MTT Economic Research

Helsinki, Finland

MTT Economic Research

Helsinki, Finland
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Leung B.,McGill University | Roura-Pascual N.,University of Girona | Roura-Pascual N.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia | Bacher S.,University of Fribourg | And 9 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2013

We address criticism that the Transport, Establishment, Abundance, Spread, Impact (TEASI) framework does not facilitate objective mapping of risk assessment methods nor defines best practice. We explain why TEASI is appropriate for mapping, despite inherent challenges, and how TEASI offers considerations for best practices, rather than suggesting one best practice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

Leung B.,McGill University | Roura-Pascual N.,University of Girona | Roura-Pascual N.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia | Bacher S.,University of Fribourg | And 9 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2012

Some alien species cause substantial impacts, yet most are innocuous. Given limited resources, forecasting risks from alien species will help prioritise management. Given that risk assessment (RA) approaches vary widely, a synthesis is timely to highlight best practices. We reviewed quantitative and scoring RAs, integrating > 300 publications into arguably the most rigorous quantitative RA framework currently existing, and mapping each study onto our framework, which combines Transport, Establishment, Abundance, Spread and Impact (TEASI). Quantitative models generally measured single risk components (78% of studies), often focusing on Establishment alone (79%). Although dominant in academia, quantitative RAs are underused in policy, and should be made more accessible. Accommodating heterogeneous limited data, combining across risk components, and developing generalised RAs across species, space and time without requiring new models for each species may increase attractiveness for policy applications. Comparatively, scoring approaches covered more risk components (50% examined > 3 components), with Impact being the most common component (87%), and have been widely applied in policy (> 57%), but primarily employed expert opinion. Our framework provides guidance for questions asked, combining scores and other improvements. Our risk framework need not be completely parameterised to be informative, but instead identifies opportunities for improvement in alien species RA. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Iho A.,MTT Economic Research | Lankoski J.,University of Helsinki | Ollikainen M.,University of Helsinki | Puustinen M.,Finnish Environment Institute | Lehtimaki J.,University of Turku
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics | Year: 2014

We examine environmental auctions on working agricultural lands. We organized a discriminatory auction where farmers were asked to make bids on spreading gypsum on their fields to reduce phosphorus loads to surface waters. The parcel-specific bids were ranked based on their load reduction-compensation ratios. To assess load reductions, we built an environmental benefit index (EBI) based on three factors: P-status of the soil (phosphorus available for crops), field slope and location with respect to waterways. As the per tonne price of gypsum delivery from the factory was higher for small quantities, the auction format allowed bundling of field parcels to reduce transportation costs. We evaluate auction's ability to target the environmental (or abatement) measures to field parcels with the highest load reduction potential and analyse the economic efficiency of the auction by comparing the pilot auction with simulated bidding behaviour and with hypothetical flat rate payment schemes. The pilot auction targeted the environmental measures effectively. It was also more efficient than a flat rate payment, even when the flat rate scheme was combined with an EBI eligibility criterion. © 2014 Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc.

Pouta E.,MTT Economic Research | Heikkila J.,MTT Economic Research | Forsman-Hugg S.,MTT Economic Research | Isoniemi M.,National Consumer Research Center | Makela J.,National Consumer Research Center
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2010

An increasing interest and concern among consumers in the ways in which food is produced has led to a need for differentiation in production methods in directions valued by consumers. In this study we used a choice experiment to analyse the importance of the production method, such as organic production and methods emphasising animal welfare or consumer health, and country of origin on the selection of broiler meat by Finnish consumers. The results revealed very strong positive perceptions of domestically produced broiler products. The effect of production method was significant but minor. Emphasising animal welfare in production particularly increased the probability of consumer choice. We also tested the effect of providing production information either in labels or verbally, and found that well-established labels have positive impacts whereas non-familiar labels may be counter-productive. Latent class analysis revealed the heterogeneity of consumer preferences, but did not facilitate the profiling of consumer groups based on socioeconomic data. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Sinisalo A.,MTT Economic Research | Niemi J.K.,MTT Economic Research | Heinonen M.,University of Helsinki | Valros A.,University of Helsinki
Livestock Science | Year: 2012

Tail biting is an important animal welfare problem that is known to negatively affect production performance. We studied how tail biting influences the production performance in fattening pigs. Production performance was measured as the average daily gain (ADG), gross feed conversion ratio (FCR), red meat percentage (Meat%). Pigs' genetic merit, gender and breed were taken into account in the analysis. In addition, differences between breeds and genders in the prevalence of tail biting were studied. The data were collected from a farm and they included individual records for 3190 pigs. Altogether, 11.4% pigs were identified as victims. Between boars, females and barrows there were not significant differences in the risk for being a tail biting victim. Yorkshire (Y) pigs were identified as victims more often than Landrace (L) pigs, 13.8% and 10.0%, respectively (p = 0.001). Non-victims had a greater ADG than victims (33.4. g/d difference in observed means but 10.8. g/d difference when adjusted to genetic merit). These values correspond to 1 to 3% reduction in ADG. By contrast, no significant differences between victims' and non-victims' FCR and Meat% were found. The results highlight the need to take into account genetics, breed and other factors affecting production performance when estimating the effects of a health disorder. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Heikkila J.,MTT Economic Research | Pouta E.,MTT Economic Research | Forsman-Hugg S.,MTT Economic Research | Makela J.,University of Helsinki
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2013

This study focused on the heterogeneity of consumer reactions, measured through poultry meat purchase intentions, when facing three cases of risk. The heterogeneity was analysed by latent class logistic regression that included all three risk cases. Approximately 60% of the respondents belonged to the group of production risk avoiders, in which the intention to purchase risk food was significantly lower than in the second group of risk neutrals. In addition to socio-demographic variables, the purchase intentions were statistically associated with several attitude-based variables. We highlighted some policy implications of the heterogeneity. Overall, the study demonstrated that risk matters to consumers, not all risk is equal, and consumer types react somewhat differently to different types of risk. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

In this article, our aim is to study the incidences of local differences in drunk driving reported to the police and to provide information about their local preventions. We analyzed the incidence of the drunk driving with a geographically weighted regression model (Geographically Weighted Regression, GWR). The model produced detailed local information on the occurrence of risk factors related to drunken driving. The local incidences of drunk driving were explained by the alcoholic sales, the use of antidepressants, unemployment and educational attainment. The results show that local prevention models could use the information of the GWR model to increase the efficiency of the drunk driving prevention.

Niemi J.K.,MTT Economic Research | Heikkila J.,MTT Economic Research
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2011

The participation of agricultural producers in financing losses caused by livestock epidemics has been debated in many countries. One of the issues raised is how reluctant producers are to participate voluntarily in the financing of disease losses before an outbreak occurs. This study contributes to the literature by examining whether disease losses should be financed through pre- or post-outbreak premiums or their combination. A Monte Carlo simulation was employed to illustrate the costs of financing two diseases of different profiles. The profiles differed in the probability in which the damage occurs and in the average damage per event. Three hypothetical financing schemes were compared based on their ability to reduce utility losses in the case of risk-neutral and risk-averse producer groups. The schemes were examined in a dynamic setting where premiums depended on the compensation history of the sector. If producers choose the preferred financing scheme based on utility losses, results suggest that the timing of the premiums, the transaction costs of the scheme, the degree of risk aversion of the producer, and the level and the volatility of premiums affect the choice of the financing scheme. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Heikkila J.,MTT Economic Research
Agricultural and Food Science | Year: 2011

Society's resources are scarce, and biosecurity actions need to be targeted and prioritised. Various models have been developed that prioritise and rank pests and diseases according to the risks they represent. A prioritisation model allows utilisation of scientific, ecological and economic information in decision-making related to biological hazards. This study discusses such models and the properties associated with them based on a review of 78 prioritisation studies. The scope of the models includes all aspects of biosecurity (human, animal and plant diseases, and invasive alien species), but with an emphasis on plant health. The geographical locations of the studies are primarily North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Half of the studies were conducted during the past five years. The review finds that there generally seems to be several prioritisation models, especially in the case of invasive plants, but only a select few models are used extensively. Impacts are often accounted for in the model, but the extent and economic sophistication of their inclusion varies. Treatment of uncertainty and feasibility of control was lacking from many studies. © Agricultural and Food Science.

Heikkila J.,MTT Economic Research
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2011

Biosecurity is a concept that has important economic, social, ecological and health-related dimensions. By biosecurity we mean protection of production, ecosystems, health and the social infrastructure from external threats caused by pests, pathogens and diseases of various forms and origins. The fact that more goods, transport platforms and people are moving around the globe at increasing speeds provides unforeseen possibilities for rapid spread of different types of organisms. This is exacerbated by changes in the production structures and climate. As a result, both the benefits and the risks of changes in the food system cross borders more often, leading to an increased demand for biosecurity policies. Economics can be related to biosecurity in at least three fundamental ways. First, many of the ultimate or proximate causes of bioinvasions create economic welfare. Second, bioinvasions result in various types of impacts, many of which are economic by nature - or at least may be measured in economic terms. Third, the negative impacts of invasions or their probability of occurrence can often be either avoided or reduced. These biosecurity policies themselves have economic implications, which often may be quite different from those caused by the biological hazard itself. A few reviews of separate components of economics of biosecurity exist, but there have been no attempts to review the big picture. Instead, the previous reviews have concentrated on different components of biosecurity such as invasive species or animal diseases. Our aim is to look at the issue in broad terms, draw some commonalities from the research conducted, and identify areas in which economic analyses have primarily been conducted and in which areas there remains work to do. The review includes about 230 studies from all areas of biosecurity up to the year 2008. The review finds that study of economics of biosecurity is growing steadily, but is still relatively concentrated on narrow questions, few countries, few species/diseases and few journals. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2010.

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