Economic Dynamics and Changes in Values and Attitudes among Finnish Regions: A Descriptive Analysis
Finland is characterized by a substantial heterogeneity across its regions. Key economic indicators, such as the GDP per capita and the unemployment rate, vary widely for different areas, with Uusimaa, the region where Helsinki is located, being significantly richer than regions such as Kainuu and Savo. This heterogeneity, however, has not been stable over time. We find that many important indicators, namely the GDP per capita, the unemployment rate and real wages and salaries per employee, have been converging across regions over the years going from 2000 to 2014. Moreover, we examine regional values and attitudes, using surveys from the Finnish Business and Policy Forum, and find that there has been a strong regional convergence in terms of trust in political parties and in the EU. In particular, we find that the trust in these institutions has increased more in regions where there was a more negative attitude toward parties and the EU during the initial years of our analysis. On the other hand, we do not find a significant convergence with respect to the attitude towards immigration.