PhD scholarship in Public Economics

We are seeking a PhD candidate for a paid position related to the project Behavioral Responses to Taxes. Application deadline is March 1, 2019.

PhD scholarship in Public Economics

School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

A. Alstadsæter

The School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), is seeking a PhD candidate in the field of public economics, and in particular behavioral responses to the value added tax (VAT) and the wealth tax. More formal information on the position and how to apply is found here.

The candidate would be included into an ongoing project at Skatteforsk - Center for Tax and Behavioral Research.

The VAT is an important sources of revenue for many countries. In principle, negative payable VAT entitles firms to direct cash refunds, but it also provides incentives to participate in fraud. As the result, tax systems struggle with balancing refunds that are important for preserving efficiency of the tax and non-compliance considerations. The EU estimates the total VAT gap annually amounts to 160 Billion Euro. In spite of this, little research has been done on VAT and tax evasion in developed countries. The plan is to utilize rich Norwegian micro data to study issues related to behavioral response to VAT and fraud.

The second part of the project concerns the wealth tax. Norway is one of few remaining countries that imposes an annual net wealth tax. At the same time, both income and wealth inequality is increasing in Norway and throughout the world and wealth taxation is often suggested as the policy tool to be used to react. The wealth tax is controversial, but the media debates are based on anecdotes and beliefs, rather than facts, as little empirical research on the effects of the wealth tax exists. Through the current project we will study how the wealth tax design affects wealth distribution and investment behavior.

We are looking for a PhD-candidate with a documented interest in topics related to behavioral responses to taxation, preferably with prior knowledge in the field of taxation. Strong interest in econometrics/statistics, coding and empirical analysis is required, and prior experience with Stata is a definitive advantage. The candidate should have a Master’s degree in Economics and/or Business, but candidates with other backgrounds highly relevant to the proposal can also be considered.

As a PhD-student at Skatteforsk you will be working on topics of direct policy relevance with a group of nationally and internationally renowned researchers. We are building a data base of Norwegian administrative  tax records, and the plan is for the PhD-student to have access to and work with these data, using cutting edge econometric and data science methods.

NMBU’s PhD-program offers a three year paid position with no teaching obligation. Starting date for the scholarship is August 10, 2019. The duration of the position can be extended to four years, depending on additional teaching load. The research involves  collaboration with professor Wojciech Kopczuk at Columbia University, with the possibility of research visits there.

Supervisor: Professor Annette Alstadsæter

Contact information: +47 91697877,


Published 31. januar 2019 - 18:40 - Updated 31. januar 2019 - 19:00