Fields of Research

Natural resources, environmental and development economics


Historically Norway's growth and prosperity has to a large extent been based on natural resources. Nowadays oil is the natural resource that generates highest income. The resource curse with internal conflicts and low growth has plagued many countries rich on resources. Why is that? What characterize countries that have been able to avoid the resource curse?

Researchers at the Department of Economics are also working on utilization of renewable resources. What is efficient management of fish stocks, rivers with Atlantic salmon, and reindeer grazing land? How should one handle conflicts between wild animals and farmers?

The huge inequality in living standards across countries calls for analyses of why economic development has been so weak, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa. A main hypothesis is that institutional quality drives economic growth. But what determines institutional quality? Other questions that are being examined are technology adoption, why the return on investment is often very low in developing countries, why and when aid is efficient, and how trade barriers affect economic development.


Associate Professor Anne Borge Johannesen
Professor Jørn Rattsø
Professor Anders Skonhoft
Professor Ragnar Torvik

Selected publications

Acemoglu, D., J. Robinson and R. Torvik (2013), Why do voters dismantle checks and balances? Review of Economic Studies 80, 845-875.

Borge, L. E., P. Parmer and R. Torvik (2015), Local natural resource curse, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.

Johannesen, A. B. and A. Skonhoft (2005), Tourism, poaching and wildlife conservation: what can integrated conservation and development projects accomplish? Resource and Energy Economics 27, 208-226.

Johannesen, A. B. and A. Skonhoft (2009), Local common property exploitation with rewards, Land Economics 85, 637-654.

Rattsø, J. and H. E. Stokke (2012), Trade policy in a growth model with technology gap dynamics and simulations for South Africa, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 36, 1042-1056.

Robinson, J. and R. Torvik (2015), Endogenous presidentialism, Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming.