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

  • What determines donations to charitable causes in Norway?

    What determines donations to charitable causes in Norway?

    Charitable donations by individuals are an important source of funding for social services and public goods. This study aims at identifying important factors that determine when and how people donate using detailed information on the Norwegian deposit lottery (pantelotteri) in which people are able to donate deposits they would receive for recycling bottles and cans. For example, how did individuals respond to insecurity during Covid-19? Do news of natural disasters affect donations? How long-lasting are these effects?

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Data på individnivå fra Statistisk sentralbyrå

    Data på individnivå fra Statistisk sentralbyrå

    Tjenesten microdata.no gir tilgang til variabler på individnivå om befolkning, utdanning, sysselsetting, inntekt, formue, gjeld, skatt, trygd, barnevern, valg og boforhold. Jeg har ikke et bestemt spørsmål i tankene, men veileder gjerne oppgaver som bruker disse dataene. Studenter som ønsker å gjøre dette kan få tilgang til microdata.no gjennom NHH. Bakgrunn fra et kurs i økonometri er sterkt å anbefale.

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

  • The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    Extreme weather events such as floods, heatwaves, droughts, and storms cause major economic losses to private and public sector alike. The latest IPCC report shows that the frequency, and to some extent the magnitude, of such events will continue to increase although there are exceptions. The probability of so-called ‘compound events’ – that two or more extreme events happen simultaneously or successively – will increase due to this ongoing trend.

    Such events carry even more extreme economic losses and play a crucial role in evaluating climate risk, but they are not well constrained nor understood. In 2018, there was elevated risk for snow-driven flooding in central Norway, which was followed by one of the warmest and driest summers on record, which coincided with several climatically induced forest fires. Based on both historical data and climate predictions, the students will evaluate the probability and potential economic consequences of compound events today and in the future and provide insights and advice for the insurance industry. The industry partner for this thesis is Tryg.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Prior research argues that the inheritance tax is an important instrument to reduce inequality. In Norway, the inheritance tax was abolished in 2014. How did this effect income and wealth inequality in various parts of Norway? The aim of this thesis is to investigate these questions using micro-level data from Statistics Norway (SSB).

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Government support to firms during the Covid-19 pandemic was comprehensive and supposed to quickly reach businesses. This may have lead to some firms exploiting government funds that were not eligible. For example, some companies may have been reconstructed to utilize the support schemes and then initiate bankruptcies in parts of companies. It may also be of interest to look at risk factors that arise in companies that receive payments from several support schemes. This study will contribute to an evaluation of how well the grant schemes have worked.

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    The lock-down of Norway on March 12, 2020 meant that many businesses had problems paying taxes and fees. In order to alleviate the burdens and avoid bankruptcies, the government, with effect from 12 June 2020, issued a regulatory provision that allows for deferral of payment for most tax and duty claims. This has led to a halving of bankruptcies compared with 2019 and raises several interesting, empirical questions: Have schemes led to companies being kept alive that would normally have gone bankrupt? How can the tax administration predict bankruptcy among firms?

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Topics on mutual funds

    Topics on mutual funds

    I can provide data on equity mutual funds that can be used and extended with additional data to examine different research questions. Experience with programming in R/Stata/Python or similar is useful.

    Supervisor: Andreas Ørpetveit.

  • Real investments

    Real investments

    Analyze a given investment project, either accepted or planned, in order to show its value creation by calculating the related net present value (or using a different profitability measure). This problem is thus a parallel to company valuation, however, the time horizon will typically be shorter and including option characteristics may be more relevant. Besides, strategic and financial issues will be more prominent than accounting issues in this thesis.

    Supervisor: Øystein Gjerde.

  • The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    In a series of influential studies, scholars have identified that companies benefit from conflict. Arms companies are involved in smuggling, diamond mining companies exploit the chaos to secure extraction rights and corrupt officials disclose top secret information. Every conflict is different and firms will find a way to profit from the chaos.

    Possible questions are: do these findings still hold in recent times, from for e.g. 2005 to 2020? Are the perpetrators different? Can we link perpetrators through their board composition? How connected are the boards of companies that violate embargoes? How does corporate governance influence illegal activities? 

    Starting point: DellaVigna, S. and La Ferrara, E., 2010. Detecting illegal arms trade. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2(4), pp. 26-57.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Consumer behavior and insurance

    Consumer behavior and insurance

    Supervisor: Aysil Emirmahmutoglu.

  • Performance evaluation for mutual funds

    Performance evaluation for mutual funds

    Supervisor: Trond M. Døskeland.

  • Identifying financial behavioral biases for households

    Identifying financial behavioral biases for households

    Supervisor: Trond M. Døskeland.

  • Risk Management

    Risk Management

    Analyze a given company or a given line of business exposed to price risk from commodities/services sold or bought. May also be combined with currency risk. What is the level of risk, how do we measure it, which instruments are available to deal with this risk and how successful is the risk-reducing strategy, using these instruments. Hedging strategies are based on a combination of risk-reduction and expected values, so both components may be included in the analyses.

    Supervisor: Øystein Gjerde.

  • Topics on Ship Finance

    Topics on Ship Finance

    Topic 1: Responsible investing in the shipping/offshore industry. How have (institutional) investors change their appetite in investing in the shipping/offshore industry, given public ESG concerns and initiatives from the industry?

    Topic 2: Sustainability-Linked Debt issuance in shipping company – criteria, impact on transition to zero emission, asset investment and investor appetite.

    Topic 3: Investment horizon in shipping. What determines the investment horizon? In the transition to zero emission, how shipping companies decide which asset class to invest? Short-term vs. long-term investment payback and performance analysis.

    Topic 4: Optimal capital structure for shipping companies – determinants: ownership profile, prices, leverage, cycles and other factors.

    Supervisor: Haiying Jia

  • Topics on Marine Insurance

    Topics on Marine Insurance

    Topic 1: Marine insurance risk aggregation. How to manage small-probability risk exposures? Geographically or event-linked exposures. Optimal risk transfer of low probability yet high impact events.

    Topic 2: Marine risk assessment – using Machine learning or other methods. Analysis of Marine traffic data, claim locations and loss prevention applications.

    Topic 3: Vessel utilization and its marine risks. Use innovative data sources to estimate vessel utilization, such as the emission data from MRV.

    Topic 4: Coinsurance efficiency improvement. How to improve efficiency by system/data sharing? Blockchain?

    Topic 5: INSURTECH Automated underwriting – system design view point, or technology viewpoint. How would a standard insurance portfolio perform is 100% can be automated.

    Topic 6: Ownership structural of marine insurance companies. What are the challenges connected to the business model? What ownership structure is optimal?

    Supervisor: Haiying Jia

  • Analysis of high-frequency supply data for oil tankers

    Analysis of high-frequency supply data for oil tankers

    Using unique daily spatial data for vessel employment, analyze how regional freight rate changes are driven by supply and demand, and whether the specifications and operator of a ship matters for its attractiveness in the market.

    Supervisor: Roar Ådland.

  • Smuggling and money laundering

    Smuggling and money laundering

    It is well known that laundered money change their form from cash to other goods such as jewellery, antique objects or other collectible items. Do we observe abnormal flows of such good to/from tax havens? Do these flows shift with the signing of information exchange agreements between two countries?

    Methods: Regressions, machine learning.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Dividend taxation, abusive stock swap and loan transactions

    Dividend taxation, abusive stock swap and loan transactions

    A tax strategy among investors is to recast a dividend payment as a swap payment in order to take advantage of favoured tax treatment given to swap agreements involving non-US persons in the US. US stock dividents paid to non-US persons are subject to the dividend tax, whereas “dividend equivalents” paid to non-US persons as part of a swap agreement are not subject to any US tax.

    Since a 2009 Senate hearing identified the tax evasion nature of these transactions, there has been little research on the topic. These transactions are likely the origin from which cum fraud schemes have arisen. Since 2009 the US has had reforms in their dividend tax and in the legislation surrounding the claiming of these dividend equivalents. What is the impact of these reforms on stock lending of US stocks?

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman and Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman

  • Dividend taxation, Cum-Cum Trading and Ex-Dividend Pricing

    Dividend taxation, Cum-Cum Trading and Ex-Dividend Pricing

    A common tax planning strategy among investors is to sell their stocks the day before dividends are due, and buy them back on the ex-dividend day. This strategy, known as cum-cum trading, allows investors to avoid paying dividend taxes. The Norwegian tax authorities are considering to implement policies that make cum-cum trading less attractive in order to generate more dividend tax revenue.

    Your task will be to see how cum-cum trading relates to taxation and other policy variables, using international stock market data. Questions that you could answer in this topic are: Do stock market experience excess trade around the dividend day? Does excess trade relate to the dividend tax rate? Do stock prices reflect the level of the dividend tax? Are policies aimed at combating cum-cum trading effective in other countries?

    Cum-cum trading strategies have been detected in Europe. Are they present in the Asian and South-American market? Are these trades a global problem that contributes to rising inequality?

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman and Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman

Business Taxation

  • Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    The risk of accepting Airbnb guests is that they might run up all of your utilities. Are renters sensitive to this concern? Estimate the relationship between listings and electricity prices.

    Scrape the Data from http://insideairbnb.com/get-the-data/ and determine whether Airbnb listings in the last 2 years respond to electricity prices.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Since 2015 European banks must disclose their operations in tax havens. These operations involve activities like complicated tax arbitrage strategies. While technically legal, tax arbitrage may be morally questionable and sometimes courts make rulings turning some tax arbitrage strategies illegal. How does the involvement of banks in tax havens correlate to their corporate governance? What is the relationship between a bank’s ethical credo and the ethicality of the bank’s behavior?

    Starting point: https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/opening-the-vaults-the-use-of-tax-havens-by-europes-biggest-banks-620234/.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Leak data and nationality

    Leak data and nationality

    A recent article identified a set of 30 last names of individuals involved in mafia activities in Italy. Are these names mentioned in the Panama papers, Pandora papers or other leaks? What are the activities of the involved firms? Are these mentions consistent with money laundering.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Taxing foreign investors: an empirical analysis of recent reforms of the dividend withholding tax system

    Taxing foreign investors: an empirical analysis of recent reforms of the dividend withholding tax system

    Foreign individual and institutional investors are a fundamental component of global capital markets. On the one side, attracting foreign portfolio equity investments is a key policy objective for many countries around the world given the related benefits. On the other side, they pose serious challenges from a tax collection perspective. Traditionally, countries around the world rely on withholding tax to ensure the proper collection of taxes on foreign investors. Yet, existing withholding tax systems are far from being ideal and reforming them is high on the political agenda in Norway and within the European Union. Recently Finland launched a new innovative system called TRACE to make the collection of such taxes easier. Norway has also a similar system since few years now. 

    The master thesis should provide an overview of the two systems, compare them and analyses whether the introduction of such systems increased investment in those countries and/or affected dividend payment policy of domestic companies.

    Supervisor: Elisa Casi-Eberhard.

  • What determines donations to charitable causes in Norway?

    What determines donations to charitable causes in Norway?

    Charitable donations by individuals are an important source of funding for social services and public goods. This study aims at identifying important factors that determine when and how people donate using detailed information on the Norwegian deposit lottery (pantelotteri) in which people are able to donate deposits they would receive for recycling bottles and cans. For example, how did individuals respond to insecurity during Covid-19? Do news of natural disasters affect donations? How long-lasting are these effects?

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Digital residency program: a policy to boost the economy or a high-tech route for suspect funds?

    Digital residency program: a policy to boost the economy or a high-tech route for suspect funds?

    In 2021, Palau launched its digital residency program, which offers foreigners a digital identity to access to all services within Palau’s emerging digital economy. However, Palau is not the first country to offer such a program. In 2014, Estonia was the first country to establish a digital residency program. It primarily targeted businesses that could start a EU based company and run it from anywhere, fully online.

    For example, a foreign entrepreneur would be able to use his/her digital signature to conclude contracts throughout the European Union entirely remotely. So far, it has been a success with more than 50,000 applications as of 2019. Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Estonian digital residency program has also been vulnerable to money laundering risks. What is the economic effect of such programs? Do they improve the business environment of a country or do they offer a high-tech route for suspect funds?

    Supervisor: Elisa Casi and Mohammed Mardan.

  • Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Prior research argues that the inheritance tax is an important instrument to reduce inequality. In Norway, the inheritance tax was abolished in 2014. How did this effect income and wealth inequality in various parts of Norway? The aim of this thesis is to investigate these questions using micro-level data from Statistics Norway (SSB).

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Government support to firms during the Covid-19 pandemic was comprehensive and supposed to quickly reach businesses. This may have lead to some firms exploiting government funds that were not eligible. For example, some companies may have been reconstructed to utilize the support schemes and then initiate bankruptcies in parts of companies. It may also be of interest to look at risk factors that arise in companies that receive payments from several support schemes. This study will contribute to an evaluation of how well the grant schemes have worked.

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    The lock-down of Norway on March 12, 2020 meant that many businesses had problems paying taxes and fees. In order to alleviate the burdens and avoid bankruptcies, the government, with effect from 12 June 2020, issued a regulatory provision that allows for deferral of payment for most tax and duty claims. This has led to a halving of bankruptcies compared with 2019 and raises several interesting, empirical questions: Have schemes led to companies being kept alive that would normally have gone bankrupt? How can the tax administration predict bankruptcy among firms?

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Dividend taxation, Cum-Cum Trading and Ex-Dividend Pricing

    Dividend taxation, Cum-Cum Trading and Ex-Dividend Pricing

    A common tax planning strategy among investors is to sell their stocks the day before dividends are due, and buy them back on the ex-dividend day. This strategy, known as cum-cum trading, allows investors to avoid paying dividend taxes. The Norwegian tax authorities are considering to implement policies that make cum-cum trading less attractive in order to generate more dividend tax revenue.

    Your task will be to see how cum-cum trading relates to taxation and other policy variables, using international stock market data. Questions that you could answer in this topic are: Do stock market experience excess trade around the dividend day? Does excess trade relate to the dividend tax rate? Do stock prices reflect the level of the dividend tax? Are policies aimed at combating cum-cum trading effective in other countries?

    Cum-cum trading strategies have been detected in Europe. Are they present in the Asian and South-American market? Are these trades a global problem that contributes to rising inequality?

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman and Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman

  • Dividend taxation, abusive stock swap and loan transactions

    Dividend taxation, abusive stock swap and loan transactions

    A tax strategy among investors is to recast a dividend payment as a swap payment in order to take advantage of favoured tax treatment given to swap agreements involving non-US persons in the US. US stock dividents paid to non-US persons are subject to the dividend tax, whereas “dividend equivalents” paid to non-US persons as part of a swap agreement are not subject to any US tax.

    Since a 2009 Senate hearing identified the tax evasion nature of these transactions, there has been little research on the topic. These transactions are likely the origin from which cum fraud schemes have arisen. Since 2009 the US has had reforms in their dividend tax and in the legislation surrounding the claiming of these dividend equivalents. What is the impact of these reforms on stock lending of US stocks?

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman and Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman

  • Inventors and tax havens

    Inventors and tax havens

    Inventors are an important source of innovation for any country. At the same time they are highly mobile and respond to tax incentives. Furthermore, the intellectual property they create (e.g. patents) can be used shift income to tax havens. How many inventors are involved in such tax avoidance behavior? This project will assess the importance of inventors in tax havens by combining data on international inventors with the Panama papers which have recently become available.

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • The Tax Haven Call

    The Tax Haven Call

    In political and institutional economy we think of countries as having extractive and inclusive institutions. Institutions are loosely defined as informal norms of behaviour. In an influential (but controversial) paper by Acemoglu et al. (2001) the type of institutions are shown to impact economic development. However, it is unclear whether what aspect of these informal norms have influenced countries like the Netherlands, Ireland and Bermuda to become tax havens?

    Dharmapala and Hines (2009) have found that governance is an important factor that separates tax havens from non-tax havens. Better-governed small countries are more likely to be successful tax havens than badly governed small countries. Governance and institutions are closely related, but the link is not explored in this article.

    In addition, the list of tax havens has expanded since 2009 and now we have continuous measures of secrecy and tax haven status, which can give better identification in re-examining the question: What makes a tax haven?

    Starting point: Dharmapala, D. and Hines Jr, J.R., 2009. Which countries become tax havens?. Journal of Public Economics, 93(9-10), pp.1058-1068.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Wealth Taxation in Norway

    Wealth Taxation in Norway

    The wealth tax is one of the most controversial aspects of the Norwegian tax system. Detractors believe that the wealth tax hurts economic growth by disincentivizing entrepreneurial activity and risk taking, and taking away a source of liquidity for business owners. Proponents argue that the wealth tax is a great instrument to reduce inequality.

    In this project you will use data on Norwegian tax payers to evaluate the arguments of the detractors. Specifically, the goal is to understand i.) whether the arguments are valid empirically, ii.) how large the concerns are quantitatively. Specific research questions could be i.) does the wealth tax discourage individuals/business owners from taking risk, ii.) does the wealth tax reduce liquidity for small businesses, iii.) does the wealth tax reduce innovation or iv). does the wealth tax discourage savings. The answer of each of these four questions is of great practical relevance to policy makers that have to make a trade-off between the efficiency cost and the equity gain associated with the wealth tax.

    Data: Individual tax return data

    Literature:

    • Berzins, Janis, Øyvind Bøhren and Bodan Stacesu (2019). Illiquid Shareholders and real firm effects: the personal wealth tax and financial constraints. Working Paper BI.
    • Akcigit, U., Grigsby, J., Nicholas, T., & Stantcheva, S. (2018). Taxation and Innovation in the 20th Century. NBER Working Paper.

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman

  • Smuggling and money laundering

    Smuggling and money laundering

    It is well known that laundered money change their form from cash to other goods such as jewellery, antique objects or other collectible items. Do we observe abnormal flows of such good to/from tax havens? Do these flows shift with the signing of information exchange agreements between two countries?

    Methods: Regressions, machine learning.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Using Textual Analysis to identify whether there is a gender gap in financial white collar crime

    Using Textual Analysis to identify whether there is a gender gap in financial white collar crime

    There is very little systematic evidence on the gender gap in crime. In particular, it is difficult to quantify it for financial white collar crime, as they do not find their way into police statistics and as there is little female presence on the top levels of companies.

    In this project, we can use textual analysis tools to collect data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on insider trading and other frauds. We can match the name of the defendant to a gender, and quantify what is the difference between males and females.

    Then, we can correlate the gap, as well as the fraud itself, to past financial statements of involved companies in terms of gender representation in the board of the company and other indicators of company culture. Finally, we can compare the gap to other measures of female participation in the boardroom and determine whether white collar females seem more or less likely to commit crimes than white collar males. We can provide a partial answer to the question: Are companies going to become more responsible (do less criminal rule-breaking) if there are more females on the board?

    Methods: Textual analysis, web crawling, R

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Detecting Corruption in the Oil-For-Food Program

    Detecting Corruption in the Oil-For-Food Program

    The Oil for Food Program (OFFP) was a relief effort orchestrated by the United Nations to help the people of Iraq after the Gulf War. It lasted from 1995 to 2003. Leaks from classified reports reveal that there has been rampant corruption, from the bank that handled the Iraq escrow account, to the trucking company that was supposed to handle the logistics of food transport. Even the then UN General Secretary Kofi Annan has been implicated in this corruption scandal. By looking at important events that influence the survival of the OFFP and stock prices of companies bidding for contracts, by virtue of insider trading, we can find an indirect proof for corruption.

    The methodology for this thesis is the same as in DellaVigna, S. and La Ferrara, E., 2010. Detecting illegal arms trade. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2(4), pp.26-57.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • The disintegration of institutions and the smuggling of antiquities

    The disintegration of institutions and the smuggling of antiquities

    Countries that enter a period of internal strife such as a civil war experience a disintegration of institutions. When factions are battling for control, who would protect the property rights of victims? This creates an excellent climate to export antique objects with little oversight. Can we link export flows to civil war status? Can we flip this, and use flows of antiquities to flag countries where rule of law is disintegrating?

    Starting Point: Fisman, R., & Wei, S. J. (2009). The smuggling of art, and the art of smuggling: Uncovering the illicit trade in cultural property and antiques. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3), 82-96.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman

  • COVID-19 and lockdown measures: understanding the mechanisms

    COVID-19 and lockdown measures: understanding the mechanisms

    During the COVID-19 pandemic most countries imposed Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) or lockdown measures in an effort to halt the spread of the disease. In a case study focusing on the Scandinavian countries we show that in Scandinavia the NPIs introduced by Norway and Denmark were extraordinarily effective in reducing the pressure on the health care system and mortality (Juranek and Zoutman 2020). In this thesis we want you to pick apart the mechanisms. Which NPIs are most effective in reducing the spread of the disease? When should countries introduce NPIs (traditional epidemiology suggests that early NPIs will be much more effective than the same NPIs introduced at later stages)? What is the relationship between mobility on the one hand, and the spread of COVID-19 on the other hand? All of these questions remain mostly unanswered and are of extreme importance to policy makers trying to stop a second (or third) COVID-19 wave, or trying to fight a new infectious disease in the future.

    Data: the EU has created a database which contains an overview of all NPIs passed in EEA countries. The database also contains records on hospitalizations, which for many reasons is the most valuable measure in tracking the spread of the disease. Google has publicly available data on mobility. For Scandinavian countries we can also track data at the regional level.

    Methods: the methods depend on the background and training of the student undertaking the thesis. Many meaningful relationship can be estimated through linear regression. However, it is also possible to use more advanced methods such as machine learning or epidemiological models.

    Reference: Juranek, Steffen and Floris Zoutman (2020). “The Effect of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions on the Demand for Health Care and Mortality: Evidence on COVID-19 in Scandinavia” SSRN Working Paper.

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman

  • COVID-19 and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions: A cost-benefit analysis

    COVID-19 and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions: A cost-benefit analysis

    All countries in developed countries have introduced Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing, handwashing, mask wearing and school closures, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The charge has up to now been lead almost exclusively by epidemiologists. In most countries economists are not included in the team of experts that advice the government on these decisions. That’s a pity, because economics, and especially, old-fashioned cost-benefit analysis has a lot to offer under these conditions. Roughly speaking NPIs all have their economic costs and benefits (i.e. their ability to halt the spread of COVID-19). From a cost-benefit standpoint it is possible to sort NPIs from “cheap” (high benefits, low costs) to “expensive” (low costs, high benefits). In case of a pandemic the objective of the government should be to keep the pandemic suppressed at the lowest possible cost. This means that we should pass NPIs in order from cheap to expensive. In particular, the most expensive measures should only be introduced in case cheaper methods do not suffice.

    To give a practical example, handwashing is cheap in the sense that it has very little economic costs and is most likely quite effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is relatively more costly as it comes with high economic costs (think for instance about spacing people out in classrooms, public transport etc.), and is probably not much more effective than handwashing. This does not imply that we should not practice social distancing, but it does imply that handwashing comes “first”.

    In this thesis, you will do two things. First, you explain in more detail the principles of cost-benefit analysis applied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, you provide your best guestimates of the costs and benefits of NPIs passed in Norway using, for instance, academic literature, media sources and interviews with experts. Third, you apply your cost-benefit analysis with the guestimates to provide clear policy advice to Norwegian policy makers on which measures should come first.

    Methods: cost-benefit analysis, literature review, interviews with experts

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman

  • COVID-19 and the Labor Market: Understanding the Mechanisms

    COVID-19 and the Labor Market: Understanding the Mechanisms

    Juranek et al (2020) study the labor market in the Nordic countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the pandemic has had disastrous consequences in terms of both unemployed and furloughed workers in all four countries. Sweden, comparatively does the best, and Norway is at the bottom (at least in the short run). Part of the difference in labor market outcomes is driven by differences in lockdown measures, which Sweden (in)famously abstained from, but there are also differences in labor market policies. Moreover, the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic itself may have a direct effect on labor markets. In this project, you will try to unpack the mechanisms focusing on data from the Nordic countries. As a first pass, you will extend the data of Juranek et al (2020) and replicate their analysis over a longer time frame. Afterwards, you will build a statistical model that disentangles the mechanisms between COVID-19 and the labor market using causal diagrams, regression analysis and/or machine learning tools. The results will be helpful in understanding how the pandemic affected labor markets, and guide policy makers in passing measures that fight the pandemic but minimize the damage to the labor market. Data: Labor market data from the Nordic countries available from the various statistical agencies, data on mobility available from Google and data on the spread of the pandemic, available from health institutes. Methods: Linear Regression, causal diagrams, machine learnings (the choice of methods can be adjusted based on the student’s background).

    References: Juranek, Steffen, Jörg Paetzold, Hannes Winner and Floris Zoutman (2020) “Labor Market Effects of COVID-19 in Sweden and its Neighbors: Evidence from Novel Administrative Data” SSRN Working Paper

    Supervisor: Floris Zoutman

  • Literature review on the effects school facilities have on student and teacher outcomes

    Literature review on the effects school facilities have on student and teacher outcomes

    Supervisor: Arnt-Ove Hopland

  • How do schools adapt to their physical infrastructure?

    How do schools adapt to their physical infrastructure?

    Does it matter for teaching practice whether the school is new, old, well maintained, run down, a permanent building or temporary modules ("barracks")?

    Supervisor: Arnt-Ove Hopland

Data Science and Analytics

  • Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    The risk of accepting Airbnb guests is that they might run up all of your utilities. Are renters sensitive to this concern? Estimate the relationship between listings and electricity prices.

    Scrape the Data from http://insideairbnb.com/get-the-data/ and determine whether Airbnb listings in the last 2 years respond to electricity prices.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Since 2015 European banks must disclose their operations in tax havens. These operations involve activities like complicated tax arbitrage strategies. While technically legal, tax arbitrage may be morally questionable and sometimes courts make rulings turning some tax arbitrage strategies illegal. How does the involvement of banks in tax havens correlate to their corporate governance? What is the relationship between a bank’s ethical credo and the ethicality of the bank’s behavior?

    Starting point: https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/opening-the-vaults-the-use-of-tax-havens-by-europes-biggest-banks-620234/.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Gender gap in acting and sensitivity to sudden reputation changes

    Gender gap in acting and sensitivity to sudden reputation changes

    The value of a good reputation has changed in recent years. A simple internet search can show that no one can maintain a good reputation. This is especially relevant in jobs that are close to the public eye. Consider Johnny Depp who lost on a considerable income after he was dropped by movie studios during his divorce proceedings. The research question is: How much of the gender pay gap of film stars is due to reputation?

    Scrape data from https://www.qscores.com/performer, and determine what is the price of a good reputation.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Leak data and nationality

    Leak data and nationality

    A recent article identified a set of 30 last names of individuals involved in mafia activities in Italy. Are these names mentioned in the Panama papers, Pandora papers or other leaks? What are the activities of the involved firms? Are these mentions consistent with money laundering.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Social and economic networks

    Social and economic networks

    Networks are important in shaping behavior in many environments. For example, economic production and supply chains are organized as networks, new technologies diffuse in the economy through research and development collaboration networks. Social networks pervade our social and economic lives. They play a central role in the transmission of information about job opportunities and are critical to the trade of many goods and services. The presence of networks makes it important to understand which network structures can emerge and how networks impact behavior.

    We can discuss your specific interests concerning with analysis of network models or/and analysis of real life networks. For example, a possible thesis topic can be online networks, networks in science and education (e.g. collaboration, co-authorship networks, citation networks), financial networks (e.g. influence of networks on financial decisions), trade networks, networks in labor markets.

    Supervisor: Roman Kozlov.

  • Detailing the Value of Climate- and Environmental Surveillance on Sea food production

    Detailing the Value of Climate- and Environmental Surveillance on Sea food production

    What’s the cost-benefit for using an integrated climate and environment surveillance on seafood production? The student will assess the impact and values associated with using a detailed monitoring tool called Clarify, which currently is employed by many seafood producers. The student will be given access to unpublished data afforded by Clarify that can be directly compared to other chains of the seafood production, including feeding, fish welfare, loss to sickness and slaughter. Additional climate data can also be made available to the student depending on emerging needs. This Master opens for a relevant exploration of how monitoring can strengthen seafood sustainability and resilience to the changing climate conditions that remain the key premise for seafood production. The industry partner for this thesis is Clarify.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Optimal placement and impact of offshore wind parks

    Optimal placement and impact of offshore wind parks

    In this thesis, the students will use historical weather data to investigate the potential of Norwegian wind power in a scenario where all the current offshore locations suggested by the NVE are in full production. Alternative locations derived from optimizing production output are available and can be compared to the sites suggested by NVE. A secondary goal is to use the results to investigate the impact on the European energy market. The industry partner for this thesis is Statkraft.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    Extreme weather events such as floods, heatwaves, droughts, and storms cause major economic losses to private and public sector alike. The latest IPCC report shows that the frequency, and to some extent the magnitude, of such events will continue to increase although there are exceptions. The probability of so-called ‘compound events’ – that two or more extreme events happen simultaneously or successively – will increase due to this ongoing trend.

    Such events carry even more extreme economic losses and play a crucial role in evaluating climate risk, but they are not well constrained nor understood. In 2018, there was elevated risk for snow-driven flooding in central Norway, which was followed by one of the warmest and driest summers on record, which coincided with several climatically induced forest fires. Based on both historical data and climate predictions, the students will evaluate the probability and potential economic consequences of compound events today and in the future and provide insights and advice for the insurance industry. The industry partner for this thesis is Tryg.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • What are the optimal sites for future seafood production?

    What are the optimal sites for future seafood production?

    Wind conditions, sea currents, -temperature and -salinity are all important factors when considering new locations for ocean-based aquaculture facilities. Moreover, locations that are considered optimal today may not be suitable locations in the future due to climate change. In this thesis, the students will investigate the current optimal placements of aquaculture based on detailed historical data. By considering state of the art climate predictions, it can be investigated how these placements will change on different time horizons. The students should also discuss placement conflicts with fisheries and coastal shipping routes. The industry partner for this thesis is Clarify.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Economic impacts of climate change

    Economic impacts of climate change

    Many social and economic activities are heavily affected by weather variables such as temperatures and precipitation. In this master thesis, the students will explore the relationship between weather variables and economic decisions made by Norwegian households and/or businesses. In addition, the students will explore how climate change, through its effect on temperatures and precipitation, will affect these economic decisions into the future.

    Examples of relationships to explore are the effects of heatwaves on human mortality rates, extreme precipitation on agricultural production, or drought on hydropower production. The exploration can be either on the macro or micro level and can be in the form of either a statistical analysis or modelling exercise. For the prediction exercise, the students will have access to novel climate forecasts from the Climate Futures project. An interesting question to explore is how access to improved seasonal weather forecasts can mitigate the harmful economic impacts of climate change.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Investigating patterns in procurement data

    Investigating patterns in procurement data

    Public procurement involves a large amount of money and involves a wide range of sectors. In Norway public procurement was almost 600 million NOK in the 2019 statistics and the public bought everything: from toilet paper and office supplies to new roads, high-tech hospital supplies and defense material. Data on official tenders (possibilities for contracting with the public sector) are announced on doffin.no and there is a special complaint committee dealing with disputes related to public contracts. This offers a rich amount of data to explore topics within public procurement.

    For instance, sometimes a public entity can pretend to be looking for a contractor in a competitive manner, however the phrasing of the contract allows the entity to choose preferentially a predetermined contractor. This step can be part of a larger corruption kick-back scheme that is well-hidden beneath a veil of legality. There could also be differences in how public procurement in various dimensions (geographical, type of public entity, etc.). This topic allows students to investigate procurement tenders and complaints on decisions made to determine whether there is evidence of specific patterns or preferential treatment.

    Necessary skills: web scraping, textual analysis, statistical/econometric analysis

    Supervisors: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman and Malin Arve.

  • Textual analysis of topics in the facilities management literature

    Textual analysis of topics in the facilities management literature

    Using machine learning techniques to study the evolvement of the facilities management literature.

    Supervisor: Arnt Ove Hopland.

  • Textual analysis of topics in the public choice literature

    Textual analysis of topics in the public choice literature

    Using machine learning techniques to study the evolvement of the public choice literature.

    Supervisor: Arnt Ove Hopland.

  • Textual analysis of topics in the operations research literature

    Textual analysis of topics in the operations research literature

    Using machine learning techniques to study the evolvement of the operations research literature.

    Supervisor: Arnt Ove Hopland.

  • Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Inequality and the inheritance tax in Norway

    Prior research argues that the inheritance tax is an important instrument to reduce inequality. In Norway, the inheritance tax was abolished in 2014. How did this effect income and wealth inequality in various parts of Norway? The aim of this thesis is to investigate these questions using micro-level data from Statistics Norway (SSB).

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    In a series of influential studies, scholars have identified that companies benefit from conflict. Arms companies are involved in smuggling, diamond mining companies exploit the chaos to secure extraction rights and corrupt officials disclose top secret information. Every conflict is different and firms will find a way to profit from the chaos.

    Possible questions are: do these findings still hold in recent times, from for e.g. 2005 to 2020? Are the perpetrators different? Can we link perpetrators through their board composition? How connected are the boards of companies that violate embargoes? How does corporate governance influence illegal activities? 

    Starting point: DellaVigna, S. and La Ferrara, E., 2010. Detecting illegal arms trade. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2(4), pp. 26-57.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Does climate change affect the probability distributions of weather at sea?

    Does climate change affect the probability distributions of weather at sea?

    Using large amounts of global hindcasting data for weather variables, to investigate the spatial and temporal changes in the probability distributions for certain key drivers (e.g. wave height, wind speed) for chosen main trade routes in ocean transportation. The objective is to provide further insight in, for instance, seasonal and spatial patterns. Also to develop an algorithm that can match a vessel track in space and time with interpolated weather variables observable only at certain spatial nodes.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Port operations and weather impact

    Port operations and weather impact

    Using empirical hindcast and forecast data for precipitation in selected South American ports, to assess and predict the impact of rain events and intensity on the loading of weather sensitive cargoes such as paper, grain etc.

    Work in co-operation with shipping companies Western Bulk and/or G2Ocean.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Sports Analytics

    Sports Analytics

    Due to its massive popularity and often large availability of data, sports present great opportunities for the application of analytics techniques. I have dedicated a great share of my research to topics related to sports analytics, including tournament scheduling, referee assignment, fairness, and ranking design. These are only examples from the broad range of topics in the agenda of sports analytics nowadays. There is a lot of literature about it. I would be open to discuss your specific interests and to provide you with references that could set the basis for a potentially fun and relevant master thesis.

    Supervisor: Mario Guajardo.

  • Using Textual Analysis to identify whether there is a gender gap in financial white collar crime

    Using Textual Analysis to identify whether there is a gender gap in financial white collar crime

    There is very little systematic evidence on the gender gap in crime. In particular, it is difficult to quantify it for financial white collar crime, as they do not find their way into police statistics and as there is little female presence on the top levels of companies.

    In this project, we can use textual analysis tools to collect data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on insider trading and other frauds. We can match the name of the defendant to a gender, and quantify what is the difference between males and females.

    Then, we can correlate the gap, as well as the fraud itself, to past financial statements of involved companies in terms of gender representation in the board of the company and other indicators of company culture. Finally, we can compare the gap to other measures of female participation in the boardroom and determine whether white collar females seem more or less likely to commit crimes than white collar males. We can provide a partial answer to the question: Are companies going to become more responsible (do less criminal rule-breaking) if there are more females on the board?

    Methods: Textual analysis, web crawling, R

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Smuggling and money laundering

    Smuggling and money laundering

    It is well known that laundered money change their form from cash to other goods such as jewellery, antique objects or other collectible items. Do we observe abnormal flows of such good to/from tax havens? Do these flows shift with the signing of information exchange agreements between two countries?

    Methods: Regressions, machine learning.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Correcting witness reports through Machine Learning

    Correcting witness reports through Machine Learning

    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 perpetrator looked black, around 25 years”.

    Comparing actual arrests to reports, we can try to put a number on the amount of witness error. By training a machine learning model on a subsample, we can try to predict the gender, race and age of unobserved criminals. 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.

  • 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

  • Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    Airbnb in Norway & electricity prices

    The risk of accepting Airbnb guests is that they might run up all of your utilities. Are renters sensitive to this concern? Estimate the relationship between listings and electricity prices.

    Scrape the Data from http://insideairbnb.com/get-the-data/ and determine whether Airbnb listings in the last 2 years respond to electricity prices.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Can or will energy transition hold back development

    Can or will energy transition hold back development

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • Clean up and transition in the North Sea

    Clean up and transition in the North Sea

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • Energy companies, ESG and responsive strategies

    Energy companies, ESG and responsive strategies

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • ESG in finance, and EUs taxonomy

    ESG in finance, and EUs taxonomy

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • How suited are batteries to solve the intermittency problem?

    How suited are batteries to solve the intermittency problem?

    A study of the efficiency and suitability of batteries in order to solve the intermittency problem associated with new renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Hydrogen and its role in Europe's energy transition

    Hydrogen and its role in Europe's energy transition

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • Transport and CO2 emission reductions (or any segment: maritime, aviation, cars, etc)

    Transport and CO2 emission reductions (or any segment: maritime, aviation, cars, etc)

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • War, crisis and energy in Europe

    War, crisis and energy in Europe

    Supervisor: Gunnar S. Eskeland.

  • What drives the electricity prices?

    What drives the electricity prices?

    An empirical study of factors that drive the electricity prices in the short and long run.

    Supervisor: Stein Ivar Steinshamn.

  • Green Energy and Guarantees of Origin

    Green Energy and Guarantees of Origin

    During the last years, governments around the world have implemented different policies to promote investments in renewable production capacity. One of the main instruments is a policy known as guarantees of origin. These guarantees operate as a guarantee for final consumers that the electricity they consume comes from renewable energy sources.

    An important characteristic of the guarantees is that the producers are free to sell the electricity and guarantees separately. What we are observing is that while electricity from Norwegian hydropower is largely sold to consumers in Norway, the guarantees from Norwegian hydropower is sold to consumers in Germany and the Netherlands. Despite the growing importance of this policy, there are few studies of the impacts of guarantees of origin on renewable production capacity.

    In this master thesis, the students will investigate the effect of this policy instrument on renewable electricity capacity in Europe. What has Norway’s role been in promoting renewable energy capacity through guarantees of origin? What has the interaction been between guarantees of origin and other incentives to boost investments in renewable production capacity? And what are the implications of the de-coupling of the sale of the electricity with the sale of the guarantees?

    This topic of research is suitable for many different types of methods, depending on the interests and skills of the students. The thesis can be based on either a statistical analysis, case study or modelling exercise.

    Supervisor: Isabel Hovdahl and Mario Blázquez.

  • The value of green innovations

    The value of green innovations

    Although the development of new, green technology is crucial for reaching the ambitious emission targets in the Paris agreement, only a small share of investment in energy technology is currently going to renewable energy. To switch innovation efforts away from fossil fuel technologies, policy makers must increase the expected value of investing in green innovations.

    In this master thesis, the students will explore the value of green innovations by exploring patents on such innovations. A patent is a legal document that grants the holder of the patent exclusive right to the innovation described in the document for a limited period (usually 20 years). Patents also contain citations to all previous patents that are relevant for developing the innovation, and thus, patents offer a paper trail of how a technology has developed over time.

    Since we cannot directly observe innovations, patent counts have become a popular measure of both the magnitude of innovative activity, as well as the value of innovations. First, patents are not free, which means that only innovations that are perceived to be valuable will be patented. Second, the number of citations a patent receives is an indicator of the value that a specific patent has had for facilitating future innovations.

    The students will collect data on green patents from PATSTAT and use the rich information in the patents to explore the value of green innovations. Has green innovation become more valuable over time as the climate crisis has become more acute? What have been the most valuable types of green innovations? How has policy affected the speed and value of green innovations? And what has Norway's role been in promoting and developing green innovations?

    Supervisor: Isabel Hovdahl and Steffen Juranek.

  • Detailing the Value of Climate- and Environmental Surveillance on Sea food production

    Detailing the Value of Climate- and Environmental Surveillance on Sea food production

    What’s the cost-benefit for using an integrated climate and environment surveillance on seafood production? The student will assess the impact and values associated with using a detailed monitoring tool called Clarify, which currently is employed by many seafood producers. The student will be given access to unpublished data afforded by Clarify that can be directly compared to other chains of the seafood production, including feeding, fish welfare, loss to sickness and slaughter. Additional climate data can also be made available to the student depending on emerging needs. This Master opens for a relevant exploration of how monitoring can strengthen seafood sustainability and resilience to the changing climate conditions that remain the key premise for seafood production. The industry partner for this thesis is Clarify.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Optimal placement and impact of offshore wind parks

    Optimal placement and impact of offshore wind parks

    In this thesis, the students will use historical weather data to investigate the potential of Norwegian wind power in a scenario where all the current offshore locations suggested by the NVE are in full production. Alternative locations derived from optimizing production output are available and can be compared to the sites suggested by NVE. A secondary goal is to use the results to investigate the impact on the European energy market. The industry partner for this thesis is Statkraft.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    The black swans of climate risk: Compound events

    Extreme weather events such as floods, heatwaves, droughts, and storms cause major economic losses to private and public sector alike. The latest IPCC report shows that the frequency, and to some extent the magnitude, of such events will continue to increase although there are exceptions. The probability of so-called ‘compound events’ – that two or more extreme events happen simultaneously or successively – will increase due to this ongoing trend.

    Such events carry even more extreme economic losses and play a crucial role in evaluating climate risk, but they are not well constrained nor understood. In 2018, there was elevated risk for snow-driven flooding in central Norway, which was followed by one of the warmest and driest summers on record, which coincided with several climatically induced forest fires. Based on both historical data and climate predictions, the students will evaluate the probability and potential economic consequences of compound events today and in the future and provide insights and advice for the insurance industry. The industry partner for this thesis is Tryg.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • What are the optimal sites for future seafood production?

    What are the optimal sites for future seafood production?

    Wind conditions, sea currents, -temperature and -salinity are all important factors when considering new locations for ocean-based aquaculture facilities. Moreover, locations that are considered optimal today may not be suitable locations in the future due to climate change. In this thesis, the students will investigate the current optimal placements of aquaculture based on detailed historical data. By considering state of the art climate predictions, it can be investigated how these placements will change on different time horizons. The students should also discuss placement conflicts with fisheries and coastal shipping routes. The industry partner for this thesis is Clarify.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Economic impacts of climate change

    Economic impacts of climate change

    Many social and economic activities are heavily affected by weather variables such as temperatures and precipitation. In this master thesis, the students will explore the relationship between weather variables and economic decisions made by Norwegian households and/or businesses. In addition, the students will explore how climate change, through its effect on temperatures and precipitation, will affect these economic decisions into the future.

    Examples of relationships to explore are the effects of heatwaves on human mortality rates, extreme precipitation on agricultural production, or drought on hydropower production. The exploration can be either on the macro or micro level and can be in the form of either a statistical analysis or modelling exercise. For the prediction exercise, the students will have access to novel climate forecasts from the Climate Futures project. An interesting question to explore is how access to improved seasonal weather forecasts can mitigate the harmful economic impacts of climate change.

    Supervisor: Geir Drage Berentsen.

  • Analysis of catch data in Norwegian fisheries

    Analysis of catch data in Norwegian fisheries

    Organizing and analyzing data from the Norwegian directorate of fisheries.

    Supervisor: Arnt Ove Hopland.

  • Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway

    Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

    Contact: oyvind.thomassen@nhh.no.

    I have three data sets that you can use for the thesis: 1) price lists with car model variant and some technical characteristics, 2) new registrations of car model engine variants, by age and sex of the registered owner, 3) the annual rules for calculating the registration tax (engangsavgift). 

    For most uses, you will want to merge data sets 1) and 2). This will entail some tedious data work (probably using Stata or R), because of a lack of exact common identifiers. 

    The data go up to 2015, but it may be possible to obtain more recent data. 

    There are many questions that could be answered with the data, including saying something about the effect of the favorable tax treatment given to electric vehicles, which probably explains their large market share in Norway. 

    To choose this topic you must have taken a course in econometrics.

  • Econometric analysis of data from the government vehicle register

    Econometric analysis of data from the government vehicle register

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

    Contact: oyvind.thomassen@nhh.no.

    Like my topic ‘Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway’, this topic is based on data on cars in Norway. However, for this topic, I currently do not have the data, but I believe they can be obtained from Statens Vegvesen (Norwegian Public Roads Administration). See information here: https://www.vegvesen.no/om-oss/om-organisasjonen/apne-data/api-for-kjoretoyopplysninger/utvidet-utlevering-av-kjoretoyopplysninger/

    My other topic uses data on the flow of new cars. This topic uses data on the stock of cars. The two data sources could conceivably be combined.

    Background from a course in econometrics is needed.

  • Natural resource extraction nearby: opportunity or concern for non-resource firms?

    Natural resource extraction nearby: opportunity or concern for non-resource firms?

    How does natural resource extraction such as oil&gas production affect nearby firms in other sectors, such as manufacturing and services? Potential agglomeration effects could benefit firms, but increased competition for labor or more corruption might harm firms. Since firms are the backbone of every modern economy, these considerations are crucial to understand whether natural resources are a blessing or a curse.

    Supervisor: Paul Pelzl.

  • 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.

  • Analysis of electric batteries and improvements in electricity networks

    Analysis of electric batteries and improvements in electricity networks

    In cooperation with ENOVA

    Contact: Gunnar Eskeland (NHH) and Børge Nilssen Stafne (ENOVA)

  • Logistics: improvements in efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions

    Logistics: improvements in efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions

    In cooperation with ENOVA

    Contact: Gunnar Eskeland (NHH) and Arnt Gunnar Lium (ENOVA)

  • Purchasing patterns for electrical vehicles: What matters? Environmental concern or egoistic economic incentives?

    Purchasing patterns for electrical vehicles: What matters? Environmental concern or egoistic economic incentives?

    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.

  • Waste problems in the fashion industry in Norway: Oleana case

    Waste problems in the fashion industry in Norway: Oleana case

    In cooperation with Oleana

    Supervisor: Gunnar Eskeland

  • The future of fashion sustainability, customer behavior

    The future of fashion sustainability, customer behavior

    In cooperation with Oleana

    Supervisor: Gunnar Eskeland

  • Are there any economical/political motivations for sustainability in the fashion industry?

    Are there any economical/political motivations for sustainability in the fashion industry?

    In cooperation with Oleana

    Supervisor: Gunnar Eskeland

  • Shared economies: is there a future for the fashion industry?

    Shared economies: is there a future for the fashion industry?

    In cooperation with Oleana

    Supervisor: Gunnar Eskeland

  • Development and implementation of textile waste recycling, project case

    Development and implementation of textile waste recycling, project case

    In cooperation with Oleana

    Supervisor: Gunnar Eskeland

  • Regulation and benchmarking of natural monopolies in the energy sector

    Regulation and benchmarking of natural monopolies in the energy sector

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Pricing and congestion management in wholesale electricity markets

    Pricing and congestion management in wholesale electricity markets

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Integration of renewable energy sources in electricity markets

    Integration of renewable energy sources in electricity markets

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Local flexibility markets and demand response in the electricity sector

    Local flexibility markets and demand response in the electricity sector

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Integration of regional electricity markets and use of HVDC interconnectors

    Integration of regional electricity markets and use of HVDC interconnectors

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • European integration of intraday and balancing markets

    European integration of intraday and balancing markets

    Supervisors: Endre Bjørndal and Mette Bjørndal.

  • Sustainable energy and development

    Sustainable energy and development

    Around the world, the governments are imple- menting policies to foster the introduction of renewable energy. In that context, there are different research questions to develop in a master thesis that could contribute to develop a sustainable economic system.

    1. Which will be the relation between renewable energy and hydrogen?
    2. Which are the policies introduced in cities to reduce carbon emissions?
    3. Which will be the impact of the adoption of renewable energy in women unemploy- ment? Could the introduction of renewable energy increase the gender gap?
    4. Which will be the changes in the design of electricity markets induced by the intro- duction of renewable energy?
    5. Which is the relation between hydrogen and lithium batteries? Which is the best way to store electricity in the short-term and in the long-term?
    6. Which policies could be implemented to promote energy effciency?
    7. How do the electricity grid need to change to accommodate renewable energy?

    Supervisor: Mario Blazques de Paz

  • Transmission constraints

    Transmission constraints

    Electricity markets are moving through the integration around the world. Moreover, the countries are increasing their investments in renewable production capacity to fulfil with the agreements in carbon emission reductions. In that context, the transmission grid plays a crucial role promoting the integration of electricity markets and accommodating the renewable production capacity into the system. In re- lation with this topic, there are different research questions that could be of interest to develop a master thesis.

    1. Which should be design of electricity markets in the presence of transmission con- straints.
    2. Could the integration of electricity markets in Europe increase competition? Which will be the impact of that integration in the investments in transmission capacity, and in renewable production capacity?
    3. Which should be the relation between the spot and the redispatch market when the transmission lines are congested? How we can design those markets to increase com- petition?
    4. How should the regulator design transmission tariffs to guarantee investments in trans- mission capacity, and transmission effciency?

    Supervisor: Mario Blazques de Paz

Incentives, Contracts and Firm Behaviour

  • Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Bank disclosures and corporate governance

    Since 2015 European banks must disclose their operations in tax havens. These operations involve activities like complicated tax arbitrage strategies. While technically legal, tax arbitrage may be morally questionable and sometimes courts make rulings turning some tax arbitrage strategies illegal. How does the involvement of banks in tax havens correlate to their corporate governance? What is the relationship between a bank’s ethical credo and the ethicality of the bank’s behavior?

    Starting point: https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/opening-the-vaults-the-use-of-tax-havens-by-europes-biggest-banks-620234/.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • How do natural disasters affect local business activity? Evidence from Indonesia

    How do natural disasters affect local business activity? Evidence from Indonesia

    Besides having adverse humanitarian effects, natural disasters may have a large detrimental impact on local business activity in the affected region. On the other hand, unaffected yet nearby regions may experience a surge in business activity, as these regions compensate for the neighboring downturn. The aim of this master thesis is to quantify these and potentially other effects using Indonesian data on various types of natural disasters and on manufacturing, thereby shedding light on the economic effects of natural disasters across space. The thesis requires some training in econometrics and motivation to do a considerable amount of data work. Regarding business activity, data comes from the Indonesian manufacturing plant census and can be provided by the supervisor; regarding natural disasters, data comes from https://www.desinventar.net/. Please note that a thesis on this topic cannot be written in Spring 2023 due to parental leave of the supervisor.

    Key references

    Supervisor: Paul Pelzl.

  • Investigating patterns in procurement data

    Investigating patterns in procurement data

    Public procurement involves a large amount of money and involves a wide range of sectors. In Norway public procurement was almost 600 million NOK in the 2019 statistics and the public bought everything: from toilet paper and office supplies to new roads, high-tech hospital supplies and defense material. Data on official tenders (possibilities for contracting with the public sector) are announced on doffin.no and there is a special complaint committee dealing with disputes related to public contracts. This offers a rich amount of data to explore topics within public procurement.

    For instance, sometimes a public entity can pretend to be looking for a contractor in a competitive manner, however the phrasing of the contract allows the entity to choose preferentially a predetermined contractor. This step can be part of a larger corruption kick-back scheme that is well-hidden beneath a veil of legality. There could also be differences in how public procurement in various dimensions (geographical, type of public entity, etc.). This topic allows students to investigate procurement tenders and complaints on decisions made to determine whether there is evidence of specific patterns or preferential treatment.

    Necessary skills: web scraping, textual analysis, statistical/econometric analysis

    Supervisors: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman and Malin Arve.

  • Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Did companies misuse government support during Covid-19?

    Government support to firms during the Covid-19 pandemic was comprehensive and supposed to quickly reach businesses. This may have lead to some firms exploiting government funds that were not eligible. For example, some companies may have been reconstructed to utilize the support schemes and then initiate bankruptcies in parts of companies. It may also be of interest to look at risk factors that arise in companies that receive payments from several support schemes. This study will contribute to an evaluation of how well the grant schemes have worked.

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    Corporate solvency and government support during Covid-19

    The lock-down of Norway on March 12, 2020 meant that many businesses had problems paying taxes and fees. In order to alleviate the burdens and avoid bankruptcies, the government, with effect from 12 June 2020, issued a regulatory provision that allows for deferral of payment for most tax and duty claims. This has led to a halving of bankruptcies compared with 2019 and raises several interesting, empirical questions: Have schemes led to companies being kept alive that would normally have gone bankrupt? How can the tax administration predict bankruptcy among firms?

    Supervisor: Maximilian Todtenhaupt.

  • Natural resource extraction nearby: opportunity or concern for non-resource firms?

    Natural resource extraction nearby: opportunity or concern for non-resource firms?

    How does natural resource extraction such as oil&gas production affect nearby firms in other sectors, such as manufacturing and services? Potential agglomeration effects could benefit firms, but increased competition for labor or more corruption might harm firms. Since firms are the backbone of every modern economy, these considerations are crucial to understand whether natural resources are a blessing or a curse.

    Supervisor: Paul Pelzl.

  • The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    The Dynamics of Conflict through the Lens of Financial Markets

    In a series of influential studies, scholars have identified that companies benefit from conflict. Arms companies are involved in smuggling, diamond mining companies exploit the chaos to secure extraction rights and corrupt officials disclose top secret information. Every conflict is different and firms will find a way to profit from the chaos.

    Possible questions are: do these findings still hold in recent times, from for e.g. 2005 to 2020? Are the perpetrators different? Can we link perpetrators through their board composition? How connected are the boards of companies that violate embargoes? How does corporate governance influence illegal activities? 

    Starting point: DellaVigna, S. and La Ferrara, E., 2010. Detecting illegal arms trade. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2(4), pp. 26-57.

    Supervisor: Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman.

  • Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway

    Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

    Contact: oyvind.thomassen@nhh.no.

    I have three data sets that you can use for the thesis: 1) price lists with car model variant and some technical characteristics, 2) new registrations of car model engine variants, by age and sex of the registered owner, 3) the annual rules for calculating the registration tax (engangsavgift). 

    For most uses, you will want to merge data sets 1) and 2). This will entail some tedious data work (probably using Stata or R), because of a lack of exact common identifiers. 

    The data go up to 2015, but it may be possible to obtain more recent data. 

    There are many questions that could be answered with the data, including saying something about the effect of the favorable tax treatment given to electric vehicles, which probably explains their large market share in Norway. 

    To choose this topic you must have taken a course in econometrics.

  • Econometric analysis of data from the government vehicle register

    Econometric analysis of data from the government vehicle register

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

    Contact: oyvind.thomassen@nhh.no.

    Like my topic ‘Econometric analysis of the sales of new cars in Norway’, this topic is based on data on cars in Norway. However, for this topic, I currently do not have the data, but I believe they can be obtained from Statens Vegvesen (Norwegian Public Roads Administration). See information here: https://www.vegvesen.no/om-oss/om-organisasjonen/apne-data/api-for-kjoretoyopplysninger/utvidet-utlevering-av-kjoretoyopplysninger/

    My other topic uses data on the flow of new cars. This topic uses data on the stock of cars. The two data sources could conceivably be combined.

    Background from a course in econometrics is needed.

  • 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.

  • Streaming markets for music and books

    Streaming markets for music and books

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • Interplay between content providers and distributors in digital platforms

    Interplay between content providers and distributors in digital platforms

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • The Appstore battle with music and app providers (the case of Fortnite and Spotify)

    The Appstore battle with music and app providers (the case of Fortnite and Spotify)

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • The war among consoles 2020: Sony (PlayStation 5-) vs Microsoft (Xbox Series)

    The war among consoles 2020: Sony (PlayStation 5-) vs Microsoft (Xbox Series)

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • Konkurransen i mobilmarkedet

    Konkurransen i mobilmarkedet

    Sammenligne f.eks. Norge og Finland som har ulik markedsstruktur. Mye deskriptiv empiri for å bedre forstå markedet og forskjellen mellom landene.

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • Bokavtalen

    Bokavtalen

    Kulturminister Trine Skei Grande har nylig foreslått å utvide bokavtalen. Det vil gi en lengre fastprisperiode og høyere priser på opptil 65 prosent av bøkene. Den norske bokavtalen, som gir forleggerne rett til å sette en fast pris på nye bøker, er havnet i søkelyset til Efta-landenes overvåkningsorgan Esa. Nylig besvarte Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet (NFD), på vegne av den norske regjeringen, en rekke spørsmål fra Esa om forholdet mellom bokavtalen og EØS-avtalens eksplisitte forbud mot prissamarbeid i artikkel 53. Her kunne det være interessant å sammenligne med kommisjonens sak mot Amazon ift most-favored nation (MFN) klausuler.

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • Personalisert prising

    Personalisert prising

    Med utgangspunkt i prosjektet Moving towards the market of one? Competition with personalized pricing and endogenous mismatch costs, jobbe med applikasjoner? Kan også knyttet opp mot AI.

    Supervisor: Øystein Foros.

  • Data på individnivå fra Statistisk sentralbyrå

    Data på individnivå fra Statistisk sentralbyrå

    Tjenesten microdata.no gir tilgang til variabler på individnivå om befolkning, utdanning, sysselsetting, inntekt, formue, gjeld, skatt, trygd, barnevern, valg og boforhold. Jeg har ikke et bestemt spørsmål i tankene, men veileder gjerne oppgaver som bruker disse dataene. Studenter som ønsker å gjøre dette kan få tilgang til microdata.no gjennom NHH. Bakgrunn fra et kurs i økonometri er sterkt å anbefale.

    Supervisor: Øyvind Thomassen.

Shipping, Logistics and Operations Management

  • Planning and signage of evacuation from buildings

    Planning and signage of evacuation from buildings

    Planlegging og skilting av evakuering fra bygninger

    Solli Distriktpsykiatriske Senter på Nesttun huser døgn- og polikliniske avdelinger for personer over 18 år med psykiske lidelser. Sykehuset har et problem med at pasienter ikke alltid finner veien ut igjen av byggene etter endt behandling og har satt i gang et prosjekt med å bedre skilting for å bedre flyt i pasientenes bevegelser inne på sykehuset. I denne sammenheng vil vi også optimere evakueringsplanene for bygningsmassen da skiltingen kanskje baserer seg på en suboptimal evakueringsplan.

    De som må evakueres og som beveger seg rundt i bygget er en blanding av de 150 ansatte, 19 innlagte pasienter og omtrent 150 polikliniske pasienter (per dag) som er innom en time annenhver uke for behandling. Dette er pasientgrupper med ulike typer adferd som i tillegg vil kunne være forskjellig fra adferden til pasienter ved f.eks. somatiske avdelinger, men som for det meste har samme fysiske forutsetninger som den generelle befolkningen. 

    Denne oppgaven passer godt for en BAN-student. Den innebærer modellering av evakuering av bygninger ved bruk av optimering. En særlig interessant kobling her er sammenhengen mellom hva som er optimal (ofte korteste) veg ut av bygningen – gitt startpunkt – og hvordan dette kan merkes / skiltes på en tydelig måte. Modellen skal anvendes på senteret på Nesttun.

    Arbeidet vil skje i samarbeid med ansatte på Solli, og vil internt bli veiledet av Professor Stein W. Wallace og PhD-kandidat Andres Felipe Velez Correa

    Planning and signage of evacuation from buildings

    Solli District Psychiatric Center in Nesttun houses inpatient and outpatient departments for people over 18 with mental disorders. The hospital has a problem with patients not always finding their way back out of the building after finishing treatment and has started a project to improve signage to improve the flow of patients' movements inside the hospital. In this context, we will also optimize the evacuation plans for the building mass, as the signage may be based on a suboptimal evacuation plan.

    Those who have to be evacuated and who move around the building are a mixture of the 150 employees, 19 inpatients and approximately 150 outpatients (per day) who come in for an hour every two weeks for treatment. These are patient groups with different types of behavior which may also be different from the behavior of patients in e.g. somatic departments, but who mostly have the same physical conditions as the general population.

    This assignment is well suited for a BAN student. It involves modeling the evacuation of buildings using optimization. A particularly interesting connection here is the connection between what is the optimal (often shortest) way out of the building - given the starting point - and how this can be clearly marked / distinguished. The model will be used at the center at Nesttun.

    The work will take place in collaboration with employees at Solli, and will be internally supervised by Professor Stein W. Wallace and PhD candidate Andres Felipe Velez Correa.

  • Tourist management

    Tourist management

    In 2019 before the sanitary emergency started, Norway received 5.88 million tourists representing 7,04 billion dollars and 1,7% of its GDP, reaching the highest levels in 2017. In this year, the tourism industry represented nearly 4,2% of Norwegian GDP and attracted around 170 billion NOK in total tourism consumption. These numbers show the potential of this industry for economic growth and depict some challenges. Particularly when we put the number of tourists in relation to the population of the country, it becomes clear the necessity to take a closer look at current policies and opportunities from point of view of operation research. 

    For the City of Bergen, the cruise industry is especially important. Bergen receives the largest number of cruise tourists in the country, making of it one of the most visited cities in Scandinavia. 

    It might be interesting for cruise companies to have touristic recommendations for their passengers, itineraries that provide the most benefits out the visit, and ensure the passengers will be back to the ship on time. But also, from the city hall perspective, it might be desirable to have a more homogenous distribution of the visitors across town in order to avoid crowds. Additionally, according to Bergen’s urbanization plan, there could be desirable areas of the city where it is more interesting to bring visitors and the money they spend on their trip, in the frame of urban development, social welfare, and environment. 

    In order to assess the different locations, it is necessary to understand the city trends, socio-economic indicators, passenger preferences, and tourist offers, among others. Then use this information as support for an optimization model, allowing to suggest the best routes, both for the tourists and the City of Bergen. 

    Main supervisor: PhD-candidate Andres Felipe Velez Correa.

  • Helicopter fleet composition and allocation

    Helicopter fleet composition and allocation

    In the oil and gas industry, helicopters are widely used for personnel and cargo transport between offshore platforms and heliports on the land. Therefore, the decision-making regarding the composition of the helicopter fleet and the allocation of this resource is vital for a stable operation of oil & gas exploration and extraction. Such tactical decision affects various aspects of an oil company, including contract utilization, carbon footprint, plan robustness and operating expenses.

    However, the common practice in the industry is that the decision of fleet composition and allocation is still manually made based on demand forecast and individual’s experience. Such decision-making process cannot guarantee optimal solutions, is not scalable, and would likely lead to low resource utilization rate and high operating cost.

    We are now seeing a clear trend in the oil and gas industry which is to apply automation in its various and complex decision-making process with the support of optimization. In terms of the helicopter fleet composition and allocation problem in this case, a decision support tool is expected to facilitate the decision of helicopter chattering and deployment with stochastic demand for the next planning period. Moreover, resource sharing, namely utilizing idle helicopter resources from other operators, is also a promising opportunity to increase the overall efficiency on an industry level and hence is becoming increasingly popular among different oil companies and helicopter operators.

    With its trademark solution DaWinci as the industry standard in personnel logistics management, Quorum is the software supplier for many of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. Quorum Software Norway, as the market leader, is now cooperating with several major players in the oil and gas industry to address various new challenges with new software planning tools. This master project will take advantage of Quorum’s expertise in logistics management in oil and gas industry, and look at some of the following issues:

    • Literature review on related problems and topics
    • Mathematical formulation of the problem
    • Study the uncertainty involved in this problem and methods to handle such stochasticity
    • Study and develop necessary solution methods
    • Analyze the numerical results based on a realistic problem instance from Quorum

    Students choosing this project should expect to visit Quorum Software’s Bergen office to work alongside our optimization engineers for up to a week.

    Collaborator: Quorum Software, contact person Xin Wang (xin.e.wang@quorumsoftware.com).

    Supervisor: Yewen Gu.

  • Electric vehicles: operation, charging, network, logistics

    Electric vehicles: operation, charging, network, logistics

    The penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Norwegian market is massive. I have dedicated part of my recent research to the optimization of charging schedules of EVs and to compare how the optimal patterns differ from the actual behaviour of EV owners. These are only examples from the broad range of topics in the research agenda on EVs nowadays. There is a lot of literature about it. I would be open to discuss your specific interests and to provide you with references that could set the basis for a potentially relevant master thesis on EVs.

    Supervisor: Mario Guajardo.

  • Estimating a freight option volatility surface

    Estimating a freight option volatility surface

    Using real transaction data, estimate a volatility surface for freight options and assess whether it is different from other financial options markets w.r.t. implied volatility skew/smile.

    Company: EEX.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • What is the value of better weather forecasts?

    What is the value of better weather forecasts?

    Using empirical case studies to quantify how more accurate short-term weather forecasting can improve chartering decisions for a ship operator.

    Working with company Western Bulk.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Port operations and weather impact

    Port operations and weather impact

    Using empirical hindcast and forecast data for precipitation in selected South American ports, to assess and predict the impact of rain events and intensity on the loading of weather sensitive cargoes such as paper, grain etc.

    Work in co-operation with shipping companies Western Bulk and/or G2Ocean.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Topics on Ship Finance

    Topics on Ship Finance

    Topic 1: Responsible investing in the shipping/offshore industry. How have (institutional) investors change their appetite in investing in the shipping/offshore industry, given public ESG concerns and initiatives from the industry?

    Topic 2: Sustainability-Linked Debt issuance in shipping company – criteria, impact on transition to zero emission, asset investment and investor appetite.

    Topic 3: Investment horizon in shipping. What determines the investment horizon? In the transition to zero emission, how shipping companies decide which asset class to invest? Short-term vs. long-term investment payback and performance analysis.

    Topic 4: Optimal capital structure for shipping companies – determinants: ownership profile, prices, leverage, cycles and other factors.

    Supervisor: Haiying Jia

  • Topics on Marine Insurance

    Topics on Marine Insurance

    Topic 1: Marine insurance risk aggregation. How to manage small-probability risk exposures? Geographically or event-linked exposures. Optimal risk transfer of low probability yet high impact events.

    Topic 2: Marine risk assessment – using Machine learning or other methods. Analysis of Marine traffic data, claim locations and loss prevention applications.

    Topic 3: Vessel utilization and its marine risks. Use innovative data sources to estimate vessel utilization, such as the emission data from MRV.

    Topic 4: Coinsurance efficiency improvement. How to improve efficiency by system/data sharing? Blockchain?

    Topic 5: INSURTECH Automated underwriting – system design view point, or technology viewpoint. How would a standard insurance portfolio perform is 100% can be automated.

    Topic 6: Ownership structural of marine insurance companies. What are the challenges connected to the business model? What ownership structure is optimal?

    Supervisor: Haiying Jia

  • 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: How can CO2 emissions be priced in chartering contracts?

    Shipping: How can CO2 emissions be priced in chartering contracts?

    Cargo owners and charterers are the key to reducing emissions in global seaborne transportation. How can we revise contracts such that all stakeholders have an incentive to perform efficiently?

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: Using weather forecasts to improve ship earnings

    Shipping: Using weather forecasts to improve ship earnings

    How can weather statistics and medium-term weather forecasts be used to improve pre-calculations of the voyage results for drybulk vessels? How accurate are the “rules-of-thumb” weather margins currently used in comparison?

    Company: Golden Ocean.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping: Vessel speed analysis using AIS data

    Shipping: Vessel speed analysis using AIS data

    Using AIS data on ship positions, investigating how vessel speeds react to changes in fuel prices and spot freight rates in the short- and long run.
    Requires familiarity with co-integration tests and econometrics.

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping & Finance: Machine learning models for FFA trading

    Shipping & Finance: 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: Roar Ådland

  • Shipping & Finance: Inferring short-term market direction from intraday FFA Data

    Shipping & Finance: Inferring short-term market direction from intraday FFA Data

    Using intraday bid/offers spreads – is it possible to use pattern recognition or technical analysis to daytrade forward freight agreements? Knowledge of Python and machine learning is useful. 

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

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

    Shipping & Finance: 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 & Finance: Improving freight option models.

    Shipping & Finance: Improving freight option models.

    Using real transaction data, estimate a volatility surface for freight options and assess whether it is different from other financial options markets w.r.t. implied volatility skew/smile.
    Company: EEX. 

    Supervisor: Professor Roar Ådland

  • Shipping & Finance: Quantifying fluctuations in FFA market liquidity

    Shipping & Finance: Quantifying fluctuations in FFA market liquidity

    Using high-frequency bid-offer quotes, analyze changes in the bid-offer spread over time and how it correlates with trading volume, seasonality and freight market level.
    Company: Zuma Labs/Braemar.

    Supervisor: Roar Ådland

  • Evacuation of large passenger ships

    Evacuation of large passenger ships

    Large cruise ships can be hard to exit in emergency situations and face unique challenges regarding evacuation. The ship’s steel hull has so far precluded the use of wireless technologies, which implies that all communications must be cabled-based, not even cell-phones work in an emergency. Another challenge is that evacuation plans are static and cannot be adapted as the emergency unfolds, something important in this context as different factors, such as winds, waves and tilting of the boat, affect passenger behaviour and the evacuation itself. In an ongoing project we try to develop a practical and theoretically sound stochastic and dynamic evacuation model for a large passenger ships aided by innovative wireless technology.

    The project is in cooperation with NTNU (that covers the technical parts with respect to engineering and ship design) while NHH cover the dynamic modeling of an evacuation. The new wireless technology comes from ScanReach at Sotra - https://www.scanreach.com/ - and they are closely involved in the project.

    Possible theses would cover aspects (to be agreed upon between supervisor and student) of modeling the evacuation or solving resulting models. There are many challenges in the modeling so that the resulting model is fast, which is required in an emergency.

    Supervisor: Stein W. Wallace

  • Cargo Scheduling

    Cargo Scheduling

    For e.g. breakbulk and chemical shipping companies it is challenging to find out which cargoes fit best together into a voyage such that all cargoes can be transported on voyages and ships travel the least possible distance. The aim of this topic is to create a model with typical restrictions and find a good weighing of the different aspects of the objective function. In cooperation with Dataloy Systems, you can use data to develop and test your model as well as discuss the underlying concepts.

    Supervisor: Julio Cesar Goez

  • Analysis of high-frequency supply data for oil tankers

    Analysis of high-frequency supply data for oil tankers

    Using unique daily spatial data for vessel employment, analyze how regional freight rate changes are driven by supply and demand, and whether the specifications and operator of a ship matters for its attractiveness in the market.

    Supervisor: Roar Ådland.

  • Small city logistics

    Small city logistics

    Urban population growth is driving an increase in the amount of freight that goes into and out of cities. That growth poses an increasing challenge to freight transportation in smaller compact cities with difficult topology, which is typical for most Norwegian cities and numerous cities abroad.

    This transportation challenge is exacerbated by phenomena such as an increase in internet trade, the demand for fast delivery, and a reduction in the ownership of private cars in the city centre which could be used for shopping. The result is an increase in the total volume of freight, and more critically, in the total number of deliveries, normally managed by a large variety of transportation companies.

    Unless planned for and regulated, a consequence might be increased traffic, with enhanced energy consumption, that competes for available space and may affect living conditions for a growing urban population.

    This project will study small city logistics, with a focus on Bergen, to find the options available for the authorities, business models for a better city logistics setup, as well as mathematical modeling. Will be done in cooperation with the City of Bergen, Vestland County, Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET) at The University of Bergen. The project can be qualitative as well as quantitative.

    The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway, and we offer two project grants of NOK 25,000.

    Possible supervisors: Stein W. Wallace, Julio C. Goez or Mario Guajardo.

  • 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.

    Contact: Mario Guajardo

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • Logistics/sharing economy: Analytics for car-sharing models

    Logistics/sharing economy: Analytics for car-sharing models

    Car-sharing provides short-term vehicle access to a group of user members who share the use of a vehicle fleet owned by a car-sharing organization that maintains, manages, and insures the vehicles. An example of this model in Bergen is bildeleringer. Managing the fleet involves decisions such as the size of the fleet, how to position and reposition the vehicles, maintenance schedules, and pricing approaches. Strong background on analytics required

    Supervisors: Julio C. Goez and Mario Guajadaro.

  • Optimization of requirements of cloud computing resources

    Optimization of requirements of cloud computing resources

    The providers of online applications usually need to find the deployment of minimum cost for running it in the cloud. For the deployment, the planner on the application side must consider renting resources from cloud providers. However, there is a service level constraint that must be satisfied to ensure the quality of the service.

    Supervisor: Julio C. Goez.

  • How to analyze the impact of introducing a scheduling software?

    How to analyze the impact of introducing a scheduling software?

    Scheduling takes an important role in making shipping as efficient as possible. We want to evaluate the quality of a schedule in practice. As the amount of information changes from what is available during planning to what is available when the plan comes into action, this is a complex problem. The aim of this topic is to find a model to evaluate a plan with respect to how it was used in practice. This will allow us to evaluate if companies improved their scheduling over time. Using data provided by Dataloy Systems, we want to test the model and for example analyse if the implementation of a scheduling software had a positive impact on the schedules.

    Supervisors: Julio Cesar Goez

  • Modelling storage and capacity for scheduling for example for antarctic fishing

    Modelling storage and capacity for scheduling for example for antarctic fishing

    Fishing in the antarctic is a profitable business that is aiming to professionalize its scheduling. Fishing boats are fishing and at the same time producing various fish products on board, increasing their stock of fish products on board. On regular intervals they need to meet a cargo vessel to transfer all their cargo onto the cargo vessel. This is to avoid the fishing boat having to go all the way to the coast and losing valuable fishing time. We want to find a model that fits this operation and can be extended to other storage scenarios (storage on the cargo ship, storage at a warehouse the cargo ship delivers to)

    Supervisor: Julio Cesar Goez

  • Scheduling well in a single port

    Scheduling well in a single port

    For a ship that should visit several terminals in a port to discharge cargo and load cargo scheduling these terminal visits is not trivial. Each terminal has an individual waiting list, each cargo potentially has a deadline when it needs to be discharged or loaded and additionally the ship is not allowed to be overloaded at any point in time. We are interested in a model to evaluate the quality of different solutions.

    Supervisor: Julio Cesar Goez