Faculty Profile

Espen Rasmus Moen

Head of Department, Professor - Department of Economics


My personal homepage

I am a Professor of Economics at BI Norwegian Business School. I hold a Ph.D in Economics from the London School of Economics, where I also was employed as Lecturer.  In the academic year 2004-2005 I was visiting professor at Northwestern University. From 2011-2016 I was non-voting member of the board of Norges Bank, which is also the board of the Government pension fund (NBIM).

My area of research is mostly within economic theory, with applications mainly to labor economics and industrial organization. I have also done empirical works within labor economics.  I have published in leading journals like the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economic Studies, and American Economic Review. I am Research Fellow at the CEPR (Center for Economic Policy Research), and Fellow of the European Economic Association. In 2011 I was Scientific Chairman for the EEA annual congress in Oslo. I am also associated editor (previously editor) of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics and partner in the consulting firm Oeconomica. 

I have undertaken projects within several different industries, including telecommunication, agriculture, energy and housing. I have testified in court as an expert witness on a number of occasions, for the Supreme court in 2014.

Research areas
My research interests can broadly be categorized as follows:

Economic theory
* Competitive markets (general equilibrium) with search frictions. With applications to equilibrium unemployment theory and the theory of human capital.
* Labor contracts in general equilibrium. With applications to macroeconomics (explaining fluctuations), equilibrium unemployment, industry structure and public economics.
*Topics in industrial economics and political economy: Regulation, Anti-trust, Network externalities, ownership structure, and voter behavior.

Applied economics:

*Competition policy and regulation. I have analyzed a large number of industries in Norway: the telecommunication industry, electricity production and distribution, the dairy industry, the publishing industry, public housing etc.
*Economic (litigation) consulting. I have broad experience from a number of cases at all levels of the Norwegian court system.
* Macroeconomic analysis.
* Optimal ownership structure.
* Long-term public finance (advisor to the Treasury spring 2004).

Teaching areas:
As department chair I have limited teaching responsibilities, but I am responsible for DRE 7005 Topics in Search Theory.


Boeri, Tito; Garibaldi, Pietro & Moen, Espen Rasmus (2018)

Financial constraints in search equilibrium: Mortensen Pissarides meet Holmstrom and Tirole

Labour Economics, 50, s. 144- 155. Doi: 10.1016/j.labeco.2017.06.003

Moen, Espen Rasmus & Riis, Christian (2017)

Regulating the Norwegian Telecommunications Market in 2016: How Much is Necessary?

Bjørndal, Mette Helene; Gjesdal, Frøystein & Mjøs, Aksel (red.). Finance in Society: An Anthology in Honour of Thore Johnsen

Boeri, Tito; Garibaldi, Pietro & Moen, Espen Rasmus (2017)

Inside severance pay

Journal of Public Economics, 145, s. 211- 225. Doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.11.003

All OECD countries have either legally mandated severance pay or compensations imposed by industry-level bargaining in case of employer initiated job separations. The paper shows that mandatory severance is optimal in presence of wage deferrals induced by workers' moral hazard. We also establish a link between optimal severance and efficiency of the legal system and characterize the effects of shifting the burden of proof from the employer to the worker. Quantitatively, the welfare effects of suboptimal severance payments vary in general equilibrium between 1 and 3 %. The model accounts also for two neglected features of the legislation. The first is the discretion of judges in declaring the nature, economic vs. disciplinary, of the layoff. The second feature regards the relationship between severance and tenure. Our theory gives necessary conditions under which optimal severance is increasing with tenure, as generally observed.

Helland, Leif; Moen, Espen Rasmus & Preugschat, Edgar (2017)

Information and coordination frictions in experimental posted offer markets

Journal of Economic Theory, 167, s. 53- 74. Doi: 10.1016/j.jet.2016.09.007

Heggedal, Tom-Reiel; Moen, Espen Rasmus & Preugschat, Edgar (2017)

Productivity spillovers through labor mobility in search equilibrium

Journal of Economic Theory, 169, s. 551- 602. Doi: 10.1016/j.jet.2017.03.003

Johnsen, Thore; Holden, Steinar & Moen, Espen Rasmus (2016)

Valg av kapitaliseringsrente i erstatningssaker

Samfunnsøkonomen, s. 18- 32.

Garibaldi, Pietro; Moen, Espen Rasmus & Sommervoll, Dag Einar (2016)

Competitive on-the-job search

Review of economic dynamics (Print), 19, s. 88- 107. Doi: 10.1016/j.red.2015.10.001

Moen, Espen R & Rosen, Åsa Maria (2013)


Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(6), s. 1404- 1431. Doi: 10.1111/jeea.12066

Dalen, Dag Morten & Moen, Espen R (2012)

Ownership and Cost-Sharing Contracts

Australian Economic Papers, 51(3), s. 134- 146. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8454.2012.00428.x

Moen, Espen R & Rosén, Åsa (2011)

Incentives in Competitive Search Equilibrium

The Review of Economic Studies, 78(2), s. 733- 761. Doi: 10.1093/restud/rdq011

Berglann, Helge; Moen, Espen R, Røed, Knut & Skogstrøm, Jens Fredrik Baumgarten (2011)

Entrepreneurship: Origins and returns

Labour Economics, 18(2), s. 180- 193. Doi: 10.1016/j.labeco.2010.10.002

We examine the origins and outcome of entrepreneurship on the basis of exceptionally comprehensive Norwegian matched worker–firm–owner data. In contrast to most existing studies, our notion of entrepreneurship not only comprises self-employment, but also employment in partly self-owned limited liability companies. Based on this extended entrepreneurship concept, we find that entrepreneurship tends to be profitable. It also raises income variability, but the most successful quartile gains much more than the least successful quartile loses. Key determinants of the decision to become an entrepreneur are occupational qualifications, family resources, gender, and work environments. Individual unemployment encourages, while aggregate unemployment discourages, entrepreneurship.

Menzio, Guido & Moen, Espen R. (2010)

Worker replacement

Journal of Monetary Economics, 57(6), s. 623- 636. Doi: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2010.05.015

Garibaldi, Pietro & Moen, Espen R. (2010)

Job-to-Job Movements in a Simple Search Model

The American Economic Review, 100(2), s. 343- 347.

Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian (2010)

Policy Reversal

The American Economic Review, 100(3), s. 1261- 1268. Doi: 10.1257/aer.100.3.1261

Moen, Espen R. & Rosen, Åsa (2006)

Equilibrium incentive contracts and efficiency wages

Journal of the European Economic Association, 4, s. 1165- 1192.

We analyze the optimal (efficiency) wage contract when output is contractible but firms neither observe the workers' effort nor their match-specific productivity. Firms offer wage contracts that optimally trade off effort and wage costs. As a result, employed workers enjoy rents, which in turn creates unemployment. Nonetheless, the incentive power of the equilibrium wage contract is constrained efficient in the absence of taxes and unemployment benefits. We also show that more high-powered incentive contracts tend to be associated with higher equilibrium unemployment rates.

Fjeldstad, Øystein; Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian (2006)

Regulation and competition in the Norwegian telecommunication market

Competition and Welfare: The Norwegian Experience, Lars Sørgaard (ed)

Dalen, Dag Morten; Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian (2006)

Contract renewal and incentives in public procurement

International Journal of Industrial Organization, 24(2), s. 269- 285.

This paper explores how the government's choice of renewal policy in public procurement programs can be used as a mechanism to provide firms with incentives to supply quality. A public service is produced by several firms. The firms participate in a tournament where they are ranked according to the quality of their services, and rewarded in terms of contract renewals. We analyse the firms' incentives to produce high-quality services, and find that they are maximised if 50% of the contracts are renewed. The optimal renewal policy trades off incentive provision (which requires that a relatively large fraction of the firms are replaced each period) against the entry costs of new firms. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Moen, Espen R. & Rosen, Åsa (2005)

Performance pay and adverse selection

The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 107(2), s. 279- 298.

It is well known in personnel economics that firms may improve the quality of their workforce by offering performance pay. We analyze an equilibrium model where worker productivity is private information and show that the firms' gain from worker self-selection may not be matched by a corresponding social gain. In particular, the equilibrium incentive contracts are excessively high-powered, thereby inducing the more productive workers to exert too much effort and increasing agency costs stemming from the misallocation of effort.

Moen, Espen R. & Rosen, Åsa (2004)

Does Poaching Distort Training

?, 71(4), s. 1143- 1162.

Moen, Espen R. (2003)

Do Good Workers Hurt Bad Workers-or is it the Other Way Around?

International Economic Review, 44, s. 779- 799.

Dalen, Dag Morten; Fehr, Nils-H. M. Von der & Moen, Espen R. (2003)

Regulation with Wage Bargaining

Economic Journal, 113(487), s. 525- 538.

Golombek, Rolf & Moen, Espen R. (2002)

Do negotiated agreements lead to cost efficiency

Journal of Economics, 76(2)

Moen, Espen R. (2001)

Hva skal vi gjøre med SDØE?

Økonomisk forum, 55(5), s. 29- 34.

Dalen, Dag Morten; Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian (2001)

Public Ownership as a Signalling Device

Nordic Journal of Political Economy, 27(1), s. 3- 12.

Golombek, Rolf & Moen, Espen (1999)

Er frivillige avtaler kostnadseffektive?


Moen, Espen (1999)

Education, Ranking, and Competition for Jobs

Journal of Labor Economics, vol 17, s. 694- 723.

Isachsen, Arne Jon & Moen, Espen (1999)

Er eurotilknytning så ille? Tiden baner veien for euro i Norge


Moen, Espen R. & Riis, Christian (1998)

Investeringer i kunnskap

Markeder, ressurser og fordeling

Moen, Espen R. (1998)

Efficient Ways to Finance Human Capital Investments

Economica, 65, s. 491- 505.

Riis, Christian & Moen, Espen Rasmus (2017)

Skattelette? Hvilken skattelette?

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Moen, Espen Rasmus & Torvik, Ragnar (2017)

Oljefondet ut av oljeaksjer

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Gabrielsen, Tommy Staahl & Moen, Espen Rasmus (2017)

Deling åpner for ny verdiskapning

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Bjørnland, Hilde C & Moen, Espen R (2011)

Oljens Ringvirkninger

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Holden, Steinar & Moen, Espen R (2009)

Se opp for likviditetsfellen!

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Moen, Espen Rasmus; Nenov, Plamen & Sniekers, Florian (2015)

Eerst kopen of eerst verkopen op de woningmarkt

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Economisch Statistische Berichten, 100(4706), s. 166- 169.

Moen, Espen Rasmus; Nenov, Plamen & Sniekers, Florian (2015)

Buying first or selling first in housing markets

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. http://www.voxeu.org/

Moen, Espen R (2011)

Nobel prize in economics 2010

[Academic lecture]. EEA annual meeting, introduction to special session on the nobel prize in 2010.

Moen, Espen R (2011)

On-the-job search and moral hazard

[Academic lecture]. Search and matching network (SAM) inagural conference.

Moen, Espen R (2011)

On-the-job search and moral hazard

[Academic lecture]. Society for economic dynamics annual meeting, invited session.

Riis, Christian & Moen, Espen R (2011)

Moderne mikroøkonomi

[Textbook]. Gyldendal Akademisk.

Moen, Espen R (2011)

Hvorfor faller ikkke lønningene mer i nedgangstider?

[Popular scientific article]. Samfunnsøkonomen, 125(11), s. 30- 31.

Moen, Espen R (2010)

Competitive on-the-job search

[Academic lecture]. Third Oslo-Århus meeting.

Moen, Espen R (2010)

Competitive on-the-job search

[Academic lecture]. European Economic Association annual meeting.

Moen, Espen R (2010)

Hidden Markets

[Academic lecture]. Economic Decisions related to search and matching.

Moen, Espen R (2010)

Taking competitive search to data

[Academic lecture]. Conference on Matched Employer-Employee Data: Developments since AKM.

Moen, Espen R (2010)

Competitive on-the-job search

[Academic lecture]. Society for Economic Dynamics annual meeting.

Riis, Christian & Moen, Espen R. (2010)

Moderne mikroøkonomi - kompendieutgave

[Textbook]. Gyldendal Akademisk.

Moen, Espen R (2008)

Industry dynamics and search in the labor market

[Academic lecture]. Stabsseminar.

Moen, Espen R (2008)

Industry dynamics and search in the labor market

[Academic lecture]. NBER summer institute.

Moen, Espen R (2008)

Industry dynamics and search in the labor market

[Academic lecture]. SOLE (society for labor economists annual meeting),.

Moen, Espen R (2008)

Industry dynamics and search in the labor market

[Academic lecture]. SED (Society for Economic Dynamics annual meeting).

Moen, Espen R (2008)

Industry dynamics and search in the labor market

[Academic lecture]. EEA (European Economic Association annual meeting).

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
1995 London School of Economics Ph.D Dr. Oecon.
1991 University of Oslo Master Cand. Oecon
1995 London School of Economics Ph.D Dr. Oecon.
1991 University of Oslo Master Cand. Oecon
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2011 - Present BI Norwegian Business School, Department of Economics Head of Department
2008 - Present University of Oslo, Department of Economics Adjunct professor
2006 - Present Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREAM) Director
2003 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Professor
2012 - 2016 Norges Bank Non-voting board member
2014 - 2015 University of Oslo Professor
1998 - 2003 BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor
1996 - 1998 Institute for Mathematics, University of Oslo Adjunct associate professor
1995 - 1998 SNF (Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration) -University of Oslo, Research Economist
1994 - 1995 London School of Economics Lecturer
1991 - 1994 University of Oslo Research Fellow
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