134 Economics Thesis Topics: Ideas for Outstanding Writing
Writing a thesis is not an easy task. For most of the students, it can be even intimidating, especially when you do not know where to start your research.
Here, we have provided an economics thesis topics list. After all, everyone knows that choosing the right idea is crucial when writing an academic paper. In economics, it can combine history, math, social studies, politics, and numerous other subjects. You should also have solid foundations and a sound factual basis for a thesis. Without these elements, you won’t be able to master your research paper.
The issue is:
It is not always clear what could be seen as an excellent economics thesis topic. Our experts can assist you with this challenge. This list contains some outstanding examples to get you started.
- ⭐ Thesis in Economics
- 🔥 Supreme Thesis Topics
- 👍 Bachelor’s Thesis
- 😲 Master’s Thesis
- 🤔 Developmental
- 👨💼 Behavioral
- 💼 Financial
- 🌱 Agricultural
- 🤝 Sociology
- 📚 Ph.D. Topics
- 📝 How to Pick a Topic
⭐ What Does a Thesis in Economics Look Like?
A good thesis in economics is a blend between an empirical paper and a theoretical one. One of the essential steps in choosing a topic in economics is to decide which one you will write.
You may write, research, analyze statistical data and other information. Or build and study a specific economic model.
Or why not both!
Here are some questions you can ask when deciding what topic to choose:
- What has already been written on this topic?
- What economic variables will my paper study?
- Where should I look for the data?
- What econometrics techniques should I use?
- What type of model will I study?
The best way to understand what type of research you have to do is to write a thesis proposal. You will most probably be required to submit it anyway. Your thesis supervisor will examine your ideas, methods, list of secondary and primary sources. At some universities, the proposal will be graded.
After you get the initial feedback, you will have a clear idea of what to adjust before writing your thesis. Only then, you’ll be able to start.
🔥 Supreme Economics Thesis Topics List
- Fast fashion in India.
- The UK housing prices.
- Brexit and European trade.
- Behavioral economics.
- Healthcare macroeconomics.
- COVID-19’s economic impact.
- Global gender wage gap.
- Commodity dependence in Africa.
- International trade – developing countries.
- Climate change and business development.
👍 Economics Bachelor’s Thesis Topics
At the U.S. Universities, an undergraduate thesis is very uncommon. However, it depends on the Department Policy.
The biggest challenge with the Bachelor’s Thesis in economics concerns its originality. Even though you are not required to conduct entirely unique research, you have to lack redundant ideas.
You can easily avoid making this mistake by simply choosing one of these topics. Also, consider visiting IvyPanda essays database. It’s a perfect palce to conduct a brainstorming session and come up with fresh ideas for a paper, as well as get tons of inspiration.
- The impact of the oil industry on the economic development of Nigeria. The oil industry is vital for the economic development of Nigeria. In this thesis, students can discuss the notion of the resource curse. Analyze the reasons why general people are not benefiting from the oil industry. Why did it produce very little change in the social and economic growth of the country?
- Sports Marketing and Advertising: the impact it has on the consumers.
- Economic opportunities and challenges of investing in Kenya .
- Economic Development in the Tourism Industry in Africa. Since the early 1990s, tourism significantly contributed to the economic growth of African countries. In this thesis, students can talk about the characteristics of the tourist sector in Africa. Or elaborate on specific countries and how their national development plans look like.
- Globalization and its significance to business worldwide .
- Economic risks connected to investing in Turkey .
- The decline in employment rates as the biggest American economy challenge .
- The economics of alcohol abuse problems. In this thesis, students can develop several essential issues. First, they can examine how poverty is connected to alcohol abuse. Second, they can see the link between alcohol consumption and productivity. To sum up, students can elaborate on the economic costs of alcohol abuse.
- Causes and solutions for unemployment in Great Britain.
- Parallel perspective on Global Economic Order: China and America. This thesis can bring a comparative analysis of the economies to a new level. China and The US are the world’s two largest economies. These two countries have a significant impact on the global economic order. So, looking at the set of institutions, policies, rules can be constructive.
- The new international economic order after COVID-19
- Financial stability of the banking sector in China.
- New Electronic Payment Services in Russia.
- The influence of culture on different entrepreneurial behaviors.
- The impact of natural cultural practices on entrepreneurial activity.
- The relationships between national culture and individual behavior.
- The main reasons for salary inequalities in different parts of the U.S.
😲 Economics Master’s Thesis Topics
Student life can be fascinating, but it comes with its challenges. One of which is selecting your Master’s thesis topic.
Here is a list of topics for a Master’s thesis in economics. Are you pursuing MPhil in Economics and writing a thesis? Use the following ideas as an inspiration for that. They can also be helpful if you are working on a Master’s thesis in financial economics.
- The impact of visual aid in teaching home economics.
- The effect of income changes in consumer behaviors in America.
- Forces behind socio-economic inequalities in the United States. This thesis can explore three critical factors for socio-economic differences in the United States. In the past 30 years, social disparities increased in the United States. Some of the main reasons are technology, trade, and institutions.
- The relationships between economic growth and international development.
- Technological innovations and their influence on green and environmental products.
- The economics of non-solar renewable energy .
- The economic consequences of terrorism . Terrorism not only takes away lives and destroys property but also widely affects the economy. It creates uncertainty in the market, increases insurance claims, slows down investment projects, and tourism. This thesis can address all of the ways in which terrorism can affect economies.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) implementation in the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa.
- Use of incentives in behavioral economics.
- Economic opportunities and challenges of sustainable communities .
- Economics of nuclear power plants.
- Aid and financial help for emerging markets. This topic is very versatile. Students can look at both the positive and the adverse effects that funding has on the development. There are plenty of excellent examples. Besides, some theories call international help a form of neocolonialism.
- Multinational firms impact on economic growth in America .
- The effect of natural disasters on economic development in Asia.
- The influence of globalization on emerging markets and economic development.
📑 More Economics Thesis Topics: Theme
For some students, it makes more sense to center their search around a certain subject. Sometimes you have an econ area that interests you. You may have an idea about what you want to write, but you did not decide what it will be.
If that’s the case with you, then these economics thesis topics ideas are for you.
- An analysis of the energy market in Russia.
- The impact of game theory on economic development.
- The connection between minimum wage and market equilibrium.
- Gender differences in the labor market in the United States. This topic can shed light on gender differences in the labor market in the United States. In the past years, the overall inequality in labor in the markets decreased. However, there is still a lot of work that can be done.
- Economic reasons that influence the prices of oil .
- Relationship between the Lorenz curve and the Gini coefficient.
- Challenges of small businesses in the market economy.
- The changes in oil prices: causes and solutions . Universal economic principles do not always apply to the sale and purchase of the oil. The same happens with its cost. In the thesis, talk about what affects the prices. What are the solutions that can be implemented?
- The economic analysis of the impact of immigration on the American economy.
- Economic inequality as a result of globalization . Economic inequality becomes even more apparent on the global level. There is a common belief that globalization is the cause of that. Discuss what can be the solutions to these problems. This topic is vital to minimize the gap between the rich and the poor.
- The economic explanation of political dishonesty .
- Effect of Increasing Interest rates costs in Africa .
- The connection between game theory and microeconomics.
- Marketing uses in microeconomics.
- Financial liability in human-made environmental disasters.
- Banks and their role in the economy. Banks are crucial elements of any economy, and this topic covers why. You can explain how banks allow the goods and services to be exchanged. Talk about why banks are so essential for economic growth and stability.
- Inflation in the US and ways to reduce its impact.
- The connection between politics and economics.
- Income Dynamics and demographic economics.
- US Market Liquidity and macroeconomics.
- Macroeconomics and self-correction of the economy .
- The American economy, monetary policy, and monopolies .
- The importance of control in macroeconomics. One of the central topics in macroeconomics is grouped around the issue of control. It is quite reasonable that control over money and resources should become a topic of discussion.
- Analysis of Africa’s macroeconomics and its performance.
- Economics of education in developing markets.
- Problems and possible solutions for Japan macroeconomics .
- Comparative analysis of British macroeconomics concerning the US .
- Public policies and socio-economic disparities.
- The world problems through macroeconomic analysis. Indeed, macroeconomics is very complicated. There are many influences, details, and intricacies in it. However, it allows economists to use this complex set of tools to examine the world’s leading problems today.
- The connection between employment interest and money.
🤔 Development Economics
- Economics of development . This topic is very rich in content. First, explain what it is. Then pay particular attention to domestic and international policies that affect development, income distribution, and economic growth.
- The relation between development and incentive for migration.
- The impact of natural disasters on the economy and political stability of emerging markets.
- The economic consequences of population growth in developing countries.
- The role of industrialization in developing countries . The industrialization has been connected with the development. It promotes capital formation and catalyzes economic growth in emerging markets. In this thesis, you can talk about this correlation.
- Latin American economic development.
- Gender inequality and socio-economic development .
- Problems of tax and taxation in connection with economic growth.
- The economic impact of terrorism on developing markets.
- Religious decline as a key to economic development. Not everyone knows, but a lot of research has been done in the past years on the topic. It argues that decreased religious activity is connected with increased economic growth. This topic is quite controversial. Students who decide to write about it should be extra careful and polite.
👨💼 Behavioral Economics
- Risk Preferences in Rural South Africa.
- Behavioral Economics and Finance .
- Applied behavioral economics in marketing strategies. If you want to focus your attention on marketing, this topic is for you. Behavioral economics provides a peculiar lens to look at marketing strategies. It allows marketers to identify common behaviors and adapt their marketing strategies.
- The impact of behavioral finance on investment decisions.
- Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs in North Texas.
- Guidelines for Behavioral Economics in Healthcare Sector.
- Cognitive and behavioral theories in economics .
- Cross-cultural consumer behavior and marketing communication. Consumers are not only affected by personal characteristics, but also by the culture they are living in. This topic focuses on the extent it should determine marketing strategy and communication.
- Behavior implications of wealth and inequality.
- Optimism and pessimism for future behavior.
💼 Financial Economics
- Financial Economics for Infrastructure and Fiscal Policy .
- The use of the economic concept of human capital. Students can focus on the dichotomy between human and nonhuman capital. Many economists believe that human capital is the most crucial of all. Some approach this issue differently. Therefore, students should do their research and find where they stand on this issue.
- The analysis of the global financial crisis of 2020s. Share your thoughts, predictions, ideas. Analyze the economic situation that affects almost everyone in the world. This thesis topic will be fresh and original. It can help to start a good and fruitful conversation.
- The big data economic challenges for Volvo car.
- The connection between finance, economics, and accounting.
- Financial economics: Banks competition in the UK .
- Risk-Taking by mutual funds as a response to incentives.
- Managerial economics and financial accounting as a basis for business decisions.
- Stock market overreaction.
🌱 Agricultural Economics
- Agricultural economics and agribusiness.
- The vulnerability of agricultural business in African countries.
- Agricultural economics and environmental considerations of biofuels .
- Farmer’s contribution to agricultural social capital.
- Agricultural and resource economics. Agricultural and resource economics plays a huge role in development. They are subdivided into four main characteristics which in this topic, students can talk about: – mineral and energy resources; – soil resources, water resources; – biological resources. One or even all of them can be a focus of the thesis.
- Water as an economic good in irrigated agriculture.
- Agriculture in the economic development of Iran.
- The US Agricultural Food Policy and Production .
- Pesticides usage on agricultural products in California.
- An analysis of economic efficiency in agriculture. A lot of research has been done on the question of economic efficiency in agriculture. However, it does not mean there is no place for your study. You have to read a lot of secondary sources to see where your arguments can fit.
- Theory, approach, and method in economics sociology.
- Economic sociology of capitalism. While economists believe in the positive effect capitalism has on the economy, the social effect is quite different. The “economic” part of the issue has been studied a lot. However, the sociology of it has been not. This thesis can be very intriguing to read.
- Political Economy and Economic Sociology.
- Gender and economic sociology .
- Progress, sociology, and economics.
- Data analysis in economics, sociology, environment .
- Economic sociology as a way to understand the human mind.
- Economic sociology of money.
- Economics, sociology, and psychology of security.
- Major principles of economic sociology. In the past decade, economic sociology became an increasingly popular field. Mainly due to it giving a new view on economics, human mind, and behavior. Besides, it explores relationships between politics, law, culture, and gender.
📚 The List of Ph.D. Topics in Economics
If you decide to go to grad school to do your Masters, you will likely end up getting a Ph.D. as well. So, with this plan in mind, think about a field that interests you enough during your Masters. Working with the same topic for both graduate degrees is easier and more effective.
This list of Ph.D. Topics in Economics can help you identify the areas you can work on.
- Occupational injuries in Pakistan and its effect on the economy. Injuries are the leading cause of the global burden of disability. Globally, Pakistan was ranked 9th populated country with a large number of unskilled workers. In this dissertation, consider the link between occupational injuries and their effects on the economy.
- The study of the Philippines’ economic development.
- Financial derivatives and climate change .
- Econometric Analysis of Financial Markets.
- Islamic Banking and Financial Markets .
- Health economics and policy in the UK.
- Health insurance: rationale and economic justification. In this dissertation, students can find different ways to explain and justify health insurance. Starting to philosophical to purely economic grounds. In the past years, there was a lot of discussion regarding the healthcare system for all. What are some of the economic benefits of that?
- Colombian economy, economic growth, and inequality.
- Benefits of mergers and acquisitions in agribusiness.
- Methods to measure financial risks when investing in Africa.
- The significance of financial economics in understanding the relationship between a country’s GDP and NDP.
- Network effects in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are not new anymore. However, it is still an original subject for a dissertation. Students can decide to choose several crypto coins and evaluate the importance of the network effect. This effect is particularly significant for Bitcoin. Explain why.
- The comparison of the Chinese growth model with the American growth model.
- An economic justification versus political expediency.
- Pollution Externalities Role in Management Economics .
📝 How to Select an Economics Thesis Topic
As your academic journey is coming to an end, it’s time to pick the right topic for your thesis. The whole academic life you were preparing to undertake this challenge.
Here is the list of six points that will help you to select an economics thesis topic:
- Make sure it is something you are genuinely interested in. It is incredibly challenging to write something engaging if you are not interested in the topic. So, choose wisely and chose what excites you.
- Draw inspiration from the previous student’s projects. A great place to start is by looking at what the previous students wrote. You can find some fresh ideas and a general direction.
- Ask your thesis advisor for his feedback. Most probably, your thesis advisor supervised many students before. They can be a great help too because they know how to assess papers. Before meeting with your professor, do some basic research, and understand what topic is about.
- Be original, but not too much. You do not want to spend your time writing about a project that many people wrote about. Your readers will not be interested in reading it, but your professors as well. However, make sure you do not pick anything too obscure. It will leave you with no secondary sources.
- Choose a narrow and specific topic. Not only will it allow you to be more original, but also to master a topic. When the issue is too broad, there is just too much information to cover in one thesis.
- Go interdisciplinary. If you find yourself interested in history, philosophy, or any other related topic, it can help you write an exceptional thesis in economics. Most of your peers may work on pure economics. Then, the interdisciplinary approach can help you to stand out among them.
Thank you for reading the article to the end! We hope this list of economics thesis topics ideas could help you to gather your thoughts and get inspired. Share it with those who may find it useful. Let us know what you think about it in the comment section below.
- Finding a Senior Thesis Topic: Undergraduate, Department of Economics, Brandeis University
- Economics Thesis Topics List: Seminars Only
- How To Pick A Topic For Your Economics Research Project Or Master’s Thesis: INOMICS, The Site for Economists
- What Do Theses and Dissertations Look Like: KU Writing Center, the University of Kansas
- Writing Economics: Robert Neugeboren with Mireille Jacobson, University of Harvard
- Economics Ph.D. Theses: Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School, IDEAS_RePEc
- World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018: United Nations
- Undergraduate Honors Theses: Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
- Economics Department Dissertations Collection: Economics Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Topics for Master Theses: Department of Economics, NHH, Norwegian School of Economics
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A very well written, clear and easy-to-read article. It was highly helpful. Thank you!
Thanks for your kind words! We look forward to seeing you again!
These are very helpful and concise research topics which I have spent days surfing the internet to get all this while. Thanks for making research life experience easier for me. Keep this good work up.
Glad to hear that! Thank you for your feedback, Idris!
Thank you, Idris!
I wants it for msc thesis
Economics Thesis Topics
Table of Contents
140 Best Economics Thesis Topics
Economics is one of the most exciting and challenging fields to study. You need to analyze and understand the vast amount of information. Thus, it is not surprising that many students get all confused. It starts to be worse when your professor asks you to choose the topic for your thesis. So, the students need to pick one topic among the WHOLE economical theory.
Having this in mind helps to understand why many students find it rather challenging to choose the particular idea for the thesis. In this article, we want to help you out with it. We present you with the 140 Best Economics Thesis Topics.
Tips on How to Select the Best Economics Thesis Topic?
It would be rather strange to give you the list of best ideas to choose from without providing some tips on selecting the topic that suits you.
- Choose a narrow topic.
Every single topic about the ideas for academic papers includes this tip. Our team highly encourages you to pick up the issues that will allow you to concentrate on the particular problem. However, we can’t stress enough how vital it is to choose a specific topic. The broad idea makes you stretch your ideas too thin, thus making your paper worse in quality.
- Choose a topic in the field that you know about
Every student has favorite themes in their discipline. We recommend you use your accumulated knowledge so that you will spend less time researching. However, don’t forget to write according to the MLA, APA, or other rules of academic writing.
- Get inspired by the works of the previous generations.
The great minds of the past accomplished phenomenal results by inspiring the specialists of the past. You can repeat their way by reading the works from the older generation. Don’t get us wrong. We don’t encourage you to plagiarize, but rather to get the ideas and write your fantastic thesis. Who knows, maybe the students will use your work in the future to write their papers?
List of Economics Thesis Topics
- The economics of the “Green technologies.”
- Why the communist economies are doomed to fail
- Pros and Cons of Japanese Economical Wonder
- How Germany uses politics for economic profit
- The economics of Sub Saharan Africa
- How the superpowers use their power to dominate the world economy
- How cryptocurrencies will affect the economy
- Why the 1% of the citizens accumulate 98% of the money
- The pros and cons of globalization
- How ecology affects the economic prosperity
- The economics of nuclear energy
- How terrorism affects world economies
- How the multipolar world will affect the economy
- Why Russia suffers from economic sanctions
- How the Greece and Spain went into the financial disaster
- The morals of the modern corporations
- How international development influences economic growth
- The economics of Eastern Europe
- How Scandinavia ensures the prosperity of its people
- Why does Russia have so many raw materials, but its citizens are poor?
20 Economics Master Thesis Topics
- How the technological improvement affects the economies
- The freelance economies
- Why will Gen Z not retire?
- How does the Chinese economy work?
- The reasons and consequences of the 2008 economic crisis
- Why the green technologies are not economically profitable
- The new financial goals of the Western World
- How will Britain improve its economics outside the European Union?
- The difference in income among the different genders
- The “glass ceilings” phenomenon in the economics
- How do countries become economically prosperous?
- When will oil stop being the most valuable resource?
- How does immigration affect the U.S. economy?
- Why doesn’t the stock market shows the condition of the “real” economies?
- The economic explanation to the political dishonesty
- How the inflation affects the U.S. economy
- When will the world recover from Covid-19?
- The behavioral theory in the modern economics
- How does the world fight extreme poverty?
- The economics of the Sub Saharan Africa
20 Financial Economics Thesis Topics
- How has the internet changed the finances?
- The case of r/wallstreetbets and GameStop
- Big data and financial economics
- How does Twitter affect stock prices?
- When will the world have the next economic crisis?
- The machine learning and stock trading
- How the Hedge Funds manipulate the politics
- Why are certain companies “too big to fail”?
- How many citizens invest in stocks?
- How companies like Robinhood affects stock trading
- Why don’t people act rationally on the stock market?
- What is the actual price of Bitcoin?
- Why Tesla is so expensive
- How the internet changed the world of finances
- How do V.C. funds gain so much money?
- The financial economics for infrastructure
- How the finances affect “real” world
- The difference between “virtual” and “real” economies
- Why investors are irrational
- Financial accounting as a basis for business decisions
20 Environmental Economics Thesis Topics
- How do developing economies affect the planet?
- How much money does the world need to go green?
- Why are green technologies so economically unprofitable?
- How to economically encourage developing countries to go green?
- Why India and China don’t want to go green?
- How certain countries make money refining the trash
- Why is Africa the most exciting region of the 21st region?
- How does getting raw materials from the sky affect our climate?
- How do the market forces drive the improvement of green economics?
- Which economic agents affect environmental economics?
- How do renewable sources of energy affect economics?
- How does energy efficiency affect ecological economics?
- How does European environmental economics affect its geopolitical situation?
- How the green energy will affect day-to-day economics
- The gender inequality of environmental economics
- The economics of solar energy?
- Why is nuclear power the most economically logical?
- How the lower taxes affect the popularity of green energy
- Why are economists skeptical about green energy?
- How can we make green energy affordable?
20 International Economics Thesis Topics
- The economic development in Latin America
- How do African countries escape poverty?
- The “glass ceiling” in the developed economies
- How do developing countries become richer?
- How can China escape extreme poverty?
- How do Chinese economics differ from classical capitalism ?
- How do immigrants change European economics?
- The economic battle of Australia against China
- How does behavioral finance affect stock trading?
- Why do the social sciences understand the market?
- Why do males get more than women?
- How the “helicopter money” will affect the economies in different countries?
- How does inflation affect household economies?
- The trends on how to make the country rich?
- The relationships between stocks and inflation?
- Moving industries back to the United States
- Why do companies flee from China and go to India?
- The economic rise of India
- Why has the Japanese economy improved in the last three decades?
- Is it necessary to have a right-wing economy to build a robust social state?
20 Economics Thesis Ideas
- The income of the average household in the United States
- How does the economic role encourage gender equality?
- How does the liquidity of the U.S. market affect macroeconomics?
- The macroeconomic development of African countries
- How can developing countries ensure education for their population
- How does the market use microeconomics?
- The role of psychology in the economics
- The Russian’s energy market
- How the natural disasters in Asia
- How has globalization affected markets in developing countries?
- The economic development in tourism in Africa?
- How does Electronic Payment work in African countries?
- The economics of the E.V.
- The rise of self-development and how it will affect the economy?
- The Singaporean economic wonder
- The clash between Chinese and American economic theory
- The giant bubble in the Chinese economy
- The decrease of the middle class around the planet
- The theoretical approach and the real economy
- Why is the economy the most important for the country?
20 Featured Thesis Topics About Economics
- The effect of Covid-19 on the global economy
- The Universal Basic Income in the modern economies
- Why are cold countries richer than hot ones?
- The economics of modern Afghanistan
- How do different countries prepare to go green?
- Why do the Millenials have problems finding jobs?
- The economic possibilities of the American colleges
- The rise of eCommerce and its effect on the economy
- Why do people lean to the left of economic theory?
- How does China combine capitalism with communist ideas?
- The economy of healthy food
- The hustle culture and its effect on the economy
- The economic role of social media
- How to deal with the rise of economic inequality?
- The cryptocurrency markets around the planet
- The economic impact of the cryptocurrency legalization
- How to build an egalitarian society using financial instruments?
- The freelance culture and how it affects the economy?
- The inflation in the current world
- The UBI and classical economy
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Economics Dissertation Topics
- To what extent does the concentration in the industry determine individual firm profitability?
- How does competition in the market determine corporate strategies for growth?
- Impact of the covid pandemic on the market entry modes practised by corporations.
- How do models of funding of non-profit organisations affect their sustainability?
- Privatization of Public Enterprises and its implications on economic policy and development
- Fraud and Abuse in Non-profit Organizations
- Antitrust Practices and Market Power in the UK
- Effect of antitrust regulations on the performance of the IT sphere in the UK
- Antitrust regulation of horizontal mergers
- Challenges for the industry from digitalisation
- How changes in industrial structure affected economic growth in China?
- How can Brexit change industrial policies in the UK?
- Effect of covid on the entertainment industry
- Perspectives of the alternative energy industry over the world
- Contribution of smart materials to the development of the construction industry
- Transformation of consumer tastes over the last two decades
- How do local culture and mentality affect entrepreneurial behaviour and inclination to running a business?
- How does the behaviour of single-person households differ from the behaviour of couple-based households?
- Product life cycle in the era of digitalisation
- Influence of IT on product development
- Crowd funding as a driver of product development
- How did Covid-19 affect economic inequality?
- Dynamics of the Gini index as an indicator of income distribution
- Forces behind income inequality in the UK
- Is economic equilibrium attainable in the modern world?
- How will equilibrium change after the covid-19 pandemic
- The effect of trade liberalisation on general economic equilibrium
- Impact of the informal sector of the economy on welfare
- Potential consequences of the unconditional income introduction
- Effect of covid-19 on income distribution in the UK
- Collective decision-making in social networks
- Collective decision making on mergers and acquisitions
- Analysis of decision making on tourism destinations
- How uncertainty affects decision making?
- Career perspectives in the knowledge economy
- The effect of covid on uncertainty in a particular market
- Job search from the perspective of behavioural economics
- The role of emotions in personal investing strategies
- What drives customers to change mobile operators?
- How do demand and supply control market forces in the UK?
- Should the neoclassical growth model be revised in conditions of the modern world?
- How does covid affect aggregate spending in the UK?
- Do interest rates affect consumption in the UK?
- Does consumption depend on the country’s currency exchange rate?
- What industries were hit by covid most of all in terms of production?
- Do consumer prices move synchronously in EU countries under the regime of inflation targeting?
- What counter-cyclical measures can help to mitigate economic turmoil?
- How do oil prices affect business activities in oil importing and oil-exporting countries?
- How do interest rates affect investment activities?
- Analysis of money supply in developing and developed economies
- Is interest rates an effective instrument of inflation control in developing countries?
- Forward Guidance as an Instrument of Monetary Policy: Experiences and Prospects
- Does money supply influence rates of economic growth?
- Is austerity an appropriate instrument of reducing national debt?
- Influence of political situation on macroeconomic regulation in the UK.
- How do macroeconomic policies affect capital structure of firms?
- How do recommendations of international organisations (WB, WTO, IMF) affect macroeconomic policies of developing countries?
- The use of big data in behavioural economics at the macrolevel
- Public policy formulation through the lens of behavioural economics
- How to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of behavioural macroeconomics?
- International trade as a factor of growth of developing economies
- The effect of IT on restructuring international trade
- How IT progress changed international value chains
- How did covid affect international business activities?
- The most prospective developing markets for international business
- Tendencies in international factor movements over the last decade
- Are there preconditions for creating new currency unions anywhere in the world?
- Latest tendencies in international finance: liberalisation or restrictions?
- Is the current global financial system viable?
- The most prospective regional trade unions
- What are the most attractive destinations for FDI right now?
- The impact of FDI on economic growth in developing countries
- How will the inauguration of Joe Biden change the US-China relations?
- Macroeconomic drivers of local armed conflicts
- Comparison of macroeconomic structure of the US and China
- The impact of globalisation on poverty
- Does IT affect poverty in the global scale?
- How does globalisation influence corruption in the global scale?
- Reaction of financial markets to covid-19
- How mutual funds change their risk-taking strategies depending on different incentives
- How did financial markets react to the Biden win?
- How FinTech companies affect the sphere of financial services
- The latest accomplishments in the sphere of financial engineering
- How IT changes competition in the sphere of financial services
- Has covid changed corporate governance practices in the UK?
- The effect of corporate governance procedures on capital structure in developing countries
- Does IT progress influence companies’ investment in R&D?
- Behavioural finance and its influence on investing decisions
- Is behavioural finance able to completely explain investment decisions?
- How personal characteristics of an investor explain their investment decisions
- Patterns in spending of single-person households and couple households
- Has covid changed inclination to saving among households?
- The role of mediators in the mortgage market
Labour and Demographic Economics
- Economic effects of changes in demographic structure
- The relationship between the number of children and family wellbeing in developing countries
- Does the child-free movement have a real impact on demographic situation in the UK?
- Does Affirmative Action Reduce Gender Discrimination in the Labor Market? Recent Evidence for Developing Countries
- Has covid changed the demand for labour in the EU?
- Digitalisation and changes in labour market
- The influence of marital status on income
- How does marital status impacts labour force structure?
- What are the reasons behind regional wage inequality in the EU.
- Influence of uberisation on labour force structure.
- The demand for refugee labour force in the EU.
- Benefits and disadvantages of being self-employed
- Strategic HR management and trade unions
- A critical analysis of collective bargaining in the context of the UK
- Do all participants of the single market have the same collective bargaining conditions?
- The influence of regional disparity of income on labour mobility
- How has covid changed unemployment patterns in the UK?
- What is the contribution of immigrant workers to GDP of the UK?
- Differences in labour standards between top-5 European football leagues
- An overview of labour laws in the tourist sector across EU countries
- UK labour regulations: drawbacks to be amended in the future
Development Economics and Innovation
- What are the most relevant indicators of economic development?
- The influence of population growth on developing economies: case study of India.
- Exploring the relationship between migration and economic development
- How do land regulations affect the pace of development in developing countries?
- Ecovillages: regulation and development prospects
- What are the residential location preferences of the new generation of millennials?
- Instruments of funding innovations
- Issues of protecting intellectual property rights of start-ups
- Impact of technological change on productivity in the manufacturing industry
- How does trade openness affects aggregate productivity of the economy? On the sample of Australia
- What affects productivity in the long run?
- The impact of structural change on productivity in developing economies
- Economic development in Russia: effects of privatisation
- Economic implications of climate change in developing countries
- Economy wide effect of free trade agreements: the case of developing countries
Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics
- The effect of technology on productivity of the agricultural sector in developing countries.
- How do labour force flows affect agricultural sector performance in an emerging economy?
- Managing livestock farm as a business: issues and benefits
- Sustainable management practices in fish industry
- Benefits and methods of energy conservation
- Influence of renewable energy sources: economic, social and environmental aspects
- Management of non-renewable sources in the context of Germany.
- How does depletion of resources affect the UK economy?
- Methods of monitoring and control of non-renewable resources
- What is the potential of the solar energy in the world market of energy?
- Opportunities, benefits and drawbacks of alternative energy sources
- What are the main sources of risk in the sphere of renewable energy?
- Water management and conservation policies: A comparative study of the UK and Malaysia.
- The influence of climate policies on economic development.
- How can innovations contribute to the development of an eco-friendly economy?
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Topics for master theses
The Department of Economics would like to present the following ideas for topics:
- Department of Economics
- MSC in Economics and Business Administration
- Master's thesis
- Apply for master's thesis supervisor
Do you feel lucky, punk.
High-achieving persons often attribute part of their success to luck – that is, exogenous events outside their own control. Random events have been shown to play a decisive role in shaping people’s life trajectories. However, people may also differ in what they infer from the same objective outcome, which could have repercussions for their long-term financial success. In this master thesis, students will get the chance to conduct an economic experiment to shed light out on why some people feel lucky: is it because they are overly optimistic about the frequency of lucky events, or because they neglect unlucky events? The thesis will then explore how these personal traits correlate with basic economic preferences, personal characteristics, and real investment behavior.
Kaufman (2018), “The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized”, Scientific American
Profile: ECN, ECO, BUS, FIN, STR
Supervisor: Mathias Ekström
Paying with money or paying with personal data
During the last years concerns have been raised regarding the business model of several tech companies, which base their revenues on advertisements from third parties in exchange of customers’ personal data. From a consumers’ perspective, an important question behind this growing debate is how to quantify a price on personal data. Do consumers attach the same value to their personal data as they do to money? Is it even possible to put a price on your personal data? Previous literature has found a mismatch between willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) the sharing of personal information, but understanding behind this gap has not been fully explored. This master thesis project should conduct experiments to study a trade-off between paying with money and paying with personal data. In particular, it should explore potential explanations that could explain the mismatch between WTP and WTA of privacy.
Acquisti, Alessandro, Leslie K. John, and George Loewenstein (2013). “What is privacy worth?.” The Journal of Legal Studies 42.2, 249-274.
Winegar, A. G. and C. R. Sunstein (2019). “How much is data privacy worth? A preliminary investigation.” Journal of Consumer Policy 42(3), 425–440.
Brynjolfsson, E. and Collis, A. (2019). “How Should We Measure the Digital Economy?”
Harvard Business Review, 97(6): 140-48. doi: 10.1257/aer.20170491
Collect your own data either by conducting an experiment on the online labor market Amazon Mechanical Turk or by doing a survey experiment.
Supervisors: Researchers from FAIR and Telenor Research.
The extent to which it is acceptable to restrict the freedom of individuals in order to promote their own best interest is at the core of much political debate about the relationship between the state and its citizens: Should the state institute mandatory retirement savings, require motorcyclists to wear helmets or refuse to enforce certain types of contracts? Questions about the legitimate role of paternalism are also important in many interpersonal relationships, in particular between parents and their children, and people’s views on these matters may be of great importance for understanding their willingness to accept inequality in society. The master thesis project should conduct experiments to study a person’s willingness to reduce another individual’s freedom in order to promote that individual’s best interests. For example by studying how the willingness to act paternalistically depends on the characteristics of the individuals whose freedom is being restricted, such as how well informed they are, their competence, and their age.
Julian Le Grand & Bill New (2015): Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend? Princeton University Press, 2015
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, STR, INB, ENE
Supervisor: Alexander W. Cappelen
UNDERSTANDING THE DETERMINANTS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
What drives individuals to commit crime, what factors explain aggregate crime rates, and what factors are most important? Economic factors such as unemployment, wages, inequality, and poverty? Demographic factors such as population, urban density, and education levels? And how effective are anti-crime measures and how do criminals respond to them? This master thesis project aims to examine some of these factors and the effects they have on crime.
Key References: Freeman (1999): Chapter 52 The economics of crime, Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, 1999.
Data: Collect your own data, examples of possible sources include FBI Uniform Crime Reports and publicly available Nordic Register based sources such as data available from ssb.no or statistikbanken.dk.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO, STR
Supervisor: Patrick Bennett
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL PREFERENCES: EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FROM INTERNATIONAL PILOTS
We are seeking master students who would like to write their master thesis as part of a project on the development of fairness preferences. The project is a collaboration between FAIR professors Alexander W. Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden.
We have recruited children from kindergartens and schools in Bergen to take part in a lab experiment we are implementing in September 2018. We have also collected comparable data for adults from Norway and Shanghai as well as for children from kindergartens and schools in Shanghai.
Almås, Cappelen, Sørensen and Tungodden (2010): “Fairness and the Development of Inequality Acceptance”, Science 328(5982): 1176–1178. (2) Almås, Cappelen, Salvanes, Sørensen and Tungodden (2017): “Fairness and family background”, Philosophy, Politics and Economics 16(2) 117-131. (3) Cappelen, List, Samek and Tungodden (2016): “The Effect of Early Education on Social Preferences”, NBER Working Paper No. 22898.
NHH master students who are interested in helping to implement pilot experiments internationally during the fall and in writing their master thesis as part of the project are welcome to send an e-mail to Adriana Condarco-Quesada. It should include your name, your CV and a short note on why you would like to write your master thesis on this subject. Please also send any questions you might have regarding the project to Adriana.
Supervisor: Bertil Tungodden
The role of the telco industry towards screen addiction
In the context of conducting fair business practices, a relevant question in the telecommunication industry is whether telco companies should allow and push for unlimited internet data usage. The particular issue at stake is whether providing unlimited data package would push consumers into increasing their social media use and their phone in general, and consequently increasing screen addiction. Telco companies obviously gain by costumers using more their phones. However, this issue raises ethical considerations regarding overdose and potential addiction consequences, which may eventually backfire on the companies’ long term profitability. The master thesis project should conduct experiments or surveys to gather information about people’s perspective on the role of telco companies towards screen use. In particular, it should focus on understanding the view on companies’ interventions when the consumer lacks the will power and/or intrinsic motivation to reduce his/her data consumption.
Alter, A. (2017). “Irresistible: The rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked”. Penguin.
Supervisors: Researchers from FAIR and Telenor Research.
WHAT DRIVES CONSUMERS TO CHANGE ELECTRICITY PROVIDER?
In markets characterized by subscription services, such as electricity, banking and telecommunications, we often find that consumers change providers or plans to a very low extent despite considerable price differences between seemingly similar (or even homogenous) products. There are many potential explanations for this phenomenon, e.g., lack of information, costs of switching, and strong preferences for particular providers. Understanding the sources of passive consumer behavior is important for both regulation, business planning, government policy and market design. We find clear signs of consumer passivity also in the Norwegian electricity retail market, and data sources available to this supervisor can allow a talented student to shed light on some of the potential channels.
von der Fehr and Hansen (2010): "Electricity Retailing in Norway", The Energy Journal 31: 25-45 (Basic reference); Hortacsu et al (2015): "Power to Choose? An Analysis of Consumer Inertia in the Residential Electricity Market", NBER Working Paper No. 20988 (Advanced reference)
Data: Monthly data on number of subscriptions and sales (kWh) for the largest retailers within local areas will be provided by the supervisor, as well as weekly contract prices and monthly visitor statistics for the contract comparison website of the Competition Authority. Wholesale electricity prices and other useful market statistics can be gathered from Nordpool.
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, ENE, BUS, FIE, INB
Supervisor: Morten Sæthre
Energy efficiency and electricity consumption: Drivers of green technology adoption
(Note: Theses under this topic can be eligible for an Equinor scholarship for master theses .)
Assessments of potential savings from energy efficiency investments have suggested the existence of an "Energy Efficiency Gap"; that consumers do not undertake energy efficiency investments with even large positive returns. Though the conclusion has been hotly debated in the academic literature, we still lack a solid understanding of drivers and barriers to energy efficiency adoption, which is necessary for designing appropriate policies. Currently, most countries employ some combination of regulation and subsidies to increase energy efficiency, e.g., 100-300 mNOK in yearly Enova subsidies for households in Norway.
Under this topic, you will contribute to our understanding of green technology adoption under the supervision of one or more experienced researchers with competences targeted to different approaches and research questions. Examples of specific projects are "Inattention and green technology: Do temporary shocks to electricity prices spur adoption?", "Does increased electricity demand lead to energy efficiency investment: Evidence from electric vehicle take-up", and "Are green technology subsidies regressive?", "Constrained wallets or constrained minds: The role of mental budgeting and relative thinking in green technology investment", or "Green loans vs investment subsidies: The optimal mix". The examples are far from an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to contact us if you could see yourself writing your master thesis within this topic and want to learn more.
Hunt Allcott and Michael Greenstone (2012) "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap", Journal of Economic Perspectives 26, pp. 3-28
Hunt Allcott (2016) "Paternalism and Energy Efficiency: An Overview", Annual Review of Economics 8, pp. 145-176
Anna Sahari (2019) "Electricity prices and consumers' long-term technology choices: Evidence from heating investments", European Economic Review 114, pp. 19-53
Electricity prices and consumption data from Nordpool and Statistics Norway, Enova subsidies, statistics on sales of efficient heating systems. It might be possible to gain access to household data given availability and project needs.
Suitable for profiles: BUS, ECN, ECO, ENE, FIN
(Tentative) supervisor: Samuel D. Hirshman , Harim Kim , Eirik G. Kristiansen , Mateusz Mysliwski and/or Morten Sæthre
Bulk buying and poverty.
Buying in bulk is a common way that consumers use to obtain lower prices on their purchases. There is now some evidence that low income consumers are not exploiting this strategy well, despite the large potential gains. The thesis will review the issue, and use an innovative detailed dataset from India to investigate it in a new setting.
Brian Dillon, Joachim De Weerdt, Ted O’Donoghue, Paying More for Less: Why Don’t Households in Tanzania Take Advantage of Bulk Discounts?, The World Bank Economic Review , Volume 35, Issue 1, February 2021, Pages 148–179.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO
Supervisor: Vincent Somville
High Frequency Poverty
Poverty is typically measured at annual level. High frequency data reveals that potentially many households cross the poverty line for significant periods even if they are not poor on average on an annual basis. The thesis will investigate transitory poverty using weekly financial diaries from India.
Jonathan Morduch. Rethinking Poverty, Household Finance, and Microfinance. Forthcoming in Handbook of Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, and Development, edited by Robert Cull and Valentina Hartarska. Forthcoming.
Supervisor: Bertil Tungodden
What effect daugthers have, globally?
There is some evidence from western countries that fathering daughters changes men’s attitudes towards women in general, and can also affect the household structure.
The students will use a global data base covering dozens of countries to investigate the global effects of daughters, and how they affect the economics of families.
Washington, Ebonya L. 2008. "Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers." American Economic Review , 98 (1): 311-32 .
Jan Kabátek, David C Ribar, Daughters and Divorce, The Economic Journal , Volume 131, Issue 637, July 2021, Pages 2144–2170.
Bergen as a maritime capital.
The Norwegian consultancy group Menon publishes an annual list of “The leading maritime capitals of the world”. Bergen is not included in the list of 15 cities evaluated in the report, but has been included in a longlist of 30 nominated cities that are benchmarked according to a set of 24 indicators. The aim of the thesis would be to analyze a) the basis for the ranking; and b) measures that would make Bergen a leading maritime capital.
Key literature: Menon report
Data: developed together with the supervisor
Suitable for profiles: STR, INB, BUS
Supervisor: Stig Tenold
BERGEN AS A MARITIME SERVICE PROVIDER
Bergen plays a key role as one of the leading maritime cities internationally. Bergen shipping companies have dominant positions in several markets (chemical tanker transport, open hatch bulk shipping), and there are also world-class companies in auxiliary services (in particular ship finance, insurance, ship registry). Combining historical perspectives and economic theory, the aim of the thesis would be to analyze to which extent the success of these auxiliary services is based on linkages to the local industry, and to which extent it is a result of the international orientation of the service providers themselves.
Data: Veritas, surveys developed together with the supervisor
Innovation and the patent system
Intellectual property rights are usually associated with the patent system – patents and patent laws. The relationship between patents and innovations has been studied extensively, for example how patent laws create incentives to invent, promote innovation and encourage economic growth. Historical or modern data analysis do, however, give no clear answers, and there is a potential for research that addresses several questions: Does the existence of strong patent laws encourage innovation? What proportion of innovations is patented? Is this share constant across industries? How does patenting and licensing affect the diffusion of knowledge? Such questions have only to a limited extent been studied in a Norwegian context.
P. Moser, ‘Patents and Innovation: Evidence from Economic History’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 27 (1), 2013.
Patent and innovation statistics from the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) and Patentstyret. Norwegian policy documents, company annual reports.
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, STR, INB, BUS
Supervisor: Bjørn L. Basberg
The gender wage gap
How large is the gender wage gap and why do we observe a gender wage gap. These are important questions that occupy economists, business operations and politicians. Students can address this question empirically by documenting the gender wage gap with international data (e.g. OECD, Eurostat, ILO) or national data sets. An interesting focus is to look at young adults or young adults in the NEET (not in education and employment) group. It could be interesting to compare the measure across data sources and discuss differences and explanations.
There is also a new data source made available for research for young adults in developing countries which could be explored in this thesis (see Bandiera et al. (2022). Other macro-data sources that could be explored and compared across countries, demographic groups and time are found on the webpages of the OECD, Eurostat and ILO. Students could also use historical data for a thesis on this topic.
Bandiera, Oriana, Ahmed Elsayed, Andrea Smurra, and Céline Zipfel. 2022. "Young Adults and Labor Markets in Africa." Journal of Economic Perspectives , 36 (1): 81-100.
Kunze, A. (2018). The gender wage gap in developed countries. The Oxford handbook of women and the economy , 369-394.
Fields: economics, labour markets, developing countries, developed countries, empirical, econometrics
Supervisor: Astrid Kunze
Environmental & Resource Economics
Climate change in the arctic and economic activities.
The climate change is evident in the Arctic in the way of increased temperatures, decreasing ice and consequently increased accessibility. Maritime transport, fisheries and resource exploitation (mineral oil in particular) are industries that already are pushing the frontiers further north. Since the Arctic Ocean is surrounded by several national states (Canada, the United States, Russia, Norway and Denmark / Greenland), the political tension in the region has increased in a classic ‘race for property rights’ that has historic parallels. Other non-Arctic nations, China in particular, shows increased interest in the region.
There are many potential issues and questions that could be analyzed in an economic framework. What have been the recent trends, and how do businesses and stakeholders view the future? How does the government-business interaction play out in different countries involved? The climate change involves changes in both costs and benefits. How could this be modelled and analyzed?
A.S. Crépin et.al., ‘Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society (ACCESS): Integrated Perspectives’, Ambio, Dec. (46) 2017, 341-354 and G. Eskeland and L.S. Flottorp, ‘Climate Change in the Arctic: A Discussion of the Impact on Economic Activity’, in Glomsrød et.al. (eds.), The Economy of the North, SSB, 2006.
Data: Climate change reports, government papers and statistics, business prospects.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, STR, INB, BUS.
COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IN THE ANTARCTIC REGION
The Antarctic region has a long history of resource exploitation (sealing, whaling). Today, human activity in the region is dominated by science, but there are also industries like fisheries, tourism and bio-prospecting. Such industries have to a small extent been analyzed in an economic context and several questions are interesting to pursue. What is the economic scale of these operations? What is the economic and financial importance for the companies involved? Are management and regulatory systems sufficient?
B.L. Basberg, ‘Perspectives on the Economic History of the Antarctic Region’, International Journal of Maritime History, VO. XVIII (2), 2006,
Data: Economics and business statistics on tourism from the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and on fisheries from the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES ON TOURISM IN THE POLAR REGIONS
Polar tourism, especially ship born cruise tourism both in the Arctic and in the Antarctic has increased for many years. Business prospects and plans seem to indicate that this will continue.
There are, however, serious challenges ahead. The climate change involves increased accessibility, but also alters the unique experience that constitutes the rationale for the industry. Concerns about long travels is also a factor that creates uncertainties about future demand for such travels.
Several questions could be analyzed about this industry in an economic context. Is it possible, within a traditional business model, to create an environmental and social sustainable industry? There seems to be large future uncertainties connected both to the supply and the demand side in this market. How could that be modelled and analyzed?
M. Lamers and B. Amelung, ‘Climate Change and its Impact for Cruise Tourism’ in M. Lück et. al. (eds), Cruise Tourism in Polar Regions. Promoting Environmental and Social Sustainability? London 2010, p. 147-165.
Data: Climate change reports, statistics and reports from the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), tour operator plans and annual reports.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, STR, INB, BUS
Reflections of climate change: suffering and regret
With increasing consumption and production of many goods and services, the humanmade effects on climate change are getting bigger and bigger. For some activities the potential effects are well-known, such as plastic taking at least 400 years to dissolve completely in the nature. For some other activities the effects can be ambiguous and unknown to the consumers, such as the impact of an e-mail box size on the environment. When there is ambiguity about the consequences of their actions, people may suffer from both the direct effects of climate change and the regret from contributing this. The master thesis project should investigate regret and regret aversion when making decisions have potential consequences for the climate. Treatment variation could be driven by using manipulated regret lotteries for consumption (or digital) decisions.
Imas, A., Lam´e, D., Wilson, A. J. (2020). Reversals between one-shot and repeated decisions in incentive design: the case of regret. Mimeo
Robinson, P. J., Botzen, W. J. (2018). The impact of regret and worry on the threshold level of concern for flood insurance demand: Evidence from Dutch homeowners. Judgment and Decision Making , 13(3), 237-245.
Volpp, K. G., John, L. K., Troxel, A. B., Norton, L., Fassbender, J., Loewenstein, G.
(2008). Financial incentive–based approaches for weight loss: a randomized trial. Jama , 300(22), 2631-2637.
Zeelenberg, M., Pieters, R. (2007). A theory of regret regulation 1.0. Journal of Consumer Psychology , 17(1), 3-18.
Collect your own data either through a survey experiment or by conducting an online experiment on a crowdsourcing platform.
Firms & Ethics
Diversity in firms, top teadership, financial and technology sector.
Societies and firms increasingly become diverse in terms of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, language background, age. Gender imbalances are particularly pronounced when we look at top leadership, but also sectors such as the financial and technology sector. But the goal of firms of increasing diversity is not restricted to gender balance, but also other demographic characteristics such as age, ethnic background etc.
Equality is high on the political agenda and more and more firms acknowledge that in order to recruit the best workers they need to make diversity and inclusive worklife part of their strategic goals. Firms increasingly integrate gender equality and business ethics as part of their corporate management strategy.
A masterthesis in this area can be an empirical thesis where students assemble or collect novel data that allow to measure diversity in firms and policies that firms design to increase diversity. Students could measure corporate social responsibility along various dimensions and investigate whether such policies do lead to improved firm performance. Students could also study in their thesis more conceptually why firms care about diversity.
Depending on the study profile of the student this thesis can focus on financial outcomes, socio-economic outcomes, careers or theory and empirical methods.
SNF database merged with other data (for Norway)
Orbis database (for international study)
Suitable for profiles: ECON, STR, BUS, FIN
Do business organisations in Europe use diversity and inclusive worklife policies?
I am looking for master's students who collect data from business organisations in Europe, a sample or as many as possible, to measure whether business organisations D&I policies (e.g. a webpage) and what policies they have. This thesis can take different forms depending on the interests and skills of the students. The thesis could take a focus on the discussion what D&I are, how to categorize those and then how to measure the outcomes of interest. The collection of the data demands a plan how to collect these data (manually from webpages, scaping, or other methods). The thesis may have the design of the data collection as the main part, hand-collection of data or developing an algorithm. Students may also use the plan if there is time to collect a small sample. The most ambitious plan is to collect a large sample that may be merged with other data. If the latter part is the main part, the literature overview of D&I and the more conceptual discussion may be shorter. Instead there could be some empirical descriptive analysis part of the thesis. This thesis leaves a lot of space for the students to find their own focus matching with their interests.
Hospido, L., Laeven, L., & Lamo, A. (2019). The gender promotion gap: evidence from central banking. The Review of Economics and Statistics , 1-45.
Kalev, A., Dobbin, F., & Kelly, E. (2006). Best practices or best guesses? Assessing the efficacy of corporate affirmative action and diversity policies. American sociological review , 71 (4), 589-617.
Fields: organisations, labour markets, equality, diversity in firms, empirical
Profiles: ECON, STR, FOR
Do universities in Europe have diversity and inclusive worklife policies
I am looking for master's students who collect data from universities in Europe, a sample or as many as possible, to measure whether universities and economic faculties in Europe have D&I policies (e.g. a webpage) and what policies they have. This thesis can take different forms depending on the interests and skills of the students. The thesis could take a focus on the discussion what D&I are, how to categorize those and then how to measure the outcomes of interest. The collection of the data demands a plan how to collect these data (manually from webpages, scaping, or other methods). The thesis may have the design of the data collection as the main part. Students may also use the plan if there is time to collect a small sample. The most ambitious plan is to collect a large sample that may be merged with other data on representation of women among Professors in Economics. If the latter part is the main part, the literature overview of D&I and the more conceptual discussion may be shorter. Students could collect data on universities overall, or focus on departments of Economics, or Engineering or other fields. This thesis leaves a lot of space for the students to find their own focus matching with their interests.
Auriol, E., Friebel, G., Weinberger, A., & Wilhelm, S. (2022). Underrepresentation of women in the economics profession more pronounced in the United States compared to heterogeneous Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 119 (16), e2118853119.
Profiles : ECON, STR, FOR
Supervisor : Astrid Kunze
Firm behaviour, recruitment and personnel policies
I am looking for masterstudents who are interested to work together with a firm and evaluate certain firm policies and personnel data. The thesis may require designing a survey, preparing confidential data, analysing data collected by the firm. Topics may be on performance evaluation, recruitment, careers, firm performance, accounting. The students could also come with their own ideas.
If students have interest or an idea please get in touch early in the process of planning the masterthesis.
Data: They will be prepared together with the supervisor.
Suitable for profiles: ECON, BUS, ECN, FIN, STR
Supervisor: Astrid Kunze
Who should get internet?
Access to broadband internet has been found to increase employment and wages, labour productivity, financial technology and banking, education, among other things. A question that still needs to be answered is how to evaluate the expansion of broadband internet in developed countries, where penetration rates are already very high. For example, in Norway 11% of the population does still not have access to internet broadband. A recent public debate has raised the issue on whether the Norwegian government should step in and extend the coverage to the entire population. The master thesis project should investigate people’s perspectives on broadband expansion in Norway. It should, for example, elicit the willingness to pay for (fast) broadband and evaluate different scenarios in a cost and benefit analysis of a potential public investment. Moreover, based on previous evidence that connectivity can enable higher economic productivity, the project could explore whether resources for the broadband expansion should be allocated to all the uncovered areas or whether they should only focus on the most productive areas with more growth potential.
Akerman, Anders, Ingvil Gaarder, and Magne Mogstad (2015). ”The skill complementarity of broadband internet.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 130.4 : 1781-1824.
M. Bhuller, T. Havnes, E. Leuven and M. Mogstad (2013). “Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?” Review of Economic Studies , 80, 1237-1266.
International Trade & Globalization
How are global value chains affected by the pandemic and recent geopolitical events.
An important aspect of the trends towards more globalisation since the turn of the century, has been the increasing importance of ever more complex (global) supply chains in many industries. The unprecedented technological development in information and communication technology (ICT), combined with more integrated markets and reduced transportation and transaction costs, have made it both technically feasible and economically profitable to split the production process and produce parts and components in various parts of the world. This is often called global value chains (GVC).
From the beginning of the corona pandemic, spring 2020, it became clear that many of these supply chains are very vulnerable to market disruptions, be it in production in various regions or in transportation and international infrastructure. Supply shortages and long delivery times for key components and products have had a significant negative impact on firms and industries in all parts of the world, and many firms have had to reconsider their global value chains.
The present geopolitical situation adds to the pressure on supply chains and exposes the vulnerability of relying on certain sources of raw material and key parts and components in various industries.
Given the general picture above, several master thesis topics are possible, depending on the interests of the students. Here are some suggestions:
- Choose an industry (or a firm) and study how the global supply chains in that industry developed before the pandemic and how they have changed recently. Assess how the pandemic and the geopolitical situation have affected the situation and what the future development might be.
- Choose several industries and compare their development over time both before and during the pandemic.
- There could also be room for a more theoretical thesis, perhaps with examples from various industries, in which the basis for growing GVC-trade over a long period is analysed, followed by a discussion of why and how the recent events have had such a negative impact in GVCs, and what the future development may be.
Possible majors: ECN, ECO, BUS, STR (depending on the focus of the thesis)
Possible supervisors: Linda Orvedal , Jan I. Haaland or other faculty members from the Department of Economics
How will BREXIT and the new trade agreements affect Norway and Norwegian industry?
The UK decision to leave the EU (BREXIT) will have implications not only for the UK and the EU, but also for other countries. After a long period of debate and negotiations, the UK and the EU agreed on the new “Trade and Cooperation Agreement” on the 24 th December 2020. The agreement has been in place since 1 st January 2021, although parts of it is still debated. In June 2021 Norway, together with the other EEA countries (Iceland and Liechtenstein), agreed on a free-trade agreement with the UK.
Both the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU and the new free-trade agreement between the UK and the EEA countries will have profound implications for trade between the UK and Norway, for many reasons. First, the UK is an important trading partner for Norway, for goods and services, as well as when it comes to investments and mobility of labour. All of this have been affected by Brexit, even if new agreements are in place. Secondly, through the European Economic Area (EEA) Norway is part of the EU single market, but not part of the EU Customs Union. Hence, the UK’s departure from the EU customs union will have implications for Norway’s trade both with the EU and the UK. And thirdly, Brexit has initiated a new discussion about the EEA (EØS) agreement in Norway; hence the implications may be even more serious.
There could be many interesting ways of approaching the question of how BREXIT may affect Norway and Norwegian industry. One approach could be to take a general national view and discuss possible implications of BREXIT and the new trade agreements for overall trade and economic interactions between the UK and Norway. Another approach could be to select a particular industry and study the possible implications for that industry. And a third option could be to focus on the implications of a possible future change in the trade relations between the EU and Norway. All three approaches would need a good combination of theoretical understanding of trade agreements and possible future trade regimes, and empirical observations and analysis of the actual trade relations between the two countries.
Standard international economics textbooks for the understanding of trade policies and trade agreements. www.wto.org for more specific information about the multilateral trade system and regional trade agreements. For BREXIT the literature is evolving constantly. A good source is UK Trade Policy Observatory ( https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/uktpo/ ) with many blogs and reports on recent developments. When it comes to the new trade agreement between Norway and the UK, there are so far few independent analyses of possible consequences, but official information about the agreement is given on the governments’ webpages: Norwegian Government: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/inngar-historisk-frihandelsavtale-med-storbritannia/id2857147/ UK Government’s: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/united-kingdom-signs-free-trade-deal-with-norway-iceland-and-liechtenstein
Data: Industrial characteristics and trade data.
Possible majors: ECN, INB
Possible supervisors: Jan I. Haaland and Linda Orvedal
Sustainability and global value chains
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) cover a number of areas of great importance for both national and multinational companies, and many companies use the SDGs both in their strategies and in marketing as something they will contribute to. Areas like decent work and economic growth (SDG8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG9), responsible consumption and production (SDG12), climate action (SDG13) all have direct links to companies, but the same is true for most of the SDGs. For some key areas, like human rights and labour conditions, there are also more specific international agreements and rules that companies are obliged to adhere to.
A key feature of international business today, is the reliance on global value chains (GVC for short, also called global supply chains), where the final products are made up of parts and components produced by a number of suppliers and sub-suppliers in different parts of the world. Some of these GVCs are very complex, and it is not easy for the companies to keep track of the whole supply chain. Yet, the companies’ responsibility to adhere to national and international rules, as well as their commitment to contribute to the SDGs, cover not only their own parts of the production process, but the whole supply chain.
How do multinationals go about to keep track of their GVC and to ensure that their obligations and commitments to e.g. human rights, labour conditions and/or environment issues are fulfilled throughout the supply chain?
There could be several approaches to this research question, depending on the students’ interest. One possibility is to choose an industry or a firm and try to map the situation for that industry/firm. Another possibility could be to start out with international rules and regulations in one or a few areas (e.g. human rights, or climate emissions) and to study how various industries relate to the regulations and how this affects their global value chains.
Possible majors: ECN, ENE, BUS, STR (depending on approach)
The war in Ukraine – implications for key markets in Europe and globally
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has affected the European and world economy in many ways. Energy and food markets have been disrupted with huge implications for both Europe and the rest of the world, but other markets have also seen significant changes due to the war. The market implications follow directly from the fact that the war prevents Ukraine from producing and exporting many products, as well as from the economic sanctions towards Russia and the Russian reactions. Although the immediate and short-term effects have been huge, it is still too early to say what the longer-term effects may be.
Two possible approaches:
- Choose an industry/product, study how the war has affected the international markets for that industry so far, and try to assess how the future development may be.
- Look at the broader picture and assess how various international markets have been affected and what the future development may by.
Possible majors: ECN, ECO, ENE (depending on approach)
Gender differences in labour markets.
Despite the fact that great gender convergence in employment is observed in labour markets, large gender differences remain. Women earn 16 per cent on average less in terms of hourly wages than men in the EU. Women also work in very different occupation and industries than men. True, if we compare men and women in the same job and in the same firm, we find very small wage differences; however, very few men and women work in the same job in the same firm. There are many more differences in labour markets between men and women which invites to important research questions suitable for a masterthesis. You could look for questions related to graduates in economics and business administration (use data from NHH. e.g.). You could study questions at the national level for Norway or another country, or internationally. International evidence is very important to learn and valuable to your career if you work, for example, in a company that does trade with EU and the world. Germany is a country important to learn about, since it is one of the main trading partners of Norway, followed by the UK etc.
• SIAB (German register data, employer-employee matched panel, 1975-2015
• SOEP (Socio Economic Panel for Germany, 1984-2016)
- Mikrodata.no at NSD provides access to the Norwegian register data
• NHH annual graduate survey
Suitable for profiles: ECN, FIN, STR
HOW DID THE INTERNET CHANGE THE CHANNELS OF JOB SEARCH?
People that search for a job have several options to find it: read newspapers, go to employment agencies, browse the web and mobilize their local networks of friends and relatives. Networking has increasingly become important for job search. Social networks are an important source of information in the labor market and many workers find jobs through friends and relatives. On the other hand, an increasing number of people use the Internet to look for new jobs. One reason online job search has become so popular is that it has changed the search process considerably. Employment websites allow job seekers to access thousands of job offers and use intelligent filter mechanisms to find suitable vacancies.
Key references: Kuhn, P. J. and M. Skuterud (2004): “Internet Job Search and Unemployment Durations," The American Economic Review, 94, 218-232.
Data: Norwegian Labor Force Survey
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, STR, INB, BUS
Supervisor: Aline Bütikofer
Human capital, apprenticeship training, aspirations to success, early career, youth unemployment and youth labour markets
Some research has debunked the argument that job-hopping can propel a person onward and upward more rapidly than would be possible by staying in one place. In this thesis students can study and quantify mobility during the early career after first entry into the labaour market and after completion of education. How do high achievers perform during the early career who eventually will fill top positions. Students could also analyse how women versus men’s early career looks like. Is it important to be mobile, or how long is it optimal to stay in the first job?
The thesis can focus more on firms and careers and strategic human capital or take a more labour economics and empirical methods direction.
See an example of a paper here:
Bonet, R., Cappeli, P., Hamori, M. (2020). “Gender differences in speed of advancement: an empirical examination of top executives in the fortune 100 firms”. Strategic Management Journal , Vol. 41 (4): 708-737
This project requires individual panel data on employment and wage histories.
• SIAB (German register data, employer-employee matched panel, 1975-2015)
• SOEP (Socio Economic Panel for Germany, 1984-2016)
• Mikrodata.no at NSD provides access to the Norwegian register data
Suitable for profiles: ECON, BUS, ECN, FIN, STR
Labour markets, gender differences and family policy
Despite the fact that great gender convergence in employment is observed in labour markets, large gender differences remain. Women earn 16 per cent on average less in terms of hourly wages than men in the EU. Women also work in very different occupation and industries than men. True, if we compare men and women in the same job and in the same firm, we find very small wage differences; however, very few men and women work in the same job in the same firm. In addition, differentials build up over careers and these may not be reflected in cross-sectional differentials.
There is a great need for studies focusing on occupations, industries, and selected groups. Students could look for questions related to graduates in economics and business administration using data from NHH surveys.). Students could study questions on labour markets and policies fighting unfair differences at the national level for Norway or another country, or internationally (EIGE database).
International evidence on labour markets is very important to learn and valuable to your career if you work, for example, in a company that does trade with EU and the world. Labour is the main input factor to the firm. Germany is a country important to learn about, since it is one of the main trading partners of Norway, followed by the UK etc.
- EIGE database, ILO
- SIAB (German register data, employer-employee matched panel, 1975-2015
- SOEP (Socio Economic Panel for Germany, 1984-2016)
- NHH annual graduate survey
Assessing the norwegian macroeconomic policy framework.
The design of monetary and fiscal policy has moved towards a rule based framework, exemplified by the so-called Taylor rule or the “Handlingsreglene” governing the management of the oil fund in Norway. How does monetary and/or fiscal policy respond to shocks affecting the Norwegian economy? Are the responses of macroeconomic policy stable over time. How did the economy and financial markets respond to the introduction of these rules?
Clarida, R., J. Gali and M. Gertler. (1999). The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective, Journal of Economic Literature 37(4): 1661-1707. J. Taylor (2000). Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy. Journal of Economic Perspectives 14(3): 21-36.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO, FIE
Supervisor: Gernot Doppelhofer
Economic growth and the input factor labor
How much does the input factor labor account for in the national product in Norway? A Norwegian minister once said in public: Women are more worth than oil in Norway. Is that true and how can we measure the contribution over time? In this thesis students can conceptionally think about a growth model and how to measure the contribution of labour to growth and the level of production in an economy. This could include a literature survey and an overview of estimates for different countries and time periods. Then they can take the model to Norwegian data or other data to estimate the contribution. For the empirical estimations the students could explore Norwegian register data accessible on microdata at NHH. This is a sketch of the idea and the students can develop their own ideas.
Fields: macro-economics, labour economics, empirical, econometrics
Supervisors: Astrid Kunze
NOWCASTING AND PREDICTING THE NORWEGIAN ECONOMY
A large number of indicators have been proposed to predict the current and future state of the economy. Many macroeconomic or financial data are being reported at different points in time and some are subject to revisions. The measurement of current and future economic conditions is essential for the conduct of macroeconomic policy, dating of business cycles and household or financial decision making . What are important factors predicting current and future economic activity and financial variables, such as exchange rates, stock prices, …?
Stock, J. and M. Watson. (1999). Forecasting Inflation. Journal of Monetary Economics v44(2): 293-335
Price-changes among manufacturing firms
To understand how prices are adjusted, and why, is very important, for both consumers, firm-owners and -managers, regulators and macro economists. The typical IO question; How does a firm set the price or quantity in relation to other market participants? Macro economists: Monetary policy has only a real effect if prices (and wages) are sticky (think of the IS-LM or AD-AS models). Price adjustment costs and their nature are central for industrial organization and the macro economy. What do we know empirically about the micro behaviour of firms? Do we see some patterns in firms’ price setting? Do we observe immediate responses to demand-, technology-, and cost-shocks?
Based on survey information from Statistics Norway about product prices in the manufacturing industry, merged with register data on firms’ revenues, costs, investments, and labour demand there are several topics for empirical master theses on pricing behaviour, either seen through the lenses of an IO scholar, or a macro economist.
As the data include highly sensitive information, it is necessary to apply for access to the data.
Suitable for profiles: ECN
Supervisor: Prof. Øivind A. Nilsen
The price development on the real estate market in a non-Scandinavian country
In many European countries, the housing market is characterized by soaring prices. Is this price evolution reflecting a development in the underlying fundamentals for this market, or are actual prices and fundamentals little connected, thereby possibly indicating a price bubble? Using quarterly data on real estate prices, this project would estimate a model for the housing market allowing for both fundamentals and error-corrections mechanisms.
Bergman and Sørensen (2021) The interaction of actual and fundamental house prices: a general model with an application to Sweden, Journal of Housing Economics 54 .
Data: Real estate price statistics, housing stock statistics, national account data
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO,FIN.
Supervisor: Fred Schroyen
Microeconomics & Industrial Organization
Competition and pricing in the european airline industry.
The airline industry is comprised of large, capital-intensive firms competing on prices, availability and prices, making decisions over prices, routes to operate and fleet. Important features of competition is price discrimination, use of loyalty programs and entry in or exit from specific routes, in the face of potentially tough competition and volatile demand over the business cycle. The European and Norwegian airline industry has changed dramatically over the years, with changing technologies, travel habits, regulations, taxation and industry structure. The rise of low-cost carriers from the late 90s and early 2000s and the strategic responses of flag carriers, for instance by reducing prices in response to even merely the threat of entry has been important for the development of the industry we see today, in addition to the growing domestic, regional and international policy debates on how to handle the carbon footprint of the sector in later years.
There are many possible directions for a thesis on this topic, for instance:
- What factors determine how an incumbent airline responds to increased threat of entry on a route?
- How would carbon taxation influence fleet choices and competition in the industry?
- What is the effect of loyalty programs on demand and competition?
- Differences in price discrimination across routes and carriers: What are the main drivers?
- Aircraft investment and the business cycle: A recipe for hysteresis?
Goolsbee, A. and Syverson, C. (2008) "How Do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines", Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123, pp. 1611–1633
Borenstein, S. and Rose, N. L. (1994) "Competition and Price Dispersion in the U.S. Airline Industry", Journal of Political Economy, 102, pp. 653–683
"Aviation Industry Leaders Report 2022: Recovery through Resilience", KPMG, edited by Victoria Tozer-Pennington
Data: Data on number of passengers and prices for separate routes, airlines and ticket classes can be made available by supervisors.
Suitable for profiles: BAN, BUS, ECN, ECO, ENE, FIN
Possible supervisors: Lars Sørgard , Mateusz Mysliwski , Morten Sæthre
DO ECONOMIC BOOMS AND BUSTS AFFECT SLEEPING PATTERNS AND THE NUMBER OF HOURS OF LEISURE ACTIVITIES?
Although health is usually thought to worsen when the economy weakens, substantial recent research suggests that mortality actually declines during such periods. Could this decline in mortality be explained by people enjoying more free time and more sleep during recession?
Christopher J. Ruhm (2000): “Are Recessions Good for Your Health?” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115 (2): 617-650.
Data: Norwegian time use survey 1971-2010
DO SMOKING POLICIES AFFECT SMOKING BEHAVIOR AND DO BETTER-EDUCATED INDIVIDUALS REACT FASTER TO POLICY CHANGES?
The strong correlation between education and health, even after controlling for income, has been recognized as a robust empirical observation in the social sciences and economic literature (Deaton and Paxson 2003; Lleras-Muney 2004). The decision to smoke or not to smoke is a conscious choice that directly affects the health status and ultimately the mortality of individuals. It therefore provides an interesting opportunity to investigate how education, by influencing behaviors, affects health outcomes.
Damien de Walque (2010): “Education, Information, and Smoking Decisions: Evidence from Smoking Histories in the United States, 1940–2000” Journal of Human Resources, 45:682-717.
Data: Norwegian smoking habit survey from 1973-2011
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, (STR, INB, BUS)
(Note: Theses under this topic can be eligible for an Equinor scholarship for master theses .)
Suitable for profiles: BUS, ECN, ECO, ENE, FIN
(Tentative) supervisor: Samuel D. Hirshman , Harim Kim , Eirik G. Kristiansen , Mateusz Mysliwski and/or Morten Sæthre
HOW CAN WE EXPLAIN CEO PAY?
There is a widespread suspicion that top managers and other key person are overpaid. They are frequently lavishly rewarded when the firm is lucky and not penalized when the firm is unlucky. Some receive discretionary severance pay that the firms are not committed to pay. Pay structure and level seem to depend on the owner structure. There are a large set of observations that are puzzling if you believe that owners should provide cost efficient incentives to managers. The project might examine pay structure in a particular industry or across countries and compare observations with empirical predictions from analytical models.
Bebchuk, L. A. and J. M. Fried (2004) Pay without performance: The unfulfilled promise of executive compensation, Harvard University Press
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, FIN
Supervisor: Eirik Gaard Kristiansen
How should we pay for drugs? Is Netflix a model?
Health plans negotiate rebates on list prices with drug companies. If the net price is sufficiently low, the health plan may decide to include the drug in their plan so that the drug is reimbursed and available for patients. The current model is that health plans pay a uniform net price per unit purchased from the drug company. Recently, there has been proposed a different payment regime – called the Netflix model. Instead of paying a uniform price, proponents of the Netflix model argue that health plans should instead pay a fixed (subscription) fee to the drug company for getting access to the drug at marginal costs (or zero costs). The argument is that two-part tariffs is more efficient given the high innovation costs and low production costs. Opponents argue that the Netflix model will extract more consumer surplus and lead to higher costs for health plans. Some countries and health plans are now testing the Netflix model, which also seems to be relevant for the new covid-19 vaccine.
Barros, P. and X. Martinez-Giralt (2012) Health economics: an industrial organization perspective. Routledge. Chapter 17
The Economist (2019): The antibiotic industry is broken. Take inspiration from the entertainment industry. Leader.
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO, BUS, STR
Supervisor: Kurt R. Brekke
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND FIRMS
We know very little about the management practices in Norway. International data have shown that great differences exist between family businesses, multinationals and that the public sector has relatively worse management practices. Questions related to measurement and comparison of management practices invite to a great number of research ideas for a master thesis. You can explore existing data sets, and create extended data by merging additional firm level information.
Corecon. Empirical Project 6: Measuring Management Practices
Data: World Management Survey
Suitable for profiles: ECN, FIN, STR.
Maximum likelihood estimation of a demand system
The almost ideal demand (AID) system was developed by Deaton and Muellbauer (1980). It specifies a household’s set of demand functions for different goods and services. The AID system combines flexibility and consistency with theoretical properties with a specification for the demand equations that allows for tractable estimation.
However, one of the weaknesses of the AID system is that the crucial property of negativity (that compensated demand functions should always slope downwards—the “law of demand”) cannot be imposed under estimation without giving up the flexibility of the system.
To remedy this weakness, Moschini (1998) suggested incorporating the negativity property “at the mean data point”, i.e., to make sure that if the household has the average income level and faces the average prices in the dataset, then its behavior respects the “law of demand”. While not solving the problem completely, this is a big step forward.
The purpose of the thesis would be to write a maximum likelihood estimation programme in Stata that incorporates Moschini’s restriction, and use it on household budget survey data for Norway to obtain estimates for income and price elasticities.
Deaton A and J Muellbauer (1980) An almost ideal demand system, American Economic Review 70 , 312-336.
Moschini (1998) The semi-flexible almost ideal demand system, European Economic Review 42 , 349-364.
Data: Household budget survey data collected by Statistics Norway (SSBs Forbruksundersøkelsen 1999-2012 )
Suitable for profiles : ECO, ECN
Supervisor: Fred Schroyen
Merger remedies: Is the cure effective in restoring competition?
Mergers that restrict competition should be stopped by competition authorities. However companies may propose remedies that reduce or eliminate the competitive harm to get the merger cleared. Such remedies can be structural or behavioral. Structural remedies imply usually that competing activity are divested to a new or existing company in the market. Behavioral remedies are usually commitments to abstain from various forms of anti-competitive behavior for a given period after the merger. Merger remedies can be a win-win in the sense that the harm to competition can be solved and otherwise profitable mergers can be carried out. However recent studies show that this instrument in merger control is inefficient in restoring competition and that mergers that are cleared with remedies tend to result in price increases after the merger. Why is that? Is the problem mainly related to behavioral remedies? Are there inherent incentive or information problems? How can merger control be improved? This project should combine theory and data. Data can be made available upon request.
Kwoka, J. (2015): Mergers, merger control and remedies: a retrospective analysis of US policy. The MIT Press.
THE EFFECT OF BORDER TRADE RESTRICTIONS ON THE DEMAND FOR ALCOHOL IN NORWAY
Many Norwegians buy alcohol outside Norway: across the border in Sweden or in duty-free shops at the airport/on the ferry. During the corona crisis, such purchase opportunities have been closed. This has given rise to a notable increase in the sale of alcohol through Vinmonopolet. The thesis would model and estimate the effect of travel restrictions on the demand for alcohol.
G Henriksen & J Kvile, Nordmenns grensehandel. Fysisk grensehandel. SSB notat 2020/01.
Data from SSB and Vinmonopolet.
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN
Supervisor: Fred Schroyen
THE PEAK-END-RULE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The peak-end-rule says that the most memorable parts of an experience is the peak (i.e the most enjoyable period) and the end. Daniel Kahneman and co-authors have for example shown that you can make patients better off by simply extending a painful medical treatment with a more joyful period at the end. The idea of this thesis proposal is to test the peak-end theory in a relevant, high-stake, real-world environment. In particular, the aim is to combine data from e.g. the Premier League in England with regional data on domestic violence and other offensive behavior, and test whether football fans are more upset, and therefore make more criminal acts, when their team lost because of a goal occurring in the final minutes of the game as opposed to the same nominal loss, but were the score was determined earlier in the game. The thesis will also include a replication of the paper by Card and Dahl (2011) on prospect theory and violence
Card and Dahl (2011), Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior, Quarterly Journal of Economics
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO
The use of budget survey data to estimate demand functions
In many countries, the statistical office regularly carries out a household budget survey. Such a survey documents how households allocate their budget over different commodity and service groups. The same statistical office also constructs price indices for different consumption categories. Using these two data sources, the project would consist in estimating a system of demand functions that describes the price and income sensitivity of the different consumption categories, and in testing the microeconomic properties of such functions. Estimation can be carried out with existing user friendly Stata programmes.
Banks J, R Blundell and A Lewbell (1997) Quadratic Engel Curves and Consumer Demand, Review of Economics and Statistics 79 , 527-539
Data: Household budget survey data and price indices for your country
Suitable for profiles: ECN, ECO.
Four topics on challenges in the electricity markets.
There is a dramatic transition taking place in energy markets, where renewable energy is about to replace energy based on fossil fuels. In Europe coal, gas and oil is about to be replaced by renewable energy such as solar power and wind power. One challenge, though, is that the renewable energy is intermittent. For example, wind power produces for full capacity in some time periods, and have zero production in other time periods. This irregularity may lead to increased volatility in electricity prices, with very low prices when the wind is blowing and very high prices else.
In the Norwegian electricity market more than 90 % of its production of electricity comes from hydro power. In contrast to renewable energy such a wind power, hydro power is flexible since water can be stored in reservoirs. Such a flexibility is valuable, since one can reallocate production such that it produces when it is most needed. On the other hand, the total supply of energy in a hydro power system during a year is dependent on the weather. In a wet year with a lot of rain, the total production in Norway is approximately 30 % higher than the domestic consumption. However, in a dry year the domestic supply is lower than the domestic demand.
Due to a move from fossil fuels to electricity, the domestic demand is expected to increase the next years in Norway (and other countries). Unless Norway expands production substantially in the coming years, which is unlikely given the (lack of) decisions that have been made concerning new power plants, the next ten years the periods with excess supply in the Norwegian electricity market will be fewer than before.
The present crisis, with gas being decisive for the prices in the electricity market for the whole of Europe, adds to the challenges Europe is facing with the transition to renewable energy. There is at present an ongoing debate in Europe whether there is a need for a structural reform of the market design of the electricity market. Some question the coordinated system of export or imports of electricity, while others question the model where the producer with the highest costs sets the price (the so called merit order system).
- Describe the present market design for electricity, and discuss pros and cons of the system that is used today. In particular, discuss how suitable such a system is for a future situation with much more intermittent electricity production (especially wind and solar power).
- Consider the situation for Norway, with mostly hydro power. Discuss how Norway can gain from trade with the rest of Europe. In particular, what are the pros and cons of building more transmission lines (or scrapping some existing ones) between Norway and surrounding countries.
- In Norway there is a rather high seller concentration in situations with bottlenecks on the transmission lines, and then markets becoming national or even smaller than that. Discuss how a producer with market power can behave in such a system, and whether there are any structural reforms that can curb any potential harmful exploitation of market power.
- There are some large producers in the Norwegian electricity market, with water reservoirs that makes it possible to store water even from one year to another. Discuss how such a player should allocate its sales of water in order to maximize profits, and relate your predictions from theory to what you observe in this market.
Possible majors: ECN, ECO, BUS, STR (depending on the focus of the thesis)
Possible supervisors: Depending on the approach you choose, but Lars Sørgard or other faculty members from the Department of Economics
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE NORWEGIAN INCENTIVE SCHEMES FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
Several countries, including U.S.A., Canada and Norway, have introduced incentives to encourage the sale of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. There is a debate over the effectiveness of these policies in achieving the desired policy goals, such as reductions in CO2 emissions. The Norwegian incentive scheme is notable for high subsidies as well as other extensive benefits, including exemption from the registration tax, free toll roads, free parking, and programs for building charging stations. More detailed knowledge about the effects of specific parts of the incentive scheme would be helpful, both to inform possible improvements of the incentive schemes, but also for planning purposes in businesses and local governments. There are several open questions regarding the effect of the rich incentive scheme. One question regards how much the different policies contribute to increasing electric vehicle sales. A related question is whether they have differential impact on which modes of transportation consumers substitute away from, e.g., whether consumers substitute away from regular cars, public transport and biking, both at the intensive and the extensive margin. A master thesis on this topic could focus on one or several specific policies and subquestions.
Fearnley et al (2015): "E-vehicle policies and incentives - assessment and recommendations", TØI report 1421/2015; Chandra et al (2010): "Green drivers or free riders? An analysis of tax rebates for hybrids vehicles", Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 60: 78-93; Holtsmark (2012): "Elbilpolitikken - virker den etter hensikten?", Samfunnsøkonomen 5: 4-11
Data: Detailed data about car ownership including some usage measures per vehicle can be provided by the supervisor, in addition to data on tollroads and charging stations.
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, ENE, BUS, FIE, INB
Supervisor: Morten Sæthre
REGULATION OF FINANCIAL MARKETS: HOW CAN THE POLITICAL PROCESS PRODUCE VERY DIFFERENT REGULATIONS ACROSS COUNTRIES?
Improved financial market regulation ensure that information is widely spread and investors can trust information and contracts. However, not all parties benefit from better regulation. For example, some established firms dislike that new entrants obtain financing, demand for labour may increase which again will increase wages. In an influential book, Rajan and Zingales describe how financial regulation across countries can be explained by political forces in favour and against better regulation. A possible project would be to discuss how strong labour unions, industry structure, openness to trade and other institutional characteristics can explain the current regulation in Norway. The project might combine insights from analytical approaches discussed in Tirole with the empirical literature discussed in the book by Rajan and Zingales.
Rajan R. G. and L. Zingales (2003), Saving capitalism from the capitalists Princeton University Press.
Tirole, J (2006) The theory of Corporate Finance, see chapter 16 on Institutions, Public Policy and the Political Economy of Finance, Princeton University Press.
TECHNOLOGY MARKETS: HOW TO (NOT) SELL TECHNOLOGIES?
The best innovators are often not the best producers. Many patented technologies with different owners need to be used together in order to produce a valuable product. Consequently, there should be a vivid market for technology transactions. However, many claim that the market is smaller than expected and not working very well. Knowhow is not easy to sell: None are willing to buy something before they have seen it, and when they have seen it (and can use it) why should they pay for it? Will the patent system solve the problem or can patenting prevent investments in new technologies. You might use Apple (or another firm) as a motivating example for a study of how firms might organize sales and purchases of technologies?
Bessen, J. and M.J. Meurer, (2008) Patent failure: How judges, bureaucrats, and lawyers put innovation at risk, Princeton University Press.
Jaffe, A. B. and J. Lerner (2004): Innovation and its Discontents: How our broken patent system is endangering innovation and progress, and what to do about it, Princeton University Press
Suitable for profiles: ECO, ECN, FIN, STR
The death of Queen Elizabeth II.-a Monetary policy shock
Queen Elizabeth II. died on 8 September 2022. The queen liked to "keep calm, and carry on" whatever happened. In contrast to this spirit, the next day Bank of England announced delaying their upcoming pre-scheduled monetary policy meeting from 15 to 22 September. The rescheduling was unexpected, i.e., an exogenous monetary policy shock. This time it was not an unexpected decision but an unexpected `lack of.` Financial markets expected a new interest rate hike. However, for a further week, interest rates stayed the same.
The thesis investigates the effect of this unexpected delay of MPC decisions on financial markets. Our method to isolate this story from other news events is to use high-frequency data in a narrow window around the announcement.
Nakamura, Emi, and Jón Steinsson. Forth- coming. “High Frequency Identification of Monetary Non-Neutrality: The Information Effect.” Quarterly Journal of Economics
Supervisors: Markus Karlman and Krisztina Molnar
The Study Blog : Research topics
50+ Economics research Topics and Topic Ideas for dissertation
The ultimate goal of economic science is to improve the living conditions of people in everyday lives. Economists study how to utilize the available scarce resources to maximize value and thus profits. The concerns of economics today are largely focused on issues such as opportunity cost, consumption and production, borrowing, saving, investments, occupations and employment, trades markets, pricing and human behavior concerning making economic decisions.
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Given that economics covers a lot of issues in society today coupled with the multitude of research studies within the existing literature, many economics students find it difficult to find the most suitable economic research topic for their undergraduate project, master’s thesis, and dissertations. Technological advancement has also increased the pace of transformation and globalization creating new areas in economics that are worth research. Our economics experts have curated a list of research paper topics in economics that you can use to get the perfect research paper topic.
Micro-Economics Research Topics
Microeconomics deals with the economic behavior of individual isolated units of the economy like an individual, a household, a company, and industry. Micro-economists study factors that influence economic choices, markets and their key elements such as demand and supply and analyze markets and determine the prices for goods and services that best allocate the available limited resources. Some of the best research topics in microeconomics that you can use for your thesis or dissertation include:
1. The effect of income changes on consumer choices
2. The effect of labor force participation on the economy and budget – A comparison
3. The impact of marital status on the labor force composition: A case of [your country] economy
4. The difference in the consumption attitude in [your country] over the last decade – Critical analysis of consumer behavior trends
5. The relationship between salary levels and ‘economic convergence’ in [your country]?
6. Analyzing salary inequalities in [your country] and the forces behind such inequalities.
7. The evolution of consumption in [your country] over the last 10 years: Trends and consumer behavior.
8. Dynamics of the Gini index as a reflection of the problem of inequality in income
9. Cashless economy: The impact of demonetization on small and medium businesses
10 Privatization of Public Enterprises and its implications on economic policy and development
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Macroeconomics Research Topics
1. The relationship between economic growth and unemployment in [your country]
2. Global recession and factors that contribute to it.
3. Impact of government expenditure on economic growth in [country]
4. The impact of company income tax revenue on the developing economies- A comparative analysis of Kenya, India, and Nigeria
5. The relationship between common stock prices and inflation in [your country]
6. The relationship between inflation and government spending in [your country] economy.
7. The effect of currency devaluation on small and medium firms- A case study of selected multinationals in [your country]
8. The relationship between internet connectivity and productivity in the workplace
9. The evolution of the stock market in [your country]: Causes and consequences
10 Unemployment and regional mobility of labor in [your country]
11 A comparison of the United States unemployment to the rest of the world
Research Topics on International Trade
1. The relationship between economic growth and international trade
2. To what extent does a currency union affect trade: A case of the United States
3. What are the gains and losses of international trade for developing countries?
4. Foreign direct investment in the United States: Determinants and impact
5. The effects of the banana crisis on the Jamaican and British economies
6. The impact of Brexit on small and middle businesses in the UK
7. The relationship between foreign direct investment and wages- A comparative analysis of USA and China
8. The roles of exchange rate and exchange rate regime in the US export
9. The importance of international trade in developing countries
10 To what extent are the gains of less developed countries from tradeliberalization exaggerated?
Environmental economics research paper topics
Economic activities such as production have a significant impact on the environment such as pollution and depletion of natural resources. Environmental economics studies these impacts and other environmental issues. Below are some of the best research paper topics in environmental economics.
1. An economic examination of waste disposal programs in the United States
2. Man-made environmental disasters: who bears the economic liability?
3. The economics of land- a comparative analysis of land sharing and land sparing in the United States
4. The impact of waste disposal programs to America’s Environmental Policy: An economic evaluation
5. Water management and conservation policies in the United States and the UK- a comparative analysis
6. The economic implications of climate policy changes because of different climate change assessment mechanisms
7. Investigating the cost of organizational environmental analysis in the United States
8. What are the determinants of climate policy formulation in the United States? An economic scrutiny
9. The economic perspectives of distribution of natural resources across boundaries
10 The impact of technological innovation for clean and green products on the environment
11 The impact of work-life balance on social eco-systems: perspectives from the United States
12 The relationship between financial subsidies and generation of eco-friendly products
Research Paper Topics on Behavioral Economics
Behavioral economics examines the psychology behind economic activities and economic decision making. It examines the limitation of the assumption that individuals are perfectly normal. Good behavioral economics topics cover subjects such as bounded rationality, irrational exuberance, and choice architecture.
1. Inducing choice paralysis: how retailers bury customers in an avalanche of options
2. The behavioral economics of discounting- A case study of amazon
3. Pricing and the decoy effect; how corporations ‘nudge’ consumers to spend more
4. Big data and implications for behavioral economics
5. A study of how the United States market benefitted from behavioral economics theory
6. How has behavioral economics influenced the real-world context? A case of online purchase behavior
7. Weight management through behavioral economics: use of incentives
8. What motivates consumers? A behavioral economics perspective
9. Using behavioral economics to help in reducing substance abuse
10 Addressing lifestyle management for diabetes through behavioral analysis- insights from the US healthcare sector
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Development Economics research paper topics
1. The impact of multinational commodity trading through the development economic perspective
2. The impact of globalization on income distribution in emerging economies
3. Investigating the relationship between migration and development economics
4. Budgeting and decision making by low-income earners in emerging economics
5. Investigating the relationship between family planning, labor force, and income fluctuations
6. The impact of natural disasters on development in emerging economies
7. The impact of population growth on development economics- review of India
8. The determinants of high performing institutions in emerging economies
9. Comparative economic patterns of villages across Virginia
10 Aid and economic growth of developing economies- a review
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Economics Dissertation Topics
Economics is about making choices in the face of scarcity and uncertainty and ensuring that resource allocation is effectively and efficiently done. What was popularised by writers, researchers and philosophers such as Adam Smith in the 1770s, has become a field with significant relevance and importance in today’s society that is highly financialised and globalised. Dating back to medieval scholastics as well as literature published back in the 15th and 18th century, through the 19th century, the concerns of economics have largely focused on aspects such as choices of individuals, borrowing, money, consumption and production, occupations and employment, markets, trade, pricing of assets, taxes, and most recently human behaviour in relation to economic decisions.
There are multitudes of research studies, within the existing literature, that have been conducted in relation to the above concerns and many of these have resulted in a number of models that attempt to provide possible explanations to real world problems. As the world continues to evolve with the advent of technological advancements that have increased the pace of transformation and globalisation, new areas in economics have emerged as worthwhile research targets. The following are possible economics dissertation topics to choose from for your academic research project in economics:
Economic Geography Dissertation Topics
Economic sociology dissertation topics, institutional economics dissertation topics, microeconomics dissertation topics, macroeconomics dissertation topics, regional development dissertation topics.
- Employment Economics Dissertation Topics
Financial Economics Dissertation Topics
This is the area in economics academic literature that is concerned with the role of geographic location and place with the economical outcomes. It focuses on describing and analyzing patterns and trends in human behavior and activity to gain understanding of the processes and drivers that shape and affect the economic and cultural landscapes. Within regions and localities, there are great dynamics that shape the nature and extent of economic activity. Below are some suggestions for economics dissertation topics on economic geography:
- The impact of local and regional cultures on shaping entrepreneurial economic development.
- Can entrepreneurial attitude be exported? The role of emigrants in introducing new entrepreneurial attitudes.
- Differences of entrepreneurial behaviour in rural and urban areas.
- Is there any relationship between mature industries dominating small towns and their local cultural factors?
- The role of local culture in promoting regional innovation networks.
- National, regional and local policies to support local clusters: opportunities.
- How can policy support the creation of a local cluster?
- Are networks affected by local proximity? Differences between co-localised and dispersed networks.
- The likelihood impact of Brexit on policy outcomes that shape the local economy in UK cities.
- A model for the development of information and communication technology incubators in the UK. Analysis of the concentration of Top 50 IT companies.
- What is causing regional divergence? An analysis of the richest and poorest regions in the UK.
- The economic geography of recession. Difference between regional and city economics in the UK.
- Why are housing built in flood-prone coastal areas?
- Understanding educational progression at the local level: A comparison of the North and South cities in the UK.
- How COVID has contributed to house price volatility in various cities in the UK.
- How the COVID lockdown has affected social life of big cities.
- Will coronavirus cause a big city exodus?
Economic sociology refers to sociological aspects influencing the economic indicators and their relationship with social outcomes. It is the study of how the material conditions of life are produced and reproduced through social processes and broadly covers the sociology of markets and the sociology of consumptions. Possible economics dissertation topics in this area include:
- The role of social networks in supporting innovation activities in mature industries.
- The financial and non-financial support of family in the development of successful entrepreneurship.
- The private network as the facilitator of the firm start-up.
- Exploring the differences between trust and power in local productive systems.
- Social contracts and peer-pressure as the source of traditional industry development in the UK.
- Can cultural mix increase productivity in creative industries? Evidence from the UK.
- The role of social and intellectual capital in rural places in the UK.
- Is social capital a critical factor in the British creative industries?
- How can universities take advantage of social networks to induce entrepreneurial action among their students?
- The role and contribution of social entrepreneurship in the UK.
- The economic impact of migration from different regions of the world to the UK. Comparative analysis between the EU and the non-EU migration.
- Is the relationship between economic and social development linear?
- The convergence of economic systems in the wake of globalisation and their implications on the social development across developed, emerging and developing national economies.
Institutional Economics relates to a variety of economics traditions that are concerned with social institutions which are linked to consumption, distribution and production of goods and services as well as the underlying corresponding social relations. In essence, Institutional Economics has a relatively broad inquiry scope and is considered to have relatively close ties with other disciplines such as anthropology, economic sociology, psychology, economic history, behavioural economics, behavioural finance, physical science, management and business studies, and nowadays neuro, cognitive and brain science. This implies that there are various dissertation topics that can fall under the Institutional Economics bracket; some of these include the following.
- An assessment of the implications of Institutional Economics methodologies for the analysis of the property market.
- A study of how the theoretical assumptions of the New Institutional Economics’ (NIE) micro analytical level influence a firm’s choice of governance structures.
- How do habits and routines affect productivity? The case of (an industry).
- How does the culture mix impact on the organisation of firms in the UK?
- Resilience to economic shrinking in an emerging economy: the role of social capabilities.
- Financial constraint, trust, and export performances: The case of UK SMEs.
- Efficiency in the property market in the UK: An institutional perspective.
- Transaction costs and economic development.
- A resource-based theory analysis to firm co-operation.
- How can transaction costs economics account for inter-firm collaboration?
- Ownership and control in the UK: An institutional analysis.
- Institutions and policies of economic freedom: different effects on income and growth.
- How does job experience relate to entrepreneurship? Evidence from the UK.
- Educational aspects of entrepreneurship. The role of formal school in promoting entrepreneurial capacities in the UK.
- Latent entrepreneurship: the UK vs Europe.
Microeconomics has to do with supply and demand, and with the way they interact in various markets. It is andconcerned with how economic agents, that is, individual decision-makers (both consumers and producers) behave in different economic settings. The overarching goal of microeconomic research is to identify the incentives of various agents and trade-offs that they may face. To understand behaviour of individuals in terms of their economic decision-making, researchers build various models, use data and conduct experiments.
The following are the examples of dissertation topics on ‘Microeconomics’:
- The evolution of household consumption in the UK over the last 10 years: Trends in consumer behaviour.
- Are mergers and acquisitions related to productivity in UK firms?
- Is the minimum wage still relevant in the UK economy?
- Is the British retail sector becoming less oligopolistic? An analysis of the impact of new supermarkets.
- Are British oligopolistic markets really oligopolistic?
- Conditions for the existence of a knowledge firm.
- Characteristics of the innovative organisation in the UK.
- Are UK firms more innovative than their European counterparts?
- The impact of the European regional policy on British small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- The energy market in the UK: A microeconomic approach.
- The impact of regulation on British industries: The case study of Uk energy sector.
- Does firm size affect firm profits? Evidence from telecommunication firms in the UK.
- Game theory and decision theory.
Macroeconomics is concerned with how the overall economy works and how all markets interact to generate big phenomena that economists call aggregate variables. It studies such things as employment, gross domestic product, inflation, national income, employment and the interaction between the global economy and financial markets.
The following are the examples of dissertation topics on ‘Macroeconomics’:
- How do interest rates affect consumption in the UK?
- What is the role of the dollar evolution in UK spending?
- The magnitude of the impact of oil price changes on UK consumption.
- The impact of Brexit on consumer spending in the UK.
- The impact of Brexit on employment and labour in the UK.
- What factors influence the salary inequality across the UK?
- The evolution of the exchange rates in the UK: Causes and consequences.
- Negative interest household savings in the UK.
- The impact of the common agriculture policy (CAP) on British agriculture.
- Economic growth and productivity. The UK in the century transition.
- Interest rates and foreign direct investment in the UK.
- Brexit and foreign direct investment in the UK.
- Monetary policy pass-through for the UK after Brexit.
- Development of UK monetary policy overtime.
- Does inflation affect firms’ profits in the UK?
- Macroeconomic determinant of house prices in the UK.
- Unemployment and regional mobility of labour in the UK.
- The impact of finance on growth: The case of UK.
- Economic growth and unemployment: Is there a relationship in the UK?
- The macroeconomics of SMEs entrepreneurship in the UK.
- Global economic recession and factors that contribute to it.
- Is the UK insurance system economically viable?
- How does the Greek financial crisis impact the EU economy overtime?
- The impact of COVID income inequality in the UK.
- Coronavirus and wage inequality: The case of UK manufacturing sector.
- COVID and economic recession: Will the impact be more pronounced than the 2007 financial recession?
- Role of information technology in economic development.
- Social inequality: the difference between wealth and income.
- Why is insurance necessary for the economic development of a country?
- How is the tax burden shared between buyers and sellers in the UK?
- Asymmetric information and adverse market selection: A case study of UK insurance market.
- Economic rent and transfer earnings in the UK.
This discipline is focused on understanding the dynamics of regions as smaller economies with their own circumstances and outcomes. The focus is on the internal working of the regional economies as well as on their interaction with other regions. There is a component of economic growth and development at a regional level. The suggestions below will give you further ideas for your economics dissertation topics:
- Regional development and profitability of the businesses. What are the factors underpinning this relationship?
- The contribution of entrepreneurial networks for regional development.
- Implications and development of regional development policy in the UK.
- Infrastructures and regional development. How can the rail and road network explain the differences in the development of regions in the UK.
- Regional comparative advantage in natural resources and regional development.
- Effect of regional policy surrounding start-ups on regional development: more new firms or better old ones?
- The role of broadband internet technology in regional development: co-relation between internet speeds and regional development?
- Public investment and regional output: Evidence from the UK regions.
- Robustness of regional institutions and development: How to search for a link?
- Regional aspects of entrepreneurship in the UK.
- Differences between types and extent of entrepreneurship and unemployment across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Convergence and endogenous growth differences between South East England and the rest of the UK.
Employment/Labour Economics Dissertation Topics
Employment is considered to be a key concept in economics and its significance is reflected in the perception that people at work are seen as individuals/groups of individuals involved in the production of services and goods. Such production requires human capital and time; thus, organisations of different types pay people that are involved in the production process providing them with income that is later used to boost economic activity. In macroeconomics, low rates of national employment may signal underdevelopment or long-lasting depression while high rates of national employment may signal economic growth and development. Below is a list of dissertation topics that cover the area of employment economics.
- Work from home or office and employee wellbeing: The case of the COVID pandemic.
- A study of how flexible employment affects political support for social policy protection.
- The impact of gender inequality in employment on economic growth and workforce productivity.
- The influence of economic cycles on employment, workforce productivity and innovation: a study of manufacturing industries.
- Local pools on unemployment in the UK: Looking for similarities.
- Factors determining self-employment in the UK.
- The effects of minimum wages on British employment.
- How does technological innovation affect British unemployment? Evidence from the manufacturing industries.
- A comparison of self-employment across Europe: Where does the UK stand?
- Government policies in support of self-employment: Evidence from the UK.
- The effects of immigration on British employment and productivity.
Financial economics concentrates on exchanges in which money of one type or another is likely to appear on both sides of a trade. Financial markets are crucial in facilitating these exchanges at a relatively reduced transaction cost. In many such cases, the amount of money to be transferred in the future is uncertain. Financial economists thus deal with both time and uncertainty. Often the latter is called risk. Financial economics is thus a branch of economics that examines the utilisation and distribution of economic resources in financial markets in which decisions must be made under uncertainty.
The following are examples of dissertation topics on ‘Financial Economics’:
- How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the UK stock market?
- How is the FTSE affected by interest rates?
- Does CAPM measure the risk of stocks listed on the FTSE 100?
- How does the behaviour of the FSTE 100 affect economic growth?
- Behavioural finance: A study on the motivation of British investors.
- The determinants of corporate debt in the UK.
- The role of private equity and debt market in the finances of SMEs in the UK.
- Do SMEs achieve higher profitability rates than large corporations in the UK?
- The financial structure of British firms: A comparison with the European Union.
- Financial markets and financial intermediation in the UK.
- Temporary and permanent components of asset prices in the UK.
- Capital and financial structure of UK companies.
- Investor protection and corporate governance: Comparison between EU and US financial market.
- Political uncertainty on asset prices.
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Interesting Thesis Topics In Economics: 20 Good Suggestions
When you are choosing a good and interesting thesis topic in economics, you are not limited by practically anything. You can write about numerous spheres of economics, their development and evolution under one condition: they should already be researched, and this research should be published in related journals, reference books, monographs, etc. You cannot write a project of this kind without a significant and reliable scientific base.
That’s why you should choose a problem that has already been researched but add your own novel look at it. It will determine the scientific value of your work. If you have no precise idea about the best topic for your research, you should turn to your supervisor for a piece of advice. As a rule, they do their own projects in certain spheres and can recommend you areas that require additional attention.
Below, you can see a list of actual and quite interesting topics for a thesis paper in economics.
- Do unemployment rates grow together with economics?
- The correlation between productivity and growth of economics.
- How does growth of interest rates affect consumption and is there any correlation between them?
- Is there any difference between unemployment in the USA and European countries?
- How changes of oil prices affect the economics of the USA and other countries in the world.
- Reasons that make salaries and prices vary in different regions of the United States.
- How the US dollar affects the value of currency and development of economics in other countries.
- Unemployment and labor mobility in the USA.
- How labor regulation affects unemployment rates in the United States.
- Do other countries influence the development of economics in the USA and how do they affect it?
- Development and evolution of consumption in the USA over the past 20 years.
- The correlation of merges and productivity for small business.
- Innovative business in the USA: differences and similarities to innovative enterprises in Europe.
- How development of regions can affect the general development and profit.
- Changes at the job market through the past 20 years: destruction and creation of jobs.
- The place of self-employment in the general economics and development.
- Governmental support that self-employment can or cannot have.
- The effect immigration to the USA causes on employment and productivity.
- The role of social capital in development of economics.
- The role of family business in economics and its place in the today’s business sphere.
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Department of Economics
Finding a senior thesis topic.
Some senior thesis topics come from a student's previous research for a term paper or an experience in an internship. Other ideas come from subjects studied in a course or current headlines. But many students have difficulty coming up with a topic that "works"—one that is researchable by an Econ senior and where data are readily available. Below are research topics suggested by current faculty members in their own areas of expertise.
Elizabeth Brainerd : Health Economics/Labor Economics
Impact of economic crisis on mortality and population health in poor countries. How has the recent economic crisis affected health and mortality in poor countries? Has it differentially affected young versus older-age mortality, or male versus female mortality? Have parents favored, for example, protecting the health of sons over daughters in the crisis? How do the health effects of this crisis compare with those of other crises? USAID’s Demographic and Health Surveys include surveys of the health status of children and adults in many developing countries in the 1990s and 2000s and could be used to investigate this question.
Do pro-natalist policies increase fertility rates? Many countries now have fertility rates below the replacement level and are concerned about declining populations. In an effort to increase fertility, some countries now offer substantial payments to women for (for example) the birth of a second child. Do these payments work, or simply change the timing of fertility as some critics have argued? One could investigate this question by examining one or more of the European countries that have implemented these policies.
Linda Bui : Environmental Economics
Environmental regulation and public health. California has some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the country and some of the worst measures of environmental quality. Yet very few studies look specifically at the relationship between environmental policy and health outcomes in California. Using publicly available pollution and health data (as well as regulatory information), a student can look for evidence of measurable health benefits from the extraordinary regulatory measures that California has undertaken for the past 30 years.
Industry transformation. To shed light on recent government efforts to bail out auto companies based in Detroit, a student could analyze the earlier cases of Pittsburgh (or Birmingham or any other steel town) and the process of transformation from a one-industry city specializing in steel to a high-tech more diversified city. How long did it take to "adjust"? What did the changes cost?
Michael Coiner : Education/Public Sector
Project STAR. For four years, the state of Tennessee conducted an experiment in its elementary schools. Students were randomly assigned to classes of different sizes, and teachers were randomly assigned to classroom. Data is available on some student characteristics (e.g., race, free lunch eligibility) and on some teacher characteristics (e.g., race). The students were tested in math and reading in grades K-3. Follow-up studies tracked their later achievement. With this data set, it is possible to investigate a number of questions regarding the effects of smaller classes and different kinds of teachers on different groups of students, and whether these effects persisted over time.
Massachusetts Health Care Reform. In 2006 Massachusetts undertake health care reform. The Massachusetts effort served as the model for the national health reform law that was passed in 2010. What were the major features of the Massachusetts reform, and what have its effects been on the number of people with health insurance, on health care costs, and on health care quality?
Kathryn Graddy : Micro/Industrial Organization/Finance
Prof. Graddy has three different datasets students are welcome to use for any senior thesis project:
Data on violin prices at auction – one dataset is a repeat-sales dataset from 1855 to present and another dataset contains detailed individual data from 1980 to present.
Data on art sold at auction between 1980 and 1992.
Real estate data from the MLS – for example all homes listed in Boston and suburbs during January 2003.
Some specific ideas for using these datasets:
Violins as assets. Estimate a CAPM model using detailed violin data. Prof. Graddy can supply the violin data, but the student will need to download relevant stock and bond data and understand how to estimate the model.
Testing for optimizing behavior by impressionist artists. Estimate the price-per-square-foot for impressionist art, and then determining whether or not the majority of artists are optimizing.
House prices and school rankings. Using the MLS data, one might be able to correlate real estate prices to school ranking in the Boston area and then explain why the correlation is as it is.
Gary Jefferson : R&D spending/China
From 1996 to present, the ratio of R&D spending to GDP in China has risen from 0.6% to over 2%, now matching the OECD countries. What is motivating the increase? Who Performs R&D and Why? Data set: most of China’s large, medium, and small manufacturing firms – a panel of about 400,000 firms spanning 1998-2007. Includes data on R&D, exports, new product innovation, and other relevant measures.
How does Patenting in China's Renewable Energy Sector Compare with that of the U.S.? This will entail accessing patent data from China's State Intellectual Property Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office comparing the quantity and quality of such patenting over the past decade.
Davide Pettenuzzo : Econometrics
Degree to which stock return predictability changed over time. Historical data on the aggregate S&P 500 index and most of the key macroeconomic and financial indicators that have been found to be useful predictors of returns are available from Amit Goyal’s website at http://www.hec.unil.ch/agoyal/docs/PredictorData2010.xls . Professor Pettenuzzo has been working with this data recently and would be happy to advise students that would like to work with it. Some interesting questions worth exploring are related to the degree to which stock return predictability changed over time. For example, the five-year period between 1990 and 1995 has been found to be one the most detrimental time period for the hypothesis that stock returns can, at least to some extent, be predicted. Various hypotheses have been suggested as possible explanations for this significant change in predictability, but there is no clear consensus on which institutional or macroeconomic factor might best suited to explain this phenomenon. The question of what generated this change in predictability is still quite open.
Scott Redenius : Economic History/Economics of Financial Institutions
Railroad profits and investment. The period from the Civil War to World War I was the golden age of American railroads. Railroad mileage grew dramatically over the period but at a very uneven pace. Large portions of the railroad network were laid down in relatively brief spurts followed by periods of limited growth and, in some cases, bankruptcies or restructuring. What explains the pattern of railroad expansion over this period?
The January effect. The efficient market hypothesis predicts that stock prices should not exhibit predicable patterns but should move randomly. However, small stocks tend to exhibit abnormally high returns from late December through early January. Recent work indicates that the January effect has become smaller over time – and some claim that it has disappeared altogether. What generated the January effect and what explains its decline in the past two decades?
Raphael Schoenle : International Macroeconomics, Macroeconomics
Price Dynamics. Prof. Schoenle has worked with the micro data underlying the CPI, PPI and IPP (US export and import prices) published by the BLS. Very disaggregated data for these series are published online by the BLS at http://www.bls.gov . There is detailed online documentation about these datasets available in the form of the BLS Handbook and FAQs.
Many policy questions can be addressed by studying these data such as: How does a large appreciation of the Chinese Yuan pass through into US import and domestic prices? How do various measures of the exchange rate pass through into US import prices? Do domestic, export and import price indices show consistent price dynamics for example for computer electronics prices? Prof. Schoenle has worked extensively with these data and is happy to advise students interested in working on US price dynamics.
Elif Sisli Ciamarra : Corporate Finance
Governance of mutual fund firms. The aim of the study is to examine whether different corporate governance practices of mutual fund companies have any effect on the returns to mutual fund investors. The emphasis will be on the different board structures of the mutual fund companies (whether the different funds under the same mutual fund family group share a board of directors). The project involves collecting data on mutual fund board characteristics and managerial characteristics, and then analyzing whether (a) the performance of the fund is higher under any board structure, and (b) there is less performance transfer to the star funds under any board structure.
Executive Compensation and Risk Taking in the Banking Sector. This study will analyze how different components of executive compensation packages (salary, bonus, stock-based awards, pension contributions) affects the executive risk-taking in the banking industry. The project involves (a) organizing the compensation data, (b) developing risk-taking measures for the banking industry, (c) using econometric techniques to investigate the relation between executive compensation and risk-taking.
Diversification effects in biopharmaceutical firms. Several studies indicate that diversified firms trade at an average discount relative to specialized firms in the same industries (Lang and Stulz, 1994; Berger and Ofek, 1995; Servaes, 1996). However, Villalonga (2004) argues that the computed diversification discounts in the prior studies is merely a “data artifact” because the use of segment data introduces a noise by breaking down the activities of firms by industries inconsistently across firms. Thus, the presence of a “diversification discount” is still an open debate in corporate finance. Using a hand-collected dataset on drug development activities of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, we will try to perform tests of effects of diversification at a product level.
Dan Tortorice : Macroeconomics
Consumer expectations and buying attitudes. The micro data from the Michigan Survey of Consumers is all available online at http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/ . Prof. Tortorice has worked with this data in the past and would be happy to advise someone who wants to work with it. The documentation is online so a student can browse through the variables and come up with some questions that the data can be used to answer.
The Survey of Consumers is a monthly survey of the economic expectations and buying attitudes of U.S. households. It covers personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions. The variables include assessments of personal finances, expected changes in family income, and attitudes towards business conditions in the economy as a whole, over the near and the long-term horizon. It also contains expected changes in inflation, unemployment, and interest rates, as well as confidence in government economic policies. Finally, it includes each respondent's view on market conditions for buying large household durables, vehicles, and houses. Several demographic variables, e.g. education, age, race and gender, are available as well.
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Suggested Senior Thesis Topics , 2017–2018 (pdf)
130 Excellent Economics Research Topics for you to Consider
Table of Contents
What are Economics Research Topics?
Despite your expertise in economics, yet you might struggle to find suitable economics research topics for your dissertations. Besides, exploring topics on the internet might also not serve as a feasible option, instead, it will consume your time. Also, you might spend several hours and land up getting absolutely nothing.
Of course, the final objective of economics is to improve the living conditions of people in their daily lives. Accordingly, economists, study how to use scarce resources to optimize their value and thereby increase profit. Currently, the economics subject focuses on opportunity costs, production, consumption, trade markets, employment, investment, and pricing, and consumer behaviour.
How to use Economics Research Topics?
Selecting economics research topics is not a simple task for most of the students working on their dissertations. Besides, you might have to choose a narrow topic for exploring and analyzing it to the core. However, don’t make it too narrow as then you will have an access to limited information only. Nevertheless, if your topic is too broad, it might create difficulties for the students to complete it extensively.
Simultaneously, you might read the guidelines given below to choose the best economics research topics for your assignments.
- Firstly, understand your subject and according determine if the topic is related to your study area or not. Also, you might consider, if you possess the capacity to manage the topic selected for your dissertation.
- Secondly, ensure that the topic seems interesting to you and is appropriate for your knowledge.
- Thirdly, analyze your topic’s scope, as you need to write a detailed essay or even a dissertation on it.
- Lastly, you might need to consider your professor’s instruction regarding your topic selection keeping you on the right track.
How to write Economics Research Topics?
Besides, writing an economic paper is not the same as writing any other type of research paper . Instead, it is technical and the fundamental goal is to attain clarity. Also, focus on making your presentation clear as this might add power to your underpinning analysis and improve your research quality. Alternatively, writing a good economics research paper requires a deep understanding of the literature.
- Generally, economists use the initial paragraphs to develop their research questions. Besides, they even identify and elaborate on the model they have used to develop their research questions.
- Subsequently, you might arrange your arguments by developing a draft, defining significant terms, and avoiding redundancy. Also, mention your hypothesis and move deductively towards your conclusion.
- Accordingly, review and edit your research paper, until your paper seems easy to read and understand. Furthermore, ensure to make use of a mathematical language to write quality economic assignments.
- Finally, focus on your deadline and ensure the timely completion of your assignments to ensure success. Poor time management might even ruin the well-planned essay, so organize and submit on time.
List Of Economics Research Topics
Easy economics research topics.
- Income changes and consumer choices- Discuss the impact.
- Elaborate on the fiscal policy.
- How does a bank create its exchange rate?
- Profit maximization and its achievement.
- Rare resources and their significance.
- What is economic forecasting entails?
- Discuss the significant ethical rules in an economy.
- Elaborate on three opportunity costs.
- Privatization- Advantages and disadvantages.
- Impact of war on both sides economies of a conflict.
- The influence of a smoking ban on the economy.
- Free health care services in the United States- Is it justified?
- Analyze the impact of acute diseases on the workforce as well as the economies.
- Describe the significance of health insurance.
- Revenue collection in public hospitals- Elaborate.
Simple and Basic Economics Research Topics
- The influence of excellent completion in the pharmaceutical industry.
- How does an unhealthy nation transform into a poor nation?
- The pharmaceutical industry and its economies.
- Impact of the COVID-19 on the economy of the United States
- Impact of financial crisis (2007-2008) on the global economy
- Importance of foreign aid in the development finance institutions
- Discuss the trade models with heterogeneous firms, productivity growth and trade gravity
- Compare and contrast the macroeconomic policies of the United States and India
- Critical analysis of consumer behaviour trends and their impact on a country’s economy
- Analyze the relationship between salary levels and ‘economic convergence’ in the United States
- Pros and cons of the Cashless economy
- Discuss the Monetary policy and Supply-side policies
- Distinguish between Monetary policy and Fiscal policy
- Discuss how Microeconomic policies impact a country’s economy
- Impact of depression and recession
Economics Research Topics for Exam
- Discuss how inflation and interest rate impact a country’s economy
- Comparative analysis between price elasticity and demand elasticity
- What are the factors of supply and demand?
- Discuss the concept of market equilibrium
- Causes of consumer inflation in China
- The Matthew effect and social investment
- Discuss the trade models with heterogeneous firms, productivity growth, and trade gravity
- Discuss the relationship between salary levels and ‘economic convergence’ in the United States
- Compare and contrast between the evolution of consumption in the United States and China over the past two decades
- What is called Cashless economy
- Discuss the impact of on small and medium businesses
- What is the difference between income and consumption in the context of the demand and supply graph?
- What is the influence of increase in prices on supply?
- What is the influence of increase in prices on demand?
- Development economics and aid effectiveness.
High-Quality Economics Research Topics
- Trade policies and public economics.
- Impact of public enterprises’ privatization on economic policy and development
- Analyze the relationship between unemployment and economic growth in South African countries
- Discuss the impact of inflation and deflation on interest rates and consumption
- Compare and contrast Neoclassical, Marxian, and Keynesian theories of economics
- How is financial wellbeing responsible for a person’s happiness?
- Gender and the buying potential.
- The economy of trust and its impact on Uber.
- How money relates to a person’s happiness?
- The influence of economic stability on the social life of a person.
- Economic power and the race.
- Per household economic analysis- Discuss the concept.
- A person striking a good deal- How does their brain change?
- Market concepts and understanding of competition.
- Production costs and profit- A comprehensive analysis.
Good Economics Research Topics
- Analyze the functioning of a stock market.
- Microeconomics- A balance in demand and supply.
- Inflation sources and their impact.
- Perfect competition in microeconomics.
- Total demand and supply- Understanding the microeconomics.
- The impact of unemployment on microeconomics.
- Environment regulation and the cost-benefit analysis.
- Economic growth and technological advancements.
- Discuss the economic theory of entrepreneurship
- Discuss the pros and cons of risk pooling
- How demand and supply of normal, necessary, luxury and inferior goods changes due to inflation?
- Compare and contrast between Marshall equilibrium and Walras equilibrium
- Advantages and disadvantages of fixed and circulating capital economics
- Losses from monopoly: Theory and practice
- Brief discussion on perfect competition, monopoly market, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly market
Unique Economics Research Topics
- Theory of Economic Growth and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
- Public economics and International Trade policies
- How subsidies and taxes impact market equilibrium?
- Discuss the importance of Cobb-Douglas production function in economics
- Critical analysis of Gossen’s laws of economics
- Discuss the dynamics of the Gini index as a reflection of the problem related to income inequality
- Discuss the reasons behind global economic recession
- Economic impact of Brexit on the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in the United Kingdom
- Provide a comparative analysis on the relationship between wages and FDI (foreign direct investment) of the United States and China
- Stock market in India: Evolution, causes, and consequences
- What is the difference between the fiscal and monetary policies?
- What do you mean by budgets, taxes as well as public investment?
- How does economic growth influences the policymaking as well as economic institutes?
- What does green economics mean?
- What does inequality and race indicates in economics?
Read more topic: Top 150 Microeconomics research paper topics: Pick a fantastic topic
Economics Research Topics for the Experts
- Waste management is a rare resource.
- Discuss the economic potential of the energy market.
- Impact of global warming on economic growth.
- The influence of wildlife protection on the economy.
- Discuss the effects of the greenhouse on economic growth.
- Clean drinking water analysis and its significance.
- Beneficial human insights missing in big data and influence economic development.
- World hunger and the economy.
- Labor force engagement in budgeting and economy- A comparative analysis.
- Critically analyze the consumer behavior trends in your country.
- Examine the salary inequalities in your country and the drivers behind such inequalities.
- The influence of demonetization on small and medium companies.
- Analyze the dynamics of the Gini index, reflecting the income inequality issue.
- Internet connectivity and productivity- Explain their connectivity at workplaces.
- How global supply chain network influenced global economy?
Top most Economics Research Topics for college students
- What is called price ceiling in market and how it impact economy?
- Theory of firm under perfect competition
- Implicit and explicit costs and accounting and economic profit
- Is Mcdonald’s and KFC are monopolistic competition?
- Difference between consumer equilibrium and market equilibrium
- Investigating the economic impact of long-term unemployment
- The rate at which the US Federal Reserve is reducing its balance sheet.
- The Great Recession: Still Fighting Poverty
- The benefits and drawbacks of immigrant workers to the US economy
- Industrialization in the United States: Causes and Consequences
- What are the consequences of free health insurance: a case study?
- Car import tariffs in Ukraine 9. The future of the sustainable economy: managerial approaches
- Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Perfect Competition
- The impact of economic inequality on student learning outcomes
Trending Economics Research Topics for college students
- How does the economy affect the social aspects of the United States?
- The role of economic stakeholders in change-making
- Economic functions include production, consumption, and distribution.
- What are the president’s responsibilities in terms of the economy?
- Economic success factors in the twenty-first century
- A qualitative investigation into the role of macroeconomic policies in microeconomics
- A case study on how to determine a growing economy
- The macroeconomics of the United States following the 2008 economic crisis
- The relationship between technological progress and economic growth
- Major trends in the US economy
Final Notes- Economics Research Topics
Thus, you might have understood that writing economics research papers, might appear a cumbersome task. However, if you have the subject knowledge and adequate writing skills, most likely you will fare well in your assignments. Also, if the idea is still not convincing, call our Economics assignment help experts and enjoy good scoring assignments.
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The difference between a thesis and a topic is that a thesis, also known as a thesis statement, is an assertion or conclusion regarding the interpretation of data, and a topic is the subject a research paper is based on. The thesis provides...
A topic is the general theme, message or idea expressed in a speech or written work. Effective writing requires people to remain on topic, without adding in a lot of extraneous information.
Statistical treatment in a thesis is a way of removing researcher bias by interpreting the data statistically rather than subjectively. Giving a thesis statistical treatment also ensures that all necessary data has been collected.
A good thesis in economics is a blend between an empirical paper and a theoretical one. One of the essential steps in choosing a topic in
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