Topics for master theses

Topics for master theses

The Department of Business and Management Science can offer the following Master Theses topics:

Investments, Insurance and Household Finance

Business Taxation

  • How did the US Tax Bill affect M&As?

    How did the US Tax Bill affect M&As?

    The 2017 TCJA may significantly change the pattern of corporate M&As. For instance, it has lifted the original use requirement for immediate depreciation of acquired assets. That makes it much more attractive to structure deals as asset purchases rather than stock acquisitions.

    Furthermore, net operating losses before and after January 1, 2018 are treated differently. An empirical analysis could use either Zephyr or SDC Platinum to explore early signs of these changes. 

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Detection of tax evasion by unsupervised learning

    Detection of tax evasion by unsupervised learning

    Unsupervised learning is the study of patterns in a dataset when there is no explicit response variable one would like to explain the variation of. Can unsupervised learning techniques be used to detect tax evasion with any precision? Are tax authorities exploiting such techniques when they lack an explicit response variable? Is there a reason to use unsupervised learning if only an error-ridden response variable is available? The questions can be answered by a combination of a literature study, an investigation of how tax authorities use unsupervised learning and comparison of supervised and unsupervised methods on simulated and real data.

    Data source: Tax returns and other sources from Tax Norway

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Jonas Andersson.

  • Topics on procurement and procurement strategies

    Topics on procurement and procurement strategies

    Eksempler på temaer kan være anbudsevaluering I praksis, konsekvensene av en utestenging av Huawei, analyse av en kommunes innkjøpsstrategi, hvordan ta miljøhensyn (eller sosiale hensyn) i innkjøp, etc. etc.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Quantify and explain the black/white gaps in reports, arrests and earnings in US crime

    Quantify and explain the black/white gaps in reports, arrests and earnings in US crime

    Recent focus on police brutality with respect to the black racial minority in the US has highlighted an anecdotal gap between races in crime. In its most common form, police officers feel that they are more likely to capture criminals if they stop and frisk black citizens. This leads to blacks and Hispanics experiencing on average more contacts with the police than whites. On the other hand, the majority of crimes (70%) are committed by whites.

    When we look at arrest probabilities, we observe that reported black perpetrators have a lower likelihood of arrest than reported white perpetrators. There is a need to draw the overall picture of white-black criminality and how discrimination and racial profiling influences these outcomes. A novel feature of this analysis can be the discussion of criminal earnings, together with a detailed analysis on how reporting, earnings and arrest are inter-related.

    Data: National Incident Based Reporting System, US

    Starting point: Knowles, J., Persico, N. and Todd, P., 2001. Racial bias in motor vehicle searches: Theory and evidence. Journal of Political Economy, 109(1), pp.203-229.
    Fryer Jr, R.G., 2016. An empirical analysis of racial differences in police use of force (No. w22399). National Bureau of Economic Research

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • The Errors of Witnesses: Impacts of faulty witness reports on crime statistics

    The Errors of Witnesses: Impacts of faulty witness reports on crime statistics

    It is well known that witness accounts on crime are often unreliable. The effects of stress or poor light on the victim can create a skewed perception of how the perpetrator looked. This, coupled with an unconscious discriminatory bias, leads to the victim reporting that the perpetrator was unknown or from the black racial minority. Often the witness report is based on an estimate – e.g. “ the perp looked black, around 25 years”.

    Comparing actual arrests to reports, we can try to put a number on the amount of witness error. This can impact the computation of statistics on black/white, male/female and young/old crime gaps. What if blacks are actually responsible for a very small fraction of crimes? What if females are responsible for more crimes? This could lead us to rethink current racial profiling strategies in crime detection.

    Data: National Incident Based Reporting System, US

    Starting point: Imbens, G.W. and Lemieux, T., 2008. Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice. Journal of econometrics, 142(2), pp.615-635.
    Fryer Jr, R.G., 2016. An empirical analysis of racial differences in police use of force (No. w22399). National Bureau of Economic Research

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • En kritisk evaluering av Statens Innkjøpssenter

    En kritisk evaluering av Statens Innkjøpssenter

    Statens innkjøpssenter ble opprettet i 2016 som en fireårig prøveordning, og skal inngå og forvalte fellesavtaler på vegne av sivile virksomheter i statlig sektor. Målet med innkjøpssenteret er mer profesjonelle, effektive og enkle innkjøpsprosesser, samt bedre og gunstigere innkjøp.

    For staten ventes sentrale rammeavtaler å gi lavere priser, reduserte transaksjonskostnader, økt bruk av elektronisk handel og bedre regelverksetterlevelse. I januar kom den offisielle evalueringen. Den har jeg kritisert i DN. Denne masteroppgaven vil evaluere hvor god evalueringen var og bygge videre på/forbedre den.

    Kilder

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Den offentlige innkjøper som en viktig samfunnsaktør

    Den offentlige innkjøper som en viktig samfunnsaktør

    Norge bruker over 500 mrd. kroner årlig på offentlige anskaffelser. En offentlig innkjøper sitter således med store muligheter til å bidra i arbeidet mot arbeidslivskriminialtet og sosial dumping/svart økonomi. Allerede i formålsparagrafen i lov om offentlige anskaffelser (LOA) er innkjøper forpliktet til å i vareta samfunnsmessige hensyn. I sin behandling påpekte Stortinget at dette også betydde kampen mot arbeidslivskriminalitet.  Regelverket gir et stort handlingsrom for innkjøper. Spørsmålet blir hvordan kommunale og fylkeskommunale enheter i Norge bruker dette handlingsrommet. Ledelsesforankring er et viktig stikkord her. Uten en forankring på alle plan (politiske vedtak osv.) vil innkjøper møte større utfordringer. 

    Hvilke strategidokumenter har innkjøper utarbeidet, og blir disse fulgt? Vi har fått mange ulike modeller som er politisk vedtatt (f.eks. Oslomodellen). Er det mulig å se noen resultater av disse? Hva med ""10 gode grep"" som ble utarbeidet. Er denne blitt brukt, og hvordan? Noen kommuner og offentlige organisasjoner har hatt problemer i forbindelse med mulig arbeidslivskriminalitet og sosial dumping (f.eks. måtte en kontrakt lyses ut på nytt av Helse Bergen etter at leverandør kastet inn kortene. I dette tilfelle hadde Helse Bergen allerede blitt advart om at det valgte tilbudet «luktet» social dumping. En daglig leder i et malerfirma måtte for noen måneder siden møte i retten, tiltalt for å ha organisert svart arbeid på Stortinget) Har disse hendelsene gitt noen endringer/forbedringer i organisasjonen og dens innkjøpsstrategi?

    Data: Casebasert oppgave.

    Starting Point: Ta kontakt med relevante aktører (Difi, Bergen (eller annen) kommunes innkjøpsavdeling, Helse Bergen, KS,…) Bjørnstad, Winger Eggen og Tofteng, 2016. Samlet vurdering av satsingene mot sosial dumping og arbeidslivskriminalitet, Rapport nr. 54-2016, Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse AS

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Bygg og anlegg

    Bygg og anlegg

    Vi observerer at bygg/anlegg har et fokus i media hvor flere stor utbygginger gis til utenlandske aktører, og hvor det oppstår utfordringer i utførelsen av prosjekter. Sist nå med Follo banen hvor et italiensk selskap gikk konkurs med påfølgende forsinkelser i prosjekt. Analyser/datasammenstillinger innenfor dette tema kunne gitt oss nyttig informasjon i forhold til å se på mulige skatterelaterte risikoer knyttet til slike prosjekt. I tillegg kunne en analyse av lønnsomhet mellom norske og utenlandske selskap i forhold til prosjektutførelse i Norge være av stor interesse.

    Mulig problemstilling: Kan vi se noen forskjeller i marginer/resultater mellom norske og utenlandske aktører i bygg og anleggs-bransjen? Kan det være slik at utenlandske aktører som bruker filialer for sitt oppdrag i Norge, foretar feilaktig allokering til fast driftssted og/eller bruker priser ved konserninterne transaksjoner som ikke er armlengdes, og gjennom dette oppnår dårligere skattemessige resultat i Norge enn hva norske selskap oppnår for tilsvarende oppdrag. I første omgang er det ønskelig å få analysert om det faktisk kan påvises en forskjell i resultatene som rapporteres for filialer av utenlandske foretak og norske foretak i bransjen. Dersom slik forskjell kan påvises, blir oppfølgingsspørsmålet om vi kan finne årsaken(e) til dette.

    Data: Regnskapsdata

    Starting Point: BUS444 (eller annet økonometrikurs) Willmore, 1986. The comparative performance of foreign and domestic firms in Brazil, World Development Bellak, 2004. How domestic and foreign firms differ and why does it matter?, Journal of Economic Surevys

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Sentralisering vs. desentralisering av innkjøp

    Sentralisering vs. desentralisering av innkjøp

    Difi ved Statens innkjøpssenter har inngått fem nasjonale rammeavtaler som den offentlige sektoren i Norge kan benytte. Difi snakker om store besparelser og estimerer besparelsen til å være cirka 230 millioner kroner i året. Samtidig advarer Konkurransetilsynet og Lars Sørgård for at sentraliserte innkjøp kan slå feil og at det er fare for svekket konkurranse.

    Hva er fordeler og ulemper ved sentralisering av innkjøp (i staten men også i bedrifter og organisasjoner)? I lys av teori og forskning på området, hvor store besparelser kan vi egentlig snakket om i Statens innkjøpssenter?

    Data: Innkjøpsavtaler inngått gjennom Statens innkjøpssenter, intervju av innkjøpere (både sentralt i Difi og ute i offentlige institusjoner i Norge)

    Starting Point:

    Fra media:

    Staten sparer stort på felles innkjøp – hittil om lag 230 mill.

    Stordriftsfordeler som blir ulemper

    Hvordan vet Difi hva din virksomhet vil spare på felles innkjøpsavtaler?

    Analyser og forskning:

    Centralised and decentralized public procurement, OECD

    When Should Procurement Be Centralized? Dimitri, Dini and Piga, in Handbook of Procurement (available in Malin’s office)

    Flexible  Strategies  for  Centralized  Public Procurement, by Albano and Sparro (2010), Review of Economics and Institutions

    Assessing the efficiency of centrliazed public procurement in the Brazilian ICT sector

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Sivilrettslig inndragning av utbytte fra kriminelle handlinger

    Sivilrettslig inndragning av utbytte fra kriminelle handlinger

    JD nå jobber med forslag til lov om sivilrettslig inndragning (etter en utredning av prof. Jon Petter Rui). Tidligere er det blitt foreslått en nasjonal enhet som skal sikre fratagelse av verdier gjennom både sivilrettslige og strafferettslige verktøy. Disse to tiltakene ble utredet parallelt. Regjeringen sa nylig at dette hadde noen praktiske hindre, uten å gå nærmere inn på hva disse er. Er sivilrettslig inndragning et effektivt virkemiddel? Kan det bøte på det ofte rapporterte problemet om manglende kapasitet og/eller kompetanse i politidistriktet? Hva er de praktiske hindringene regjeringen refererer til? Hva er erfaringene i andre land som har brukt dette, hva er potensielle fallgruver og hva har hatt best effekt? Hvor stor er den preventive effekten av å ramme utbyttet/profitten fra den kriminelle virksomheten? Samarbeidsforum kan bidra som diskusjonspartner.

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

Data Science and Analytics

  • Detection of tax evasion by unsupervised learning

    Detection of tax evasion by unsupervised learning

    Unsupervised learning is the study of patterns in a dataset when there is no explicit response variable one would like to explain the variation of. Can unsupervised learning techniques be used to detect tax evasion with any precision? Are tax authorities exploiting such techniques when they lack an explicit response variable? Is there a reason to use unsupervised learning if only an error-ridden response variable is available? The questions can be answered by a combination of a literature study, an investigation of how tax authorities use unsupervised learning and comparison of supervised and unsupervised methods on simulated and real data.

    Data source: Tax returns and other sources from Tax Norway

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Jonas Andersson.

  • Shock formation and chaotic behavior in coupled systems

    Shock formation and chaotic behavior in coupled systems

    The purpose of the project is to explain how shocks are formed in systems of coupled equations, and to see how information In such systems quickly disappears over time. This is relevant to understand shocks in the world economy, and to explain why long term predictions of such systems often serve no purpose.

    Supervisor: Jan Ubøe.

  • Nonlinear econometrics

    Nonlinear econometrics

    A large portion of empirical research within economics and finance is based on linear models, of which the linear regression is by far the most prominent. Is this because we live in a linear world, or at least an approximately linear world, or is it the case that we implicitly close our eyes to important features i our data by not considering nonlinear methods on equal footing as traditional ones?

    Questions like this may take your master project in several directions, such as (listed from least to most statistical/mathematical maturity recommended to complete the project, all of them benefit from programming skills):

    1. To what degree is linear regression the main vehicle for measuring marginal effects of explanatory variables X to a response variable Y within economic research (within a certain field/ in Norway/ at NHH or otherwise suitably limited)? Why do researchers choose this method (convenience/interpretability of coefficients/easy presentation/theoretical foundations/...)?  Then, figure out to which degree such concerns can be addressed by a corresponding nonlinear model. A nice touch would be to re-do a recent linear study nonlinearly and see if there indeed are effects that were missed.

    2. A bit more technical version of the point above is to write a thesis that revolves around the systematical development of a tool in your programming language of choice (such as R or Python) that implements as many needs as possible of the linearly oriented researcher in a nonlinear framework, with pre-work consisting of providing a theoretical foundation, and as post-work perhaps testing your «product» by trying to «sell it» to an experienced researcher.

    3. Financial time series are typically nonlinear in the sense that the correlation coefficient does not, in general, give good descriptions of dependencies across time and space. This has naturally lead to the development of nonlinear methods to model financial processes. For example, the classical theory for portfolio allocation that Harry Markowitz introduced in the 1950s balances expected return (as measured by means) and risk (as measured by standard deviations and correlations) in order to provide the optimal distribution of wealth across different assets.

    The Markowitz portfolio theory is very simple and easy to implement. But, it explicitly assumes that dependence between assets is linear, so the decades following its introduction have seen many attempts to improve the Markowitz method by modelling dependencies nonlinearly. Many authors note, however, that it is actually quite hard to attain higher returns using modern methods compared to the classical approach. This project may contain a survey of modern portfolio selection methods (which will require the ability to read fairly technical research papers), and a discussion part where we try to answer the question whether beating the classical approach indeed is «hard», and if so, why?

    Supervisor: Håkon Otneim.

Energy Markets, Resource Management and Sustainability

  • Topics on Energy Economics

    Topics on Energy Economics

    Potential topics

    • Hvordan dele verdier i en felles oljeproduksjon (borerigg) hvor ulik og usikker oljekvalitet samles fra satellittfelt med ulike eiere? (Mulig nytt KPN, Kompetanse Prosjekt i Næringslivet)
    • Can Norway capture more of the value chain of energy by not committing to be Europe’s green battery?
    • Hydrogen: which part is failing: cars, hydrogen or filling and logistics?
    • Solar power: if a leap lies ahead, what can trigger it?
    • Decentralized power generation in Norway: Framework and business analysis
    • A role for Norway as a battery for Europe’s intermittent power
    • A business analysis of Norway’s three proposed carbon capture and storage projects (cement, fertilizer, waste dump)
    • Empiriske analyser av norske sluttbrukermarkeder for elektrisitet
    • Risikoaversjon i sluttselgermarkedet

    Supervisor: Leif K. Sandal.

  • Topics on Environmental Economics

    Topics on Environmental Economics

    Potential topics are:

    • Zero emissions (in shipping/buildings/road veh/airplanes): too much, or just right?
    • Certificates of Origin for Electricity; Stepchild or rising star?
    • A carbon cap for Norwegian farmers: Let forests do what cows and farmers cannot?
    • Carbon footprint and economic analysis for a firm/sector
    • Hydrogen: which part is failing: cars, hydrogen or filling and logistics
    • A new look at biomass and biofuels: can photosynthesis propel transport
    • Oceans in a sustainability strategy
    • Solar power: if a leap lies ahead, what can trigger it
    • Decentralized power generation in Norway: framework and business analysis
    • Renewable power in Norway: shall it expand, and with what instruments
    • A role for Norway as a battery for Europe’s intermittent power
    • A business analysis of Norway’s three proposed carbon capture and storage projects (cement, fertilizer, waste dump)
    • Analysis of emission reduction prospects in Norwegian transport
    • Econometric analysis of demand for energy (or carbon) intensive goods, transport
    • Forests: More wood and biomass in buildings: Economic analysis of climate prospects
    • Financial markets: is there evidence of ‘sin portfolios’ or ‘virtue’ (or green/fossil)? The value of fossil assets / promises in financial markets
    • Analysis of CO2 markets
    • Modeling energy exchange in Northern Europe

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • The petroleum industry in the Barents Sea and other vulnerable areas: environmental and economic analysis of the activity

    The petroleum industry in the Barents Sea and other vulnerable areas: environmental and economic analysis of the activity

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Fossil fuel markets and management: Should the transition to renewable go through natural gas?

    Fossil fuel markets and management: Should the transition to renewable go through natural gas?

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Need for nuclear power to replace fossil fuel: New nuclear power

    Need for nuclear power to replace fossil fuel: New nuclear power

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Electricity in the transport sector: Economic and environmental effects

    Electricity in the transport sector: Economic and environmental effects

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Adjustment for exogenous cost drivers in the regulation of electricity distribution companies

    Adjustment for exogenous cost drivers in the regulation of electricity distribution companies

    The Norwegian regulator (NVE) uses Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to estimate reasonable revenue caps for Norwegian electricity distribution companies. NVE adjusts the revenue caps for for exogenous cost drivers, such as local climate and topology, using a two-stage DEA method.

    This thesis will investigate how an alternative approach, namely Conditional DEA, would affect the companies and their customers, and it will look into how useful the benchmarking results are as signals for continuous improvement by the companies. The analyses will use cost and output data available via nve.no, as well as available data on exogenous cost drivers.

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Flow-based market coupling

    Flow-based market coupling

    Flow-based market coupling is currently used in parts of the European (CWE) power system. The solution is planned implemented also in the Nordic power market. In this thesis, a case study of the potential consequences for the price area NO5 will be performed. The influence from new export cables will be an important part of the analysis.

    In cooperation with BKK

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Insentiver for, og konsekvenser av off grid løsninger

    Insentiver for, og konsekvenser av off grid løsninger

    Ny teknologi for lokal kraftproduksjon og lagring (eksempelvis solceller og batteriløsninger), gjør det mulig for forbrukere å klare seg uten det nasjonale energisystemet som er bygget opp de siste hundre årene. Hvilke privatøkonomiske insentiver finnes for slike løsninger, hvilke fordelingsvirkninger kan det ha, og hvilke samfunnsøkonomiske og bedriftsøkonomiske konsekvenser kan dette få?

    In cooperation with BKK

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Waste Management

    Waste Management

    New waste pipelines are built below the surface in the city center. How can BIR improve the efficiency and increase the utilization of the pipelines?

    Topic 1

    Use optimization, simulation and tools from supply chain management to improve the waste management in BIR.

    Topic 2

    BIR can only collect data from garbage handling for the owner of a house or an apartment. Many of the houses in the city center are divided in several apartment that are rented to students or other inhabitants. How BIR can increase individuals (renters) incentives to sort garbage when BIR only can collect aggregate data from all the apartment in the house? If BIR could track the for each household, which impact would that have on the individual willingness to sort their garbage?

    Supervisor: Sigrid Lise Nonås.

  • Emission Abatement Technology for a Shipping Company - is the Uncertainty of Fuel Prices Important?

    Emission Abatement Technology for a Shipping Company - is the Uncertainty of Fuel Prices Important?

    Is the uncertainty of fuel prices important to be considered when a shipping company selects its emission abatement technology for the compliance of ECA regulation.

    Supervisor: Yewen Gu.

Incentives, Contracts and Firm Behaviour

  • Economics of organization and management control

    Economics of organization and management control

    Including the use of bonus pay (case studies or across companies), how to measure performance, balanced scorecard (or alternative ways to use key performance indicators for management control purposes), drivers of profitability in an industry or a company, beyond budgeting, transfer pricing, and organizational boundaries.

    Supervisor: Iver Bragelien.

  • Topics on Organizational Economics and Industrial Organization

    Topics on Organizational Economics and Industrial Organization

    Some examples from the past:

    • Om kontrakter og incentiver i ERP-implementering
    • En teoretisk analyse av innovasjonsinsentivene i Posten Norge AS
    • Digitalisering i Bygg- og anleggsnæringen
    • Kundelojalitetsprogrammer i det norske dagligvaremarkedet
    • Utviklingen av markedsstrukturen i den norske dagligvarebransjen
    • Lønnsomhetsforskjeller i større foretak (norsk møbelbransje)

    Supervisor: Trond E. Olsen.

  • How did the US Tax Bill affect M&As?

    How did the US Tax Bill affect M&As?

    The 2017 TCJA may significantly change the pattern of corporate M&As. For instance, it has lifted the original use requirement for immediate depreciation of acquired assets. That makes it much more attractive to structure deals as asset purchases rather than stock acquisitions.

    Furthermore, net operating losses before and after January 1, 2018 are treated differently. An empirical analysis could use either Zephyr or SDC Platinum to explore early signs of these changes. 

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Sivilrettslig inndragning av utbytte fra kriminelle handlinger

    Sivilrettslig inndragning av utbytte fra kriminelle handlinger

    JD nå jobber med forslag til lov om sivilrettslig inndragning (etter en utredning av prof. Jon Petter Rui). Tidligere er det blitt foreslått en nasjonal enhet som skal sikre fratagelse av verdier gjennom både sivilrettslige og strafferettslige verktøy. Disse to tiltakene ble utredet parallelt. Regjeringen sa nylig at dette hadde noen praktiske hindre, uten å gå nærmere inn på hva disse er. Er sivilrettslig inndragning et effektivt virkemiddel? Kan det bøte på det ofte rapporterte problemet om manglende kapasitet og/eller kompetanse i politidistriktet? Hva er de praktiske hindringene regjeringen refererer til? Hva er erfaringene i andre land som har brukt dette, hva er potensielle fallgruver og hva har hatt best effekt? Hvor stor er den preventive effekten av å ramme utbyttet/profitten fra den kriminelle virksomheten? Samarbeidsforum kan bidra som diskusjonspartner.

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Topics on procurement and procurement strategies

    Topics on procurement and procurement strategies

    Eksempler på temaer kan være anbudsevaluering I praksis, konsekvensene av en utestenging av Huawei, analyse av en kommunes innkjøpsstrategi, hvordan ta miljøhensyn (eller sosiale hensyn) i innkjøp, etc. etc.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • En kritisk evaluering av Statens Innkjøpssenter

    En kritisk evaluering av Statens Innkjøpssenter

    Statens innkjøpssenter ble opprettet i 2016 som en fireårig prøveordning, og skal inngå og forvalte fellesavtaler på vegne av sivile virksomheter i statlig sektor. Målet med innkjøpssenteret er mer profesjonelle, effektive og enkle innkjøpsprosesser, samt bedre og gunstigere innkjøp.

    For staten ventes sentrale rammeavtaler å gi lavere priser, reduserte transaksjonskostnader, økt bruk av elektronisk handel og bedre regelverksetterlevelse. I januar kom den offisielle evalueringen. Den har jeg kritisert i DN. Denne masteroppgaven vil evaluere hvor god evalueringen var og bygge videre på/forbedre den.

    Kilder

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Den offentlige innkjøper som en viktig samfunnsaktør

    Den offentlige innkjøper som en viktig samfunnsaktør

    Norge bruker over 500 mrd. kroner årlig på offentlige anskaffelser. En offentlig innkjøper sitter således med store muligheter til å bidra i arbeidet mot arbeidslivskriminialtet og sosial dumping/svart økonomi. Allerede i formålsparagrafen i lov om offentlige anskaffelser (LOA) er innkjøper forpliktet til å i vareta samfunnsmessige hensyn. I sin behandling påpekte Stortinget at dette også betydde kampen mot arbeidslivskriminalitet.  Regelverket gir et stort handlingsrom for innkjøper. Spørsmålet blir hvordan kommunale og fylkeskommunale enheter i Norge bruker dette handlingsrommet. Ledelsesforankring er et viktig stikkord her. Uten en forankring på alle plan (politiske vedtak osv.) vil innkjøper møte større utfordringer. 

    Hvilke strategidokumenter har innkjøper utarbeidet, og blir disse fulgt? Vi har fått mange ulike modeller som er politisk vedtatt (f.eks. Oslomodellen). Er det mulig å se noen resultater av disse? Hva med ""10 gode grep"" som ble utarbeidet. Er denne blitt brukt, og hvordan? Noen kommuner og offentlige organisasjoner har hatt problemer i forbindelse med mulig arbeidslivskriminalitet og sosial dumping (f.eks. måtte en kontrakt lyses ut på nytt av Helse Bergen etter at leverandør kastet inn kortene. I dette tilfelle hadde Helse Bergen allerede blitt advart om at det valgte tilbudet «luktet» social dumping. En daglig leder i et malerfirma måtte for noen måneder siden møte i retten, tiltalt for å ha organisert svart arbeid på Stortinget) Har disse hendelsene gitt noen endringer/forbedringer i organisasjonen og dens innkjøpsstrategi?

    Data: Casebasert oppgave.

    Starting Point: Ta kontakt med relevante aktører (Difi, Bergen (eller annen) kommunes innkjøpsavdeling, Helse Bergen, KS,…) Bjørnstad, Winger Eggen og Tofteng, 2016. Samlet vurdering av satsingene mot sosial dumping og arbeidslivskriminalitet, Rapport nr. 54-2016, Samfunnsøkonomisk analyse AS

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Bygg og anlegg

    Bygg og anlegg

    Vi observerer at bygg/anlegg har et fokus i media hvor flere stor utbygginger gis til utenlandske aktører, og hvor det oppstår utfordringer i utførelsen av prosjekter. Sist nå med Follo banen hvor et italiensk selskap gikk konkurs med påfølgende forsinkelser i prosjekt. Analyser/datasammenstillinger innenfor dette tema kunne gitt oss nyttig informasjon i forhold til å se på mulige skatterelaterte risikoer knyttet til slike prosjekt. I tillegg kunne en analyse av lønnsomhet mellom norske og utenlandske selskap i forhold til prosjektutførelse i Norge være av stor interesse.

    Mulig problemstilling: Kan vi se noen forskjeller i marginer/resultater mellom norske og utenlandske aktører i bygg og anleggs-bransjen? Kan det være slik at utenlandske aktører som bruker filialer for sitt oppdrag i Norge, foretar feilaktig allokering til fast driftssted og/eller bruker priser ved konserninterne transaksjoner som ikke er armlengdes, og gjennom dette oppnår dårligere skattemessige resultat i Norge enn hva norske selskap oppnår for tilsvarende oppdrag. I første omgang er det ønskelig å få analysert om det faktisk kan påvises en forskjell i resultatene som rapporteres for filialer av utenlandske foretak og norske foretak i bransjen. Dersom slik forskjell kan påvises, blir oppfølgingsspørsmålet om vi kan finne årsaken(e) til dette.

    Data: Regnskapsdata

    Starting Point: BUS444 (eller annet økonometrikurs) Willmore, 1986. The comparative performance of foreign and domestic firms in Brazil, World Development Bellak, 2004. How domestic and foreign firms differ and why does it matter?, Journal of Economic Surevys

    In cooperation with Skatteetaten.

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

  • Sentralisering vs. desentralisering av innkjøp

    Sentralisering vs. desentralisering av innkjøp

    Difi ved Statens innkjøpssenter har inngått fem nasjonale rammeavtaler som den offentlige sektoren i Norge kan benytte. Difi snakker om store besparelser og estimerer besparelsen til å være cirka 230 millioner kroner i året. Samtidig advarer Konkurransetilsynet og Lars Sørgård for at sentraliserte innkjøp kan slå feil og at det er fare for svekket konkurranse.

    Hva er fordeler og ulemper ved sentralisering av innkjøp (i staten men også i bedrifter og organisasjoner)? I lys av teori og forskning på området, hvor store besparelser kan vi egentlig snakket om i Statens innkjøpssenter?

    Data: Innkjøpsavtaler inngått gjennom Statens innkjøpssenter, intervju av innkjøpere (både sentralt i Difi og ute i offentlige institusjoner i Norge)

    Starting Point:

    Fra media:

    Staten sparer stort på felles innkjøp – hittil om lag 230 mill.

    Stordriftsfordeler som blir ulemper

    Hvordan vet Difi hva din virksomhet vil spare på felles innkjøpsavtaler?

    Analyser og forskning:

    Centralised and decentralized public procurement, OECD

    When Should Procurement Be Centralized? Dimitri, Dini and Piga, in Handbook of Procurement (available in Malin’s office)

    Flexible  Strategies  for  Centralized  Public Procurement, by Albano and Sparro (2010), Review of Economics and Institutions

    Assessing the efficiency of centrliazed public procurement in the Brazilian ICT sector

    Supervisor: Malin Arve.

Shipping, Logistics and Operations Management

  • Shipping: Benchmarking charterer/owner performance in the chartering market

    Shipping: Benchmarking charterer/owner performance in the chartering market

    Using public fixture data, to analyze the extent to which company name affects market power in negotiations and freight rates. Requires knowledge of fixed-effects regression models.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: Machine learning models for FFA trading

    Shipping: Machine learning models for FFA trading

    Using spatial AIS data for ship positions, open-source weather and macro data – can you develop a machine learning model to generate profitable trading signals? Requires knowledge of Python, implementation of machine learning models.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland / TBN

  • Shipping: How can vessel performance data be used to optimize commercial operation?

    Shipping: How can vessel performance data be used to optimize commercial operation?

    Using vessel performance and open-source weather data – show how better fuel cost estimates affect the economics of ship operation. Strong knowledge of econometrics required.

    Company: SKS Tankers or Golden Ocean.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: Economic optimization of underwater hull-cleaning intervals

    Shipping: Economic optimization of underwater hull-cleaning intervals

    Using fuel consumption and cost data from individual ships: How often should the company clean the hull of a ship to reduce fuel costs. Advanced – requires some knowledge of optimization, optimal stopping problems, semi-parametric regressions.

    Company: SKS Tankers.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping & Finance: Advanced freight option trading strategies

    Shipping & Finance: Advanced freight option trading strategies

    The forward freight curve has a peculiar term structure of volatility. Can this be taken advantage of to create statistical arbitrage strategies for long-short option trading? Data available from the Baltic Exchange.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping & Finance: Can you hedge shipping share prices with FFAs?

    Shipping & Finance: Can you hedge shipping share prices with FFAs?

    Investigate the hedging efficiency of using forward freight agreements when hedging the share prices of shipping companies such as Golden Ocean, Frontline.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: Is the Baltic freight index system ready for an upgrade?

    Shipping: Is the Baltic freight index system ready for an upgrade?

    Using: Interviews/surveys with principals, startups, traders, trying to answer the following questions: What are the benefits and drawbacks of the current system of broker assessments for freight pricing. Can alternative purely data-driven indices compete?

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: How do risk capital and risk limits affect the chartering policy of a ship operator?

    Shipping: How do risk capital and risk limits affect the chartering policy of a ship operator?

    Using: freight rates timeseries, optimal portfolio theory.

    Company: Western Bulk.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: How does the creation of shipping pools affect the power balance in the chartering market?

    Shipping: How does the creation of shipping pools affect the power balance in the chartering market?

    Using: Public and private fixture data, fixed effects econometric models.

    Company: Golden Ocean and their Capesize chartering pool.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Blå Bybane (Blue Light Rail)

    Blå Bybane (Blue Light Rail)

    Bergen has built its first light rail line from the city centre to the airport. Other lines are being discussed politically. This thesis covers a related idea, which has been called “Blue Light Rail”, though it is not a rail line at all, but an idea of having scheduled vessels (high speed boats) playing the same role as light rail, and utilizing the fact that Bergen is a coastal city with complicated topology.

    There are several places with a reasonably large transportation need that are more easily reached from Bergen city centre by boat than by car or bus (or rail). The most obvious ones are Askøy, Knarvik (which already have connections) and Ågotnes (Sotra), which has not. It is also possible to imagine routes within the area around the city centre itself.

    A suggestion has been to connect Laksevåg, Dokken, Hegreneset and Sandviken (if you don’t know Bergen, ask Mr Google). This could facilitate a fascinating development of central Bergen by providing clean and efficient transportation to new developments. Typically these vessels will have electrical engines.

    Bergen Chamber of Commerce (Næringsrådet) has established a committee looking into the Blue Light Rail, and this thesis will interact with that committee. The thesis is also placed within a project on autonomous vessels (though autonomy comes later) funded by the Norwegian Research Council, attached to NHH’s Centre for Shipping and Logistics.

    The thesis can take many forms related to such as scheduling relative to other means of public transportation (possibly with a special emphasis on how delays can be handled), the interaction with tourism (it is quite attractive for some groups of tourists to get a trip on the fjord at ordinary, non-touristic prices), and an analysis of the environmental advantages of such a service. But feel free to suggest other perspectives on the problem, as there are others.

    The thesis can fit into many different profiles, particularly BAN, ENE and BUS, depending on the profile of the students.

    NHH contact: Stein W. Wallace

    External contacts: This depends on the profile of the thesis. Possibilities are:

    • Bergen Chamber of Commerce (by its leader Atle Kvamme) and the Chamber’s Blue Light Rail Committee. This covers almost any profile you could possibly choose.
    • CEO Johnny Breivik, Port of Bergen
    • Member of the municipal government (with responsibility for city development) Anna Elisa Tryti and her advisor Tarje Wanvik.
    • Roger Harkestad at TIDE (bus company)
    • Lars Jacob Engelsen at Norled (boat and ferry company)

     

  • Planning in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market

    Planning in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market

    The global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market has been experiencing strong growth. Quadrupling in size, doubling its share of global natural gas trade, the LNG trade has been one of the fastest growing segment in the energy industry over the past two decades. Traditionally the LNG market has been characterized by relatively rigid and long-term contracts and operations. The industry typically operates with a planning horizon of 12 months. Before the beginning of each contract year, LNG supplies and buyers work together to agree on an annual delivery program (ADP) to achieve efficient delivery and receipt of LNG cargoes.

    We are now seeing a clear trend in the LNG industry, which is the paradigm shift from long-term contracts to short-term and increased number of contracts, giving rise to larger and more complex LNG distribution networks. This trend is challenging the industry and triggers the need for more efficient and advanced planning tools, as until today the planning related to shipping and sales has still been largely done manually based on experience and "common sense".

    With its trademark solution Energy Components as the industry standard in hydrocarbon management, Tieto is the software supplier for many of the largest oil & gas companies in the world. Tieto's Oil & Gas unit (Tieto Norway) now has the leading position in the LNG segment and several on-going projects with major LNG suppliers aiming to address the new challenges with new software planning tools. This master's project will take advantage of Tieto's expert knowledge in the LNG domain, and look at some of the following issues:

    • Mathematical modeling and development of effective tools to produce ADP for LNG suppliers.
    • Business analytics tools to quantify risks and provide decision support when uncertainty is at play.

    The project will include some or all of the following parts:

    • Study of the planning problem and relevant literature
    • Mathematical formulation of the problem
    • Study of the relevant optimization or simulation solution methods
    • Study the methods for evaluating risks and decision support under uncertainty
    • Analysis and discussion of numerical results based on realistic problem instances from Tieto

    NHH contact: Stein W. Wallace.

    Company contact: Dr Xin Wang in Oslo.

  • How will autonomous vessels change the operations in the shipping industry (including deep-sea shipping, short-sea shipping and local waterway transport)?

    How will autonomous vessels change the operations in the shipping industry (including deep-sea shipping, short-sea shipping and local waterway transport)?

    Background

    If you are a hunter from the Stone Age and one day you are facing an offer to replace you wooden stick with a brand new shotgun, will you still use your new weapon just as a harder stick made of steel to kill your prey, or use it in a better way? Similar challenges are now faced by the shipping companies due to the forthcoming technological evolution, namely the autonomous ship. Obviously, an autonomous ship with no crews on board can significantly reduce a shipping company’s crew cost.

    However, just like the increased hardness of a shotgun in the hunter example, the reduction of crew cost might just be a tiny benefit of the autonomy of our ships. Besides the lower crew cost, what are the fundamental advantages of an autonomous vessel comparing to the conventional manned ship?

    Greater potentials are expected by better utilizing these advantages with innovative ideas in the daily operation of the vessels, such as higher frequency of ferry in the night time, flexible hub location for waterway taxi and multi-functioned vessels with different remote control teams. The world’s first commercial autonomous vessel (Yara Birkeland) will be soon launched in Norway in the end of 2018. And it is a great opportunity for the students here to also take the leading position in the research of the autonomous vessel.

    Potential Reference

    Toth, P., Vigo, D. (2002). The Vehicle Routing Problem. Philadelphia: SIAM Publications Stopford, M. (2009). Maritime Economics. London: Routledge.

    Contact: Yewen Gu

  • Using autonomous vehicles to improve our emergency services

    Using autonomous vehicles to improve our emergency services

    The aim of emergency medical services (EMS) is to provide timely assistance to emergencies in order to save lives. Within this service, quality and capacity have sometimes deteriorated because staffing is not satisfactory and because the organization and directives are not clear. My interest is to work on the use of autonomous vessels to help ameliorate the burden that EMS staffing represents in the case of boat ambulances, and to improve the logistics planning of the system.

    The aim is to analyze the use of autonomous vessels to improve response times and coverage. For example, by combining autonomous vessels with geographic information systems, one may use real time information of potential patients to improve the deployment of the resources. In particular my interest is to explore the following key research topic: designing algorithms with predictive capabilities that can be included in real time systems and capable of managing a continuous feed of data points coming from users’ cell phones and other sources.

    Supervisor: Julio C. Goez.

  • Flexible Transport Scheduling with Autonomous Vessels & Autonomous Buses

    Flexible Transport Scheduling with Autonomous Vessels & Autonomous Buses

    Analyze how autonomous transport can increase the inhabitants use of public transport and move transport from road to see or from road to train. How should the routing be conducted so that people are willing to replace road transport with train/sea transport on the main distance? Discuss parameters, constraints and objectives for the routing model. For example: Autonomous busses picks up passengers in the Voss region transport them to Voss railway station where they can take the train to Bergen railway station.

    Supervisors: Mario Guajardo and Sigrid Lise Nonås.

  • Economics of deep-sea autonomous shipping

    Economics of deep-sea autonomous shipping

    • This thesis aims at identifying and analyzing opportunities created by autonomous vessels in the delivery of services. The focus will be on new opportunities in economics of deep-sea cargo shipping.

      Contact: Siri Pettersen Strandenes

  • Using the Physical Internet Analogy to Design Modern Logistic Networks

    Using the Physical Internet Analogy to Design Modern Logistic Networks

    I am interested in working on exploring new designs for logistics systems. A big problem with our current transport and logistic methods is that they are unsustainable from an economic, environmental, and societal perspective. Inefficiencies can be found thought all the processes, from empty trucks dead-heading to pick up their next loads, to underutilized distribution centers.

    Recently an new paradigm has been propose called the physical internet, which is define in the literature as “an open global logistics system founded on physical, digital and operational interconnectivity through encapsulation, interfaces and protocols”. This aims to fix several of the inefficiencies of the logistics systems introducing ways to move goods using standardized, modular containers. This vision is attracting significant investments especially in the European Union." 

    Supervisor: Julio C. Goez.

  • Optimization and Simulation Models to Improve Efficiency in a Norwegian Refinery

    Optimization and Simulation Models to Improve Efficiency in a Norwegian Refinery

    Develop optimization and/or simulation models to improve the efficiency and increase the production rate in a Norwegian refinery (Elkem Bremanger).

    Supervisor: Sigrid Lise Nonås.

  • Waste Management

    Waste Management

    New waste pipelines are built below the surface in the city center. How can BIR improve the efficiency and increase the utilization of the pipelines?

    Topic 1

    Use optimization, simulation and tools from supply chain management to improve the waste management in BIR.

    Topic 2

    BIR can only collect data from garbage handling for the owner of a house or an apartment. Many of the houses in the city center are divided in several apartment that are rented to students or other inhabitants. How BIR can increase individuals (renters) incentives to sort garbage when BIR only can collect aggregate data from all the apartment in the house? If BIR could track the for each household, which impact would that have on the individual willingness to sort their garbage?

    Supervisor: Sigrid Lise Nonås.

  • Supply Chain Analysis of a Multi-Channel Clothing Company

    Supply Chain Analysis of a Multi-Channel Clothing Company

    Analyze the supply chain configuration for a multi-channel clothing supply chain. Discuss if the current configuration is a good fit for the markets the company serve. Take into account all the dimensions of supply chain performance (facilities, inventory, transportation, data handling and data analysis, sourcing, pricing).

    Based on the result from the analysis, identify in which areas the company have the largest challenges and suggest how they can improve supply chain performance. To narrow the scope of the thesis you could for instance analyze if inventory management and revenue management are in line with the supply chain strategy and the current supply chain configuration (facilities, inventory, transportation, data handling and data analysis, sourcing, pricing) for a company selling children clothes in Norway.

    Supervisor: Sigrid Lise Nonås.

  • The Operational and Economic Impact of Autonomous Ship Application, Comparing to the Traditional Manned Vessels. Wartsila, Fjellstrand, NYK

    The Operational and Economic Impact of Autonomous Ship Application, Comparing to the Traditional Manned Vessels. Wartsila, Fjellstrand, NYK

    Supervisor: Yewen Gu.

  • Repositioning of Empty Vessels in the Dry Bulk Shipping Market

    Repositioning of Empty Vessels in the Dry Bulk Shipping Market

    Aim: find key drivers for decision-making process of repositioning empty vessels - current market conditions, sentiment - repeating patterns, etc.

    Supervisor: Vít Procházka.

  • Emission Abatement Technology for a Shipping Company - is the Uncertainty of Fuel Prices Important?

    Emission Abatement Technology for a Shipping Company - is the Uncertainty of Fuel Prices Important?

    Is the uncertainty of fuel prices important to be considered when a shipping company selects its emission abatement technology for the compliance of ECA regulation.

    Supervisor: Yewen Gu.

  • Operations Research Applications in Tine

    Operations Research Applications in Tine

    Dairy farmers with combined milk and beef production face complex decisions regarding optimum milk yield, slaughter age for bulls, calving age for heifers, disposal of farm land etc. The aim for this topic is to explore how operations research may help farmers improve their decision making process to increase their profitability. In this project the students will interact with TINE, Norway's largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products with 11,400 members (owners) and 9,000 cooperative farms.

    Supervisors: Mario Guajardo and Julio C. Goez .