Phd student at BI wins prestigious Norges Bank award

8 February 2018

Vegard Høghaug Larsen at BI’s Department of Economics won Norges Bank’s price for best macroeconomic paper with his «Drivers of the Business Cycle: Oil, News and Uncertainty. »

The winner is judged by a committee consisting of two foreign professor level economists, and according to the central bank the paper must be related to macroeconomics interpreted widely.

- I am very pleased to win this award. In parts of my paper I have used untraditional methods and data for my analysis, and it’s fun to see that this is acknowledged, says Vegard Høghaug Larsen.

Larsen’s paper evaluates oil price, news and uncertainty as potential drivers for business cycles. He uses oil prices for the U.S economy, while news and uncertainty are studied in a Norwegian context.

-It’s easy to quantify the price of oil, but it is not that simple when it comes to news and uncertainty. To measure the “level” of news and uncertainty I have used text data from news articles. Text data is classified by using machine learning techniques and I have further reduced the information into time series, says Larsen who finds that oil price, news and uncertainty all have significant impact on business cycles.

Vegard Høghaug Larsen is the first candidate from the Norwegian Business School to win the price, according to Norges Bank’s price data ranging from 1999-2017.

Facts about the price:

Norges Bank’s fund to economic research awards a price of 50.000 Norwegian crowns for best PHD-paper within macroeconomics. The price is awarded every third year.

To be considered, papers must be handed in at Norwegian University or college, or by a Norwegian citizen at an international school.

The fund is run by a board consisting of five persons, which in the period 2017 to 2019 are:

  • Researcher I Brita Bye, Statistics Norway (leader)
  • Associated professor Sissel Jensen, Norwegian School of Economics
  • Associated professor Jo Thori Lind, University of Oslo
  • Professor Dagfinn Rime, BI Norwegian Business School
  • Special advisor Kjersti-Gro Lindquist, Norges Bank (secretary)
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