Research area

Public economics

Research in this area address effects of tax policy changes, government transfers and public service organisation. The effects on labour supply and income distribution are key issues in most studies. Statistical methods are applied to microdata to identify causal connections, whereas simulation models are applied to describe effects of changes in economic conditions.

Research fields

  • Economics of education

    Studies here look into the economic and social determinants of educational outcomes and how they affect educational performance. Issues explored include the impact on results of resources allocated to schools, intergenerational effects of education, relationship between education and economic growth, and effect of education on wages.

    Go to research field economics of education

  • Income distribution

    Distribution analysis facilitates an understanding of how economic factors and policy affect income and wealth distribution over time. Studies seek to explain income and wealth distribution variation, with a particular focus on economic poverty.

    Go to research field income distribution

  • Labour market

    In this area of research labour supply and demand are studied, along with their impact on i.a. wages and employment/unemployment. Studies address the significance of the tax system and of technological and institutional factors. Given the labour market’s importance to economic performance and to most people’s economy and living standards, there are several points in common with studies under other headings.

    Go to research field labour market

  • Local public finance

    This research field includes studies of local government behaviour, particularly spending and priorities relative to different services/social groups. At the individual level, studies address the distribution of municipal services in light of income and poverty distribution. Nationally, variations in local governments’ service provision over time, and their effect on municipal sector financing, are in focus.

    Go to research field local public finance

  • Pensions

    Research in this field addresses effects of demographic shifts and benefit system changes on individual pensions, government spending and income distribution. Behavioural effects are also taken into account. Studies generally apply a microsimulation model based on individual life history data. The results are fed into integrated analyses of the Norwegian economy and public finances.

    Go to research field pensions

  • Public finances in the long term

    Research in this area includes studies of the impact of changing demographics, tax, social security system and other welfare provisions on the macroeconomy and government revenue. Impact analysis relies heavily on empirical estimation models.

    Go to research field public finances in the long term

  • Taxes

    In this area of research, different forms of taxation including direct taxation of individual and businesses and indirect taxation of goods and services are studied. Microdata help identify causal links and microsimulation and general equilibrium models help determine the impact of changes. Studies show the welfare effect of taxation: taxes’ distributive implications and efficiency loss.

    Go to research field taxes

News about public economics

  • Future manpower needs in the health care sector

    Public finances in the long term


    The need for manpower in the health care sector is set to increase considerably going forward, particularly after 2020. Even without improvements in the standard of care, the need could double by 2060. With standard growth, the sector's share of total employment could be more than a third by 2060.

  • Homework and pupil achievement in Norway

    Economics of education


    A report by Marte Rønning shows that pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to spend no time on homework than pupils from higher socio-economic backgrounds. The report also shows a positive effect of homework on average. However, not all pupils seem to benefit from homework.