This research programme was concerned with the economic crisis that hit Finland in the 1990s as an economic, political, social and cultural phenomenon. The results were expected to provide useful information for decision-makers.
The main focus in the programme was on the recent history of Finnish business and industry, which presented researchers with an extremely interesting case. Until the late 1980s the Finnish economy showed exceptionally steady development. When this period of sustained growth came to an end, output and employment declined in 1991-1993 more dramatically than in any other industrial country since the Second World War. The country's GDP decreased in real terms by 11.5 per cent.
The research projects in this programme addressed the following questions: Was the recession that hit Finland merely an unfortunate coming together of historical coincidences or an outcome of structural problems that had been brewing for a longer period of time? Did the recession leave any permanent scars on the Finnish economy? How does the picture that is drawn in the mass media of recession affect people's expectations and world-view? How does recession affect people's mental and physical well-being?
This programme explored the causes, events and consequences of the economic crisis in Finland in the early 1990s from the point of view of several different disciplines. Projects comprised both historical analyses and international comparisons. Data were collected from public corporations, business companies and from private households, using both documented sources and people's recent experiences.
The projects in the programme looked into the effects of the recession on the following themes: the tasks and responsibilities of the public sector and the political system, the welfare policy of the Nordic model, changes in the workplace, households and people's values and attitudes, changes in the business environment and the adaptation of action strategies.
The programme comprised 25 projects involving some 90 researchers in the following organisations: the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Tampere and Turku, the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA, the Labour Institute for Economic Research, the Pellervo Economic Research Institute, the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health Stakes and the Government Institute for Economic Research VATT.
The research programme was funded by the Academy of Finland and it had a budget of EUR 4.2 million.
The research programme was coordinated by coordinator Jaakko Kiander, Government Institute for Economic Research VATT, Helsinki.