ECON4918 – Economics of Conflict

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Today it is believed that there is a large economic component to various kinds of ethnic conflict one observes world-wide. Sometimes the battle is over economic resources – like land or oil – whereas in other times, the nature of the conflict could be ethnic in origin but the conflict results in loss of significant economic output. Thus, in most (if not all) situations of ethnic conflict, economics has a prominent role to play.

Given this premise, there has been a growing literature within the fields of Development economics and Political Economy which tries to explore and establish the linkages between economics and ethnic violence.

The course sets out to cover some of the most influential work in this area: both in terms of formal theory and in terms of empirical analysis.

Learning outcome


You should know

  • common ways of modeling conflict formally, such as via contest situations.
  • how these models are applied to the study of real world conflict situations: be it at national or sub-national levels.
  • how to study these models empirically


You should be able to

  • use fundamental modeling tools in applied game-theoretic situations, like contest games and models of campaign contributions and how to use these tools to analyze applied situations
  • discuss the empirical validity of the key outcomes of the theory


You should be able

  • to read and understand project reports and journal articles that make use of the concepts and methods that are introduced in the course
  • to make use of the course content in your own academic work, for example


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Apply for guest student status if you are admitted to another Master's programme, or have completed a master in Economics at UiO or another Norwegian University.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

  • Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent.

Recommended previous knowledge

The student should be fairly conversant with the topics covered in the following courses


Lectures and seminars.

Students are stimulated to form informal reading groups. In the seminars the students are trained in oral and written presentations.

The seminars are integrated with the lectures and the students will take part, individually and on a group basis, also in the lectures. The students will throughout the term receive written and oral feedback.


A 3-hour written school exam

Previous exams

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for an explanation about the grade in this course.

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course









Teaching language