Essays in Empirical Economics

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The second chapter, written jointly with Stefan Legge, explores the trade-off Europe faces when choosing between immigration from poor countries and welfare spending. Photo: wikimedia
PhD Defense

6 January 2017 13:32

(updated: 6 January 2017 14:06)

Essays in Empirical Economics

On 20 January 2017 Ole-Petter Moe Hansen will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Model uncertainty in macroeconomics: Frequentist and Bayesian solutions

Ole-Petter Moe Hansen is a PhD-student at Department of Economics.
Ole-Petter Moe Hansen is a PhD-student at the Department of Economics.

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Title of the thesis:

Essays in Empirical Economics


In this dissertation Ole-Petter Moe Hansen uses applied econometrics as the primary tool of analysis in four separate papers, discussing fiscal policy, immigration, group aggregation of predictions and growth.

The first chapter investigates how monetary policy rules affect fiscal policy when politicians have a preference for overspending. Using data on elections, monetary regimes and government consumption in OECD in recent years, Hansen shows that there is less excessive spending if the central bank follows an inflation targeting rule compared to a fixed exchange rate rule. The paper further develops a theoretical model that can explain the empirical findings.

The second chapter, written jointly with Stefan Legge, explores the trade-off Europe faces when choosing between immigration from poor countries and welfare spending. Using data from the European Social Survey on sixteen countries from 2002-2012, they document that voter preferences shifted in favor of redistribution, but polarized over low-skill immigration. They develop a structural, empirical model, to explain the observed phenomena, where voters might be motivated by altruism in addition to concerns over own consumption. Using this model, they show how rising unemployment rates, shares of foreign-born citizens and aggregate education can explain observed aggregate shifts in policy preferences.

The third chapter, written jointly with Ingvild Almås and Gernot Doppelhofer, use experimental data to quantify the weight groups gives to its members opinions when it reaches a decision. They find that well prepared males and females with higher grades and previous experience with investments are influential in groups. Unprepared females, as opposed to unprepared males, have on the other hand very little sway over the group decision.

The fourth chapter, written jointly with Gernot Doppelhofer and Melvyn Weeks, estimates determinants of long-run growth rates of GDP per capita in a cross section of countries. As there is conciderable data uncertainty in many countries, they develop an empirical model that use many data sources to identify the distribution of GDP per capita in each country. They estimate the model and identify 18 variables related to economic growth, where the results are robust to model uncertainty, data uncertainty, outliers and parameter heterogeneity.


12:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Erik Sørensen (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH

Professor Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Wu Wien

Associate professor Jo Thori Lind, University of Oslo


Professor Gernot Doppelhofer, Department of Economics, NHH

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from

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