Norwegian Economic History after 1800

SAM13 Norwegian Economic History after 1800

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The course gives the students understanding and the ability to analytically explain how and why Norway has developed to become one of the richest countries in the world during the last 200 years. 

    The course covers three major time periods:

    1. Norwegian Economic History 1800-1914

    2. Norwegian Economic History 1914-1945

    3. Norwegian Economic History from 1945 onwards

    The first part concentrates on the global economic consequences of the establishment of Norway as a national state. Emphasis is put on sovereign economic policy, industrial policy, financial institutions and infrastructure. It examines industrial development, international trade, liberalism and Norway's place in the international economy. The transition from a static to a dynamic economy is examined in light of continuous productive growth and economic growth.

    The second part puts emphasis on the boom-bust economy from 1914 to 1945. Norway's place in the international economy, economic policy, and the reconstruction and fall of the international gold standard will be highlighted in order to understand developments in the product and labour markets.

    In the third part, the importance of planned economy, and later, its modification and the introduction of neo-liberalism and a global economy will be examined. Additionally, the transition into a petroleum-based economy will be highlighted, along with the green transformation and shifts in economic policy.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, the student can explain:


    • Theories on long term economic growth.
    • Theories on business cycles.
    • Short term and long term trends in economic development.
    • Empirics on the standard of living development.
    • Foreign trade development and relations.
    • Industrial development and relations.
    • Labour market development and relations.
    • Development and relations in economic policy.
    • Structural development and relations in the economy.
    • Institutional framework in economic development.


    Upon completion of the course, the student can:

    • Discuss reasons for economic growth and development.
    • Discuss reasons for business cycles.
    • Discuss reasons for changes in the Norwegian economy from 1800 until present times.
    • Analyse the Norwegian economic development during the last 200 years. 
    • Conduct independent analysis of economic-historical changes and their reasons and consequences.


    Upon completion of the course, the student can:

    • Communicate economic history to and with specialists and non-specialists.
    • Be able to apply their knowledge on newer or different problems in relation to the Norwegian economy. 
    • Contribute to independent reasoning and analysis within topics related  to economic development and growth.

  • Teaching

    The course consists of lectures, term paper seminar and a compulsory term paper.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Micro and macro economics.

  • Compulsory Activity

    Term paper.

  • Assessment

    Written digital school exam, 5 hours.

    An assessment in SAM13 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


  • Computer tools

    Private PC

  • Literature

    Hodne og Grytten, Norsk økonomi i det 19 århundre, Fagbokforlaget, Bergen 2000

    Hodne og Grytten, Norsk økonomi i det 20 århundre, Fagbokforlaget, Bergen 2002.

    Elective literature: Will be provided

  • Permitted Support Material

    One bilingual dictionary (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

Professor Ola Honningdal Grytten, Department of Economics.