Essays in Political Economy

Ole-Andreas Næss
In his thesis, Ole-Andres Næss uses a combination of economic theory and modern econometric techniques to answer three distinct questions in applied microeconomics, with a particular focus on political economy.Photo: The the Parliament building (wikimedia)
PhD Defense

27 April 2020 11:35

Essays in Political Economy

On Monday 11 May 2020 Ole-Andreas Næss 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:

Using Economic Theory to Understand Political Behavior

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Zoom video conference, NHH

Title of the thesis:

«Essays in Political Economy»

Summary:

In his thesis, Ole-Andres Næss uses a combination of economic theory and modern econometric techniques to answer three distinct questions in applied microeconomics, with a particular focus on political economy.

The first chapter in his thesis analyzes the relation between increasing inequality and political polarization. Over the past decades, there has been a growth in economic inequality in Western countries. Standard voting models predict that more inequality should lead to parties proposing more redistribution, but the empirical support for this prediction is not strong. This chapter proposes a possible alternative explanation to the observed relation between inequality and polarization.

Ole-Andreas Næss
Ole-Andras Næss, PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, NHH.

In the second chapter of his thesis, Næss conducts a large-scale field experiment. Together with the local government in Bergen, Norway, he analyzes the effect of a text message that encouraged people to vote in the 2017 Parliamentary election. Næss estimates a size of the treatment effect between 1.4 and 2 percentage points. He also analyzes the underlying mechanisms. A post-election survey asked voters about their opinions about the text message, and this survey indicates that the voters appreciated the informational content of the message.

The third chapter analyzes the incentives for crime reporting. Næss provides an explanation for the observed under-reporting as well as an analysis of welfare-increasing mechanisms. The candidate constructs a model where victims choose whether to report the crime. He shows that there will be under-reporting of crime in equilibrium, because the victims fail to internalize the positive externalities associated with a crime report.

Defense:

12:15 in Zoom video conference, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Associate Professor Justin Valasek (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH

Associate Professor Olle Folke, Uppsala University

Professor Patricia Funk, Università della Svizzera Italiana

Supervisor:

Professor Eirik G. Kristiansen, Department of Economics, NHH