Applying the tools of economics for a better understanding of the Russian economy and society.
Photo: Laura Malmivaara/Siltala


Born in the north of Finland, studied economics, sociology, philosophy, statistics and mathematics at the University of Helsinki since 1969, I majored in economics in 1973 and defended my doctorate in 1984. The topic was somewhat esoteric, the optimal planning school in Soviet economics. Little did I know at the time that some of scholars whose work I analysed would become main economic advisors to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president, and many of their younger colleagues would take key positions in the Russian government of Boris Yeltsin.

I pursued a teaching career at my university from 1993 to 1990, with research stays in Britain and Germany. I was a docent (Adjunct Professor) in economics at the University of Helsinki in 1986-1999, and remain one at the Aalto University School of Business - to use the current name - since 2000. I am past Research Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), and also past Distinguished Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris. I have also been a non-resident Senior Associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC.

I am past member of the Boards of the Finnish Economic Society and of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies, and President (for 2012) of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies. I was the first European resident President of the world-wide but US-based scholarly organization.

Since the beginning 2014 I am Professor of Practice at the Lappeenranta University of Technology.