Central fields of research in economics at the University of Helsinki include time series econometrics, game theory and applied microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics and public economics.

The goal of research in time series econometrics is to develop statistical methods applicable in modelling economic time series and to apply them in empirical economic research. At the University of Helsinki, the research has concentrated on models useful in examining the connections between the macroeconomy and financial markets, and they have been applied to aggregate macroeconomic time series, stock returns and interest rates, amongst other things.

Microeconomics studies the interaction between single agents and communities, for example markets. Typical research topics include consumer behaviour, pricing, competition, exploitation of market power, and company behaviour. The central method of microeconomic research, decision and game theory, takes into account the agents' strategic behaviour. At the University of Helsinki, game theory has been applied to problems involving bargaining, search and contracts as well as immaterial rights.

Macroeconomics comprises research on economic growth and business cycles. At the University of Helsinki, the former has focused on the effects of globalisation, environmental issues and labour market institutions on economic growth. Recent research on business cycles has focused on monetary and fiscal policy as well as on the role of the financial system in determining the cycles. Research on public economics has dealt with income distribution and socio-economic mobility.