Economic Analysis

The Economic Analysis (ECO) major offers an analytically rigorous approach to economics, business management and finance.

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The ECO profile provides a solid background for working as a specialist or manager in finance, consulting, or public administration, or other positions that require sophisticated analytical skills. It prepares you for professional roles where you will be doing your own analyses, sometimes with economic theory or econometrics as inputs, but where the end product is a convincing story about what the key economic mechanisms are. These are typically roles where deep understanding must be combined with excellent verbal communication skills.

Training in evaluating the validity and limitations of theoretical and empirical models sharpens one’s thinking and ensures that students will be able to quickly assimilate new knowledge in their future careers. 

The focus on fully understanding models fosters intellectual independence, and confidence in your ability to complete difficult tasks. ECO is a small profile, with small class sizes, so you will get to know your classmates and teachers better than in other profiles.

The ECO major is also the recommended path if you consider doing a PhD in economics, business economics/management science or finance, because it forms a bridge to the course component of graduate programmes, whether at NHH or at other academic institutions. 

  • Subject areas

    Subject areas

    The main areas in ECO — economics, business economics and finance — offer opportunities for specialization. At the same time, there are close links between the subjects. The ECO profile allows you to specialize within one area, but also to choose valuable combinations across areas.

    All students in the ECO major must take a course in the economic theory of decisions, strategy, and information, as well as a course in econometrics. These analytical tools form the methodological foundation for the other courses.

    Financial economics covers key methods in corporate governance, advanced investments/asset pricing, corporate finance, and derivatives pricing and risk management. A common feature of the courses is that they focus on the main insights and assumptions behind important finance models and emphasize their strengths and weaknesses. The overall aim is to increase students' sophistication and help them avoid naive or misleading model applications.

    Economics focuses on decision making at the individual level and the results of the interaction between economics agents in various institutional settings.  It asks whether outcomes are efficient or equitable, and, if not, what kind of interventions are required to foster efficiency or equity.  In Business Management, often these same principles and mechanisms are the field of attention, but now with value creation within a business as the goal.  Both subjects are covered through courses in optimization and microeconomic theory, industrial organization (the economic analysis of strategic competition), resource economics, taxes and public policy, organizational economics, decision modelling, contract design, pricing analytics, and macroeconomics.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the ECO major, a student ...


    • has broad and thorough knowledge of economic analysis (economic theory and econometrics) as applied in business management, financial markets, public policy, and other areas
    • has specialized knowledge of economic analysis in one or more subfields within economics, finance, or business economics


    • can use, and critically evaluate the use of, econometric methods for the estimation of causal effects and for prediction
    • can use, and critically evaluate the use of, economic theory to understand the behaviour of firms and individuals in markets
    • can analyze and deal critically with various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate rigorous and robust arguments within business management, finance, or economics
    • can communicate clearly and confidently about economic analysis as applied in business management, finance or public policy, both with specialists and with the general public

    General competence

    • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects
    • can communicate extensive independent work and masters the language and terminology of economic analysis
    • can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in business management, finance, or public policy
    • can absorb new knowledge and continuously update his/her skills
  • Recommended course combinations

    Recommended course combinations

    Because the optimization paradigm is useful for understanding individual economic behaviour in markets, the course in microeconomics (ECO401 Optimization and Microeconomic Theory) is recommended, especially as a basis for courses with a focus on the analysis of markets.

    The common language of all the courses in the profile is economic theory and econometrics. You are therefore free to combine courses in different areas. Below are some examples of the many course combinations that are possible.

    Finance specialization

    ECO400       Decisions, Strategy, and Information

    FIE401         Financial Econometrics

    ECO420       Corporate Governance

    ECO421       Asset Pricing

    ECO422      Advanced Corporate Finance

    ECO423      Advanced Derivatives

    Business economics specialization

    ECO400      Decisions, Strategy, and Information

    BUS444E   Econometrics for Business Research

    ECO420      Corporate Governance

    ECO427      Industrial Organization

    ECO422      Advanced Corporate Finance

    BUS428      Organizational Economics

    Economics with empirical and theoretical methodology focus

    ECO400      Decisions, Strategy, and Information

    ECN402      Econometrics

    ECO401      Optimization and Microeconomic Theory

    ECO433      Empirical Strategies for Causal Analysis

    ECO441       Taxes and Economic Policy    

    ECN430      Empirical Methods and Applications in Macroeconomics and Finance

  • Ethics courses

    Ethics courses

    ECN421 Behavioral economics is available as an ethics course in the ECO major.

  • Minor


    The ECO minor requires three courses with ECO course code, including at least one of the courses ECO400 and ECO401.

  • International opportunities

    International opportunities

    As an NHH student you have excellent opportunities to gain valuable international experience during your studies through semester exchange, the Double Degree programme, CEMS, Engage.EU, Intern Abroad and summer courses.

    Read more about international opportunities

  • Career opportunities

    Career opportunities

    ECO students typically choose careers in portfolio management, private equity, corporate finance, economic consulting, financial consulting, or government. Some examples of employers of former ECO students are Oslo Economics, Menon Economics, Norges Bank Investment Management, EY, Arctic Securities, UBS, Finansdepartementet and Næringsdepartementet.


    The ECO major is also an excellent steppingstone for a PhD in business economics/management science, finance, or economics.