Business Taxation

FOR11 Business Taxation

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The course will use economic theory to investigate how taxes affect the decisions of investors, firms, employees, and consumers. We also investigate how taxation may distort or enhance economic efficiency, and we study how the burden of taxation is shared between producers and consumers in the economy. The topics covered in this course will be closely related to pressing policy questions that are discussed by tax practitioners, managers, politicians, special-interest groups and policy consultants. For example, how are international companies taxed? How do they respond to tax policy? An interesting policy example is tax reductions for corporate income from intangible assets such as patents. The rationale is that lower tax rates on the output of research activity will increase corporate investment in R&D and generate positive externalities within the economy. Is this a useful policy to foster innovative activity? Under what circumstances would such policies be welfare-improving in small open economies such as Norway?

  • Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the course the student


    • Understands how the government can use taxation to redistribute resources from the rich to the poor.
    • Understands how governments compete for mobile capital using fiscal policy instruments.
    • Knows how the international tax system works and can assess how tax policy changes. affect firms that are part of multinational enterprises (MNEs).


    • Is able to analyze how taxes affect economic decisions made by firms, workers and consumers.
    • Is able to analyze how different forms of taxation affect the trade-off between economic efficiency and equality.

    General Competence

    • Is able to weight the cost and benefits of changes in tax policy.
    • Understands how changes in tax policy and policy experiments can be used to quantify the economic effects of taxation.
    • Is able to apply economic theory to real-world issues faced by governments, consumers and businesses.

  • Teaching

    Lectures and exercises, partially online (streaming of sessions and short video recordings for self study). Physical meetings on 3 separate days.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    100 % credit reduction towards VOA048.

  • Compulsory Activity


  • Assessment

    The final grade is based on a digital school exam, 2 hours, which counts 60 %. Excel will be available during the exam. One term paper with re-submission after feedback (max. 6 pages, in groups of 2-4 students), which counts 40 %. The students will work on the term paper between week 3 and week 7. Answers must be written in English. All elements have to be taken in the same semester.

    An assessment in FOR11 will not be organised in the the non-teaching semester. As of autumn 2023, only mandatory bachelor courses with an individual assessment will have an assessment in the non-teaching semester. This only applies to students with a valid course approval. The retake options that apply at all times are decided by the dean for the bachelor program and will be published in the course description.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, 5th edition, Worth Publishers.

    Recommended readings: To be decided

  • Permitted Support Material

    One bilingual dictionary (Category I).

    Calculator (Category I).

    All in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered Spring 2024.

Course responsible

Adjunct Professor Maximilian Todtenhaupt, Department of Business and Management Science.