Tallinn University of Technology

Companies’ Productivity, Investments and Export Competitiveness

Head of the research group: Professor Kadri Männasoo, kadri.mannasoo@taltech.ee; Phone +372 620 4051

Members: Juan Carlos Cuestas, Simona Ferraro, Kaja Lutsoja, Jelena Matina, Kirsti Rumma, Tõnn Talpsepp

Doctoral students: Heili Hein, Kaido Kepp, Artjom Saia, Helery Tasane, Miina Hõbenael, Katriin Pakkas (academic leave)

Topics and Competences

Keywords: productivity, innovation, R&D, investments, export, digital economy

The line of research pursues micro-level or regional comparative empirical studies. The main research focuses relate to capital and labour productivity, human capital, innovation, investments and competitiveness for explaining the economic growth in small, open and export-oriented economies. The aim is to investigate the drivers and obstacles of productivity enhancing investments into adoption of new technologies and production processes, human capital accumulation, R&D and innovation. One line of investigation seeks for a better understanding on regional convergence issues while integrating the spatial aspects and institutional factors into the research framework. The research aims at new evidence on digital innovation and digital empowerment and on their effect on productivity growth and economic welfare. The research employs contemporary quantitative economic research techniques and econometric estimations and contributes to policy making while providing evidence based policy implications with respect to the macro- and business-environmental factors and individuals’ and companies’ decisions and incentives that have an effect on productivity, innovation and export competitiveness.

Selected projects:

Selected articles:

TalTech Academic Development Plan priority area: Innovative businesses and future governance

Applications in business, economics, society:

  • The research group is involved in the launch of COST Action (CA21163) HiTEc that embraces members from 32 countries and that focuses on econometric and analytic applications and modelling of complex data. Research group head acts as the member of the management committee and participates in two working groups (WG1: Complex and text data, WG5: Applications and transfer).
Kadri uurimisgrupp

From left Artjom Saia, Heili Hein, Jelena Matina, Simona Ferraro, Katriin Ranniku, Kadri Männasoo, Hakan Berber, Helery Tasane, Juan Carlos Cuestas

Economic performance: integration, governance and policy

Head of the research group: Professor Karsten Staehr, karsten.staehr@taltech.ee

Members: Natalia Levenko

Doctoral students: Katri Urke, Gerda Kirpson

Topics and competencies

Keywords: macroeconomics, international integration, international finance, public economics, economic governance

The research group investigate factors that affect economic performance in rapidly changing and interlinked economies. The group members seek to investigate contemporary policy challenges, to uncover key relationships at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels, and to devise policy measures to improve economic performance. Key areas include macroeconomic stability, international economic linkages, fiscal sustainability, inflation, expectations formation and financial stability.

The group members with a doctoral degree work individually, together with other members of the group, or with researchers outside the group. The research is typically empirical and with a clear applied focus. The research typically comprises contemporary econometric methodologies using data from public or proprietary sources. The competences of the group members are partly complementary as some focus on advanced econometric methodology, some on contemporary economic analysis, and some on policy-oriented studies.

The research group prioritises the supervision of doctoral candidates. The doctoral candidates work independently on their research projects, but they also cooperate with senior academic members of the research group.

Selected outstanding research results (published or accepted in 2022 or later):

Priority area: Future governance

Applied research: The research group members (Staehr, Levenko, Urke, Kirpson) are also affiliated with the Bank of Estonia and carry out analysis or applied research at this institution.

Finance and the Digital Economy: Financial Behaviour, Markets, and Competitiveness

Head of the research group: Associate Professor Laivi Laidroo, laivi.laidroo@taltech.ee; Tel +372 620 4056

Members: Karin Jõeveer, Mari Avarmaa, Kristjan Liivamägi, Tõnn Talpsepp, Enn Listra, Kalle Ahi

Doctoral students: Pavlo Illiashenko (defended 09.08.2023), Kaido Kepp, Triinu Tapver (defended 20.12.2022)

Topics and Competences

Keywords: FinTech, financial intermediation, digital economy, financial economics, behavioural finance

The research group seeks to contribute to the international academic literature that deals with contemporary topics in financial economics. Special attention is paid to the emerging topics related to the digitalisation in finance (e.g., crowdfunding, ICOs, cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, robo-advisory) as well as to the business models and ecosystems of FinTechs and sustainable finance. The research is also linked to the fields of industrial organisation and economic development, innovation, technological change and growth.

Traditional and behavioural finance theories are utilised to investigate topics related to corporate finance, household finance, financial markets, and banking with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the financial behaviour of individuals, firms and financial intermediaries, and the linkages between them (mainly in the European context). Interdisciplinary approach is used to address questions related to business, legal and technological aspects of green turn and digitalisation in finance and its economic impact for determining the factors needed for improving the competitiveness and performance of the national economies through the employment of suitable regulative measures.

Selected projects:

Participation in a network: COST Action - Fintech and Artificial Intelligence in Finance

Selected articles:

TalTech Academic Development Plan priority area: Innovative businesses and future governance

Applications in business, economics, society:
In co-operation with FinanceEstoniaga the second FinTech Report Estonia 2021 was prepared. It reflects the current status of the Estonian FinTech landscape and future outlook. Its results have been presented by different parties involved in the preparation of the report at events introducing the sector and it has also been covered in an article in a local business newspaper Äripäev.

Laivi uurimisrühm

From left Kristjan Liivamägi, Triinu Tapver, Pavlo Illiashenko, Laivi Laidroo, Karin Jõeveer, Mari Avarmaa, Kaido Kepp and Kalle Ahi.

Human capital, mental health and socio-economic inclusion for promoting sustainable development

Head of the research group: Professor Aaro Hazak, aaro.hazak@taltech.ee, +372 620 4050

Members: Merike Kukk, Tairi Rõõm, Simona Ferraro, Marit Rebane

Doctoral students: Miina Hõbenael, Vladislav Fjodorov, Helery Tasane (until PhD defence on 21 Dec 2023), Artjom Saia, Heili Hein, Liina Rebane

Visiting postdoctoral scholars (not employees; supervised by Aaro Hazak): Leonardo Ivarola (2019-2021); “Institutions and Social Behavior in Complex Systems”; PhD Buenos Aires University (Argentina),

Topics and Competences

Keywords: Institutions, sustainable economic development, efficiency, wellbeing, human capital, individual behaviour, mental health

The research group sought to investigate the links between health related, behavioural and institutional factors various and economic outcomes, which could have implications for sustainable socio-economic development. In particular, the relationship between mental health and economic performance, human capital endowment, socio-economic inclusion and inequality, efficient implementation of modern technologies and work regulation/practices are in focus of the studies, particularly in an interdisciplinary context. Also, sustainable development problems related to climate change were studied. The results may cast light to some possibly latent or underestimated reasons for development and wellbeing issues and for inefficiencies in human capital and modern technology use in economies.

Selected projects:

Selected articles:

Kukk, M., Meriküll, J., Rõõm, T. (2023). The Gender Wealth Gap in Europe: Application of Machine-Learning to Predict Individual-level Wealth. The Review of Income and Wealth, 69(2), 289-317. DOI:10.1111/roiw.12596

Tasane, H., Srun, S. (2023). The Institutional Environment, Human Capital Development, and Productivity-Enhancing Factors: Evidence from ASEAN Countries. TRaNS: Trans-Regional and-National Studies of Southeast Asia,1-16. DOI: 10.1017/trn.2022.13

Tapver, T. (2023). Luck and skill in the performance of global equity funds in Central and Eastern Europe. Managerial Finance, 49(4), 597-619. DOI: 10.1108/MF-01-2022-0051

Kukk, M. (2023). What are the triggers for arrears on debt over a business cycle? Evidence from panel data. International Journal of Finance Economics,28(3), 2811-2833. DOI: 10.1002/ijfe.2565.

Kukk, M.,van Raaij, W. F. (2022). Joint and individual savings within families: evidence from bank accounts. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 43, 511-533. DOI: 10.1007/s10834-021-09783-3.

Saia, A., Neshumayev, D., Hazak, A., Sander, P., Järvik, O., Konist, A. (2022). JTechno-economic assessment of CO2 capture possibilities for oil shale power plants. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,169, 112938. DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2022.112938.

Meriküll, J.; Kukk, M.; Rõõm, T. (2021). What explains the gender gap in wealth? Evidence from administrative data. Review of Economics of the Household,19, 501−547. DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09522-x.

Ferraro, S., Agasisti, T., Porcelli, F., & Soncin, M. (2021). Local governments’ efficiency and educational results: empirical evidence from Italian primary schools. Applied Economics, 53(35),4017-4039. DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2021.1896672

Mathä, T. Y; Millard, S.; Rõõm, T.; Wintr, L.; Wyszyński, R. (2021). Shocks and labour cost adjustment: evidence from a survey of European firms. Oxford Economic Papers, 73 (3), 1008-1033

TalTech Academic Development Plan priority area: Innovative SME-s and digital economy