Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation Science Award to two doctors of development economics with long careers

Ritva Reinikka and Pertti Haaparanta share the Lifetime Achievement Award
Taloustieteilijät Pertti Haaparanta ja Ritva Reinikka (kuvat: Vilja Pursiainen ja Heikki Tuuli)
Pertti Haaparanta and Ritva Reinikka. Photos: Vilja Pursiainen and Heikki Tuuli

In 2022, the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation's Science Award was received by two experienced and recognised doctors of economics. The recipients Ritva Reinikka and Pertti Haaparanta are both long-term researchers and experts in development economics and development policy. The Lifetime Achievement Award is worth €20 000. It was handed out at a banquet on Friday 16 December.

Ritva Reinikka has worked for two decades at the World Bank, for example as a country leader and a sector leader. Reinikka has overseen issues related to Africa in particular. In addition, she has worked for the UN children's agency UNICEF, at Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business. Reinikka earner her doctorate in economics at the University of Oxford in 1993.

‘It’s a great pleasure to receive the award, especially with Pertti Haaparanta, who, as a young Yale doctor returning to Finland, helped me kickstart my career. Pertti has also done a lot for development issues in Finland.’

Pertti Haaparanta's research has focused on development economics, among other things. He has also studied the effects of globalisation. Haaparanta is an Emeritus Professor at the Aalto University School of Business and also served as a member of the EMU expert group. He earned his doctorate at Yale University in 1986.

‘I'm extremely flattered to receive the award, as in a sense, it's from the entire group of Finnish researchers in economics. I'm especially glad to share it with Ritva Reinikka, as I’ve learned a lot from her about the state of developing countries and development research as well as the difficulties of development policy,’ Haaparanta commends.

Africa's importance and opportunities will only grow in the future

According to Haaparanta, the eradication of poverty remains one of the key issues of our time. Various development cooperations have not managed to decrease poverty as much as Western countries might have expected and hoped for.

‘We now know that the history of poor countries, especially the colonial times, has had a major impact on poverty and its persistence. With this in mind, perhaps the so-called West and the poor countries can work together and find measures to eradicate poverty. This is all the more important now that climate problems are being tackled. No country can solve the problem alone,’ Haaparanta points out.

Reinikka points out that development economics has been on quite the rise around the world in recent decades. It has also received two Nobel Prizes in 2015 and 2019. According to her, it is important to focus on major issues in the future, such as the role of institutions in development, sustainable economic growth and education.

'The population of Africa will triple in this millennium, so economic cooperation and creating opportunities in Africa will be key issues of the future, especially for Europe.’

Additional information: 
Elli Dahl
Managing Director at Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation
+358 50 3270 831
[email protected]

Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation is one of the most significant supporters of economics in Finland. The Science Award is awarded every other year. The private foundation established in 1954 by Hilma Jahnsson has focused on promoting Finnish research in economics, health and medicine. To this day, it has committed approximately €88 million to support science. The Science Award can be awarded to individuals, research groups or institutions.

The news was originally published on Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation's website. 

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