In 2019, the Ministry of Finance invited an international group of experts to evaluate the work of the VATT Institute for Economic Research. The evaluation task is divided into four sub-areas: the quality and amount of scientific research; effectiveness at society level; initiative-taking and success of VATT in acquiring external research funding; and international comparisons. As to social impact, the focus is on evaluating how successfully research and expert knowledge is disseminated. Visibility in public discussion is determined on the basis of a stakeholder survey where other Finnish financial research institutes provide the frames of reference. VATT’s ability to produce both high-level scientific research and expert information for the government’s political decision-making are studied by comparing VATT and the Swedish IFAU (Institutet för arbetsmarknads- och utbildningspolitisk utvärdering).
According to the evaluation, the research carried out by VATT is of high academic standards, reliable and, from the perspective of decision-making, focuses on significant phenomena. However, as to providing support to political decision-making such as preparing reforms and ex ante evaluation, VATT’s role and impact are weaker.