New powers to address health and well-being issues: Helsinki GSE's new professor starts at the University of Helsinki
"Torsten Santavirta significantly strengthens the teaching and research capacity in applied economics and health economics at Helsinki GSE. He examines in an unbiased and professional manner issues of social importance that economists rarely address,” said Hannu Vartiainen, Director of Education at Helsinki GSE.
Santavirta has applied economic methods to issues that have usually been reviewed in the public health literature. For example, he has done research on the health and well-being of war children, such as the intergenerational transmission of war trauma. In addition to health economics, he has researched the differences in social mobility between Reds and Whites in the run-up to the events of 1918 and the impact of disruptive students on the success of classmates at school. Santavirta has previously worked as an assistant professor at both Stockholm University and Uppsala University.
"Economics has a lot to offer within health and well-being. Applying economic methods to individual-level material, such as historical archives, register databases and survey interviews, can provide new answers and perspectives to questions that other social sciences or public health science, for example, also seek to understand. I am happy to continue my research on these issues. Finland is well-placed to carry out this kind of research thanks to high-quality material and a particularly good international research community,” said Santavirta of his appointment.
Santavirta's is a Swedish-language position, shared with the Swedish School of Social and Municipal Affairs at the University of Helsinki. Stiftelsen Tre Smeder and the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation have funded Santavirta’s professorship.
"Issues related to health and well-being are very current in Finland with regard to the social and healthcare reform and the ageing population. We have high expectations for Santavirta’s appointment,” said Marcus Rantala, Chairman of Stiftelsen Tre Smeder.
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Helsinki Graduate School of Economics is the joint Economics Department of Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, and University of Helsinki, whose mission is to educate, produce high-quality research and serve society – both nationally and internationally.