Research Areas at ESOP

The research at ESOP is focused around four main areas:

Economic Policy

No one questions whether economics is influenced by politics; the question is the strength of this determinant.

Is the state able to control economic cycles?

Should monetary policy primarily be used to stabilize inflation?

At what level does one achieve efficient taxing?

Should the state play an active part in shaping the industries or is such intervention causing more harm than good?

Are Norwegian authorities able to make sovereign decisions in terms of economics and politics in the context of an increasingly globalized world order?

Growth and Development

Norway has in the past 50 years experienced significant economic growth and is today considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In other parts of the world, living standards have remained the same over hundreds of years.

What are the determinants of economic growth?

Why do some economies grow rapidly while others stagnate?

What is the relationship between political governance structure and economic growth?

Does foreign aid contribute towards reducing poverty or does it instead undermine development?

How does distribution of land affect economic development?

Income, Employment and Welfare

An individual’s living standard is not only determined by his or her income; other factors such as property rights and private and public welfare schemes play an important role.

Why is income unevenly distributed?

Are there systematic variations in salaries between men and women and between people of different ethnicities, and, if so, how significant are they?

What is the importance of labour unions and employers’ organisations for wages?

What causes unemployment? How does sick-pay schemes influence sick leave?

Will changes in pension legislation lead people to postpone retirement?

Resources, Energy and Environment

Our utilization of natural resources contributes to prosperity, but also to environmental degradation – which is a threat to future prosperity.

What are the costs associated with a reduction in emission of greenhouse gases?

Should emissions be subject to penalties or should they be banned?

What encourages the development of new, environmentally friendly forms of energy?

Should we produce as much oil as possible now or should we leave more for future generations?

Will the price of oil and gas increase in the future or will it decrease?

How do we make people save energy?