Annual Report 2016

BI's Departments

Department of Economics

The Department of Economics contributes to research-based teaching and knowledge development in socio-economic disciplines and methods at all levels.

Head of Department Espen Rasmus Moen
Head of Administration Kari-Mette Sætersdal

The Department works with topics related to labour market economics, international macroeconomics, business economics and competition policy, monetary and finance policy, environmental and energy economics, political economics, mathematics, statistics and econometrics.

Faculty in the Department publish much of their research in leading international academic journals and conduct regular studies commissioned by the public and private sectors. As much as 61,6 % of accepted articles in 2016 were published at level 2, the highest level according to the National Academic Council for Economics.

It is a pleasure to mention two publications at the top level:

  • Professor Christian Brinch and the article “Beyond LATE with a Discrete Instrument” with his co-authors M. Mogstad and M. Wiswall in Journal of Political Economy 
  • Associate Professor Plamen Nenov and his article "Endogenous Leverage and Advantageous Selection in Labor Markets”, which was accepted by Review of Financial Studies.

Research seminars are very important to the Department. Such seminars are held every week during a semester, and a number of world-leading researchers in disciplines relevant to the Department present their research. In particular, we would like to mention Professor Raquel Fernandez from New York University and James Snyder of Harvard University, who were some of our guests in 2016.


The Department houses four research centres

Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum Economics, CAMP, headed by Professor Hilde C. Bjørnland
In 2016, this Centre has organised two conferences with international, leading academics; it has produced nine Working Papers and has had accepted or published 11 articles in leading international journals. The Centre’s agreement on financing from Statoil was renewed for another five years in 2016, and the Research Council of Norway has also increased its support.

Centre for Monetary Economics, CME, headed by Professor Tommy Sveen
CME organises seminars that focus on monetary policy and macro-economics. In 2016, the Centre organised a total of seven seminars, with topics such as OECD’s country report on Norway, the German labour market miracle, the US presidential election and the report from the share interest committee. Each spring the Centre presents a report on implementation of monetary policy, commissioned by the Ministry of Finance. This year’s report was written by Chief Analyst Erik Bruce, Professor Nils Gottfries and Professor Kjell Erik Lommerud. In the autumn, the Governor of Norges Bank gave his annual CME speech. This time the topic was “A flexible inflation-targeted regime”, and for the first time the seminar took place at BI’s premises.

Centre for Research in Economics and Management, CREAM, headed by Professor Christian Riis
The Centre’s activity in 2016 focused on three main areas: Competition policy in dynamic markets, financed by the Norwegian Competition Authority; analyses of insurance and financing mechanisms when a natural disaster occurs – this is connected to a project financed by the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities; and finally, analysis of regulation and incentives in telecommunication markets.

Affiliated faculty are Tom-Reiel Heggedal, Espen R. Moen, Zongwei Lu and Christian Riis. External partners are Professor Richard Gilbert, UC Berkeley, for the project on competition economics; and Professor Hans Jacob Bull from the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo and Senior Researcher Cecilie Flyen from Sintef, for the project on insurance and financing mechanisms.

The Centre has had the following scientific publications in connection with its projects in 2016:

“An equilibrium characterization of an all-pay auction with certain and uncertain prizes”, Christian Riis, Games and Economic Behavior, 100 (2016), “Competitive on-the-job Search”, Espen R. Moen, Pietro Garibaldi and Dag Einar Sommervoll. Review of Economic Dynamics 19 (2016): 88-107.

“Inside Severance Pay”, Espen R. Moen, Tito Boeri and Pietro Garibaldi.  Journal of Public Economics 145 (2017), 211-225.

Centre for Experimental Studies and Research, CESAR, headed by Professor Leif Helland
This Centre is mainly financed with a Toppforsk grant (2016-2020) from the Research Council of Norway and BI. Topics are efficiency and negotiations. Researchers affiliated with the Centre have cooperation projects with researchers at e.g. Stockholm School of Economics, TU Dortmund, Hanken Business School, University of Bilbao, Haas Business School/UC Berkeley and the University of Oslo. At the end of 2016, the Centre accepted an assignment to evaluate Magnus Carlsen’s chess application (PlayMagnus) experimentally, to see whether using it would give better results in statistics and mathematics.

In 2016, the Centre organised the 11th Nordic Conference on Behavioral and Experimental Economics. About 90 papers were presented at this conference, while key-note addresses were delivered by Jean-Robert Tyran from the University of Vienna and by John Morgan from Haas Business School/UC Berkeley.


People and achievements

The Department has recruited several capable faculty members this year. Simon Galle and Alessia Russo were both hired as assistant professors. Galle did his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, while Russo did hers at the University of Bologna. She came to us from the University of Oslo, where she was a post-doc.

Associate Professor Ivar Gaasland joined BI’s Campus Bergen this autumn, coming from a corresponding position at the University of Bergen.

Seven new PhD students started with us in August 2016; three of them are connected with the CAMP Research Centre and one with CECAR and the Toppforsk project.

  • Associate Professor Pål Lauritzen won the Department’s internal prize for Lecturer of the Year.
  • Øyvind Nilsen Aas (now employed by Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Chen Qu (now employed by University of Nottingham) defended their doctoral theses in 2016.
  • Christian Brinch was appointed professor in the autumn of 2016.
  • Professor and Head of Department Espen R. Moen has been a member of the Government-appointed committee that was asked to assess how the sharing economy could lead to a more efficient use of resources. He was also Grainger Visitor at University of Wisconsin in the autumn of 2016.
  • Professor Espen R. Moen and Professor Christian Riis assisted Telenor Director Berit Svendsen with a presentation for ESA in Brussels.
  • Professor Hilde C. Bjørnland is a special advisor for the Research Department in Norges Bank and is a member of the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council and the Norwegian Ministry of Finance’s Model and Method Committee. In 2016 she was also part of a Government-appointed committee that assessed the stock portion of the Government Pension Fund Global (the Mork Committee).

This Department comprises a large and active academic community of a high international standard, both in terms of teaching and research, where excellent teaching and excellent research have the main focus.