Course code BUS361

BUS361 Taxes, Inequality, and Sustainability II

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Annette Alstadsæter
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
Spring.The course is cancelled spring 2021 due to covid 19 infection control.
Course frequency: Annually.Cancelled spring 2021 due to covid 19 infection control
First time: Study year 2019-2020
Last time: 2020V
Preferential right:
Course contents:

This course bridges macro and micro related topics and brings sustainability and inequality into the curriculum under the broader umbrella of taxes. Emphasis is on understanding the basic structure of the tax system, how taxes affect behavior by individuals, and how this again is related to inequality and sustainability. Teaching is research based and draws on current newspaper articles and policy debates, and emphasis is put on discussion in class.

The companion course BUS360 introduced you to basic concepts and definitions of taxes, inequality and sustainability and provided a better understanding of how taxes affect individuals` behavior. The current course expands on these insights and studies how taxes affect firm`s investment, employment, location, profit shifting decisions, and how this then relates to inequality and sustainable development.

The majority of the lectures will be a combination of lectures and seminar discussions, where the students are divided into groups for presentation/discussion assignments.

The goal is to integrate current economic events and developments in the course. For instance, as the covid-19 crisis evolved during spring 2020, we changed the curriculum to include lectures on the economic impact of covid-19 and on implications of the measures taken to lessen the negative effects on the economy.

Learning outcome:


After completed course, the student should have knowledge on the topics covered by the course:

  • The anatomy of the corporate tax - across time and countries
  • Tax effects on firm` decisions
  • Interactions between firms and owners
  • Tax avoidance and evasion by firms - and implications for inequality
  • Challenges to taxing corporations in a globalized world
  • Tax competition across countries and the role of tax havens
  • Multinational corporations` profit shifting
  • Taxes, growth, development, and inequality


After completed course, the student should be able to:

  • Give an account of basic terminology of taxes, inequality, and sustainability
  • Describe the anatomy of the corporate tax - across time and countries
  • Describe how firms can participate in tax avoidance and evasion- and how this affects measured inequality
  • Describe how taxes affect firms` decisions
  • Explain the underlying shortcomings in the corporate tax system that facilitates multinational corporation`s profit shifting
  • Give an account of the size of multinational corporations¿ profit shifting
  • Explain why developing countries are particular vulnerable for multinational corporation`s profit shifting.

General qualifications

After completed course, the student

  • Masters basic tax and inequality terminology
  • Has a basic understanding of corporate tax system and its challenges in a global economy
  • Is able to participate in a discussion on the challenges to taxing corporations in a globalized world
Learning activities:
Lectures. Group presentations/discussions as part of the lectures. 
Teaching support:
Various course material on the class page on Canvas.

The course curriculum will be specified on the course page on Canvas and consists of research papers from the research frontier, reports, and newspaper articles, and builds partly on research by NMBU`s - Center for tax and behavioral research. 

You may up for e-mail updates with relevant tax news here.

BUS360 - Taxes, Inequality, and Sustainability I.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
There is mandatory attendance on the first lecture, and on minimum 2/3 of the lectures.

Class presentation/discussion: Bestått / Ikke bestått

School exam, 2 hours electronic exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått

If the class presentation/discussion is not passed, the course has to be taken again. No continuation exam will be arranged in this course. Both tasks  (class presentation/ discussion and school exam) must be passed in order to pass the course.

Nominal workload:
150 hours
Entrance requirements:
Master students at NMBU who has completed BUS360 Taxes, Inequality, and Sustainability I, can apply for admission.
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:

The course is in English if there is one or more international students. 

Due to limited number (maximum 15) students can be enrolled in this course. You need to apply admission to this course within 26th of January. You will be informed if you have admission some days before 1st of February - the official deadline for course registration in the spring parallel. As the number of studenst is restricted to 30, admission will be based on achieved grade and acitivity in BUS360.

External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Examination details: :