doctorate from Tampere university in 2015. I joined VATT as a researcher already in 2012, so this fall will mark ten full years in the house.
What kind of research are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on a project where we study the income development of entrepreneurs and how being an entrepreneur impacts your income mobility. In another project we are studying how receiving social security and especially the exact days when social security payments are payed, made impacts on peoples consumption. We are trying to find out is consumption more uniform if social security payments are divided between multiple days.
We also just finished a study on the impacts of corporate tax cuts, which was just accepted to being published in the Journal of Public Economics. That has given us cause to celebrate. The study will be published late summer or early autumn.
Which research projects will you be working on next?
I will work on a project regarding the social security of entrepreneurs, the impacts of entrepreneurs pension insurance and how entrepreneurs preferences and the risks they take affect public social security and its coverage.
Which question on economics would you like to answer to right now and why this particular question?
This question probably doesn’t have a right answer. In economics we study people and their behavior, and people, institutions and societies change continuously. So the questions and answers live and change.
In my own field regarding social security systems and the social security of entrepreneurs, I’m interested how adverse selection, meaning situations where unwanted consumers or products are selected by the market due information asymmetry and moral hazards affect public social insurance. Basically I want to know what these effects are and how this information could be used to develop the social insurance system. In our next project we hope to learn something about these questions, at least when it comes to entrepreneurs.
If these questions could be answered, what would it enable?
If adverse selection and moral hazards have or don’t have any effects, it would be important to take this into account, starting from the very fundamental principles we use to design social insurance systems. In the past it has been tremendously difficult to get any empirical evidence about these questions, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs. Public social insurance is a tricky and complicated question for entrepreneurs anyway, so it would be great to know more about how these phenomena effect it.