Photo: Magne Sandnes/CMI
2 Sep 2020

New researcher at CMI: Ingrid Hoem Sjursen

Ingrid Hoem Sjursen is employed as a researcher at CMI, where she will work on tax and public finance.

Ingrid has a master’s degree in social economics from the University of Bergen and a doctorate from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) where she was affiliated with the FAIR centre - Center for Experimental Research on Fairness, Inequality and Rationality. Before coming to CMI, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Centre for applied research based at NHH (SNF) and for the past year has also been associated with the Stockholm School of Economics.

-What are your main research interests and background?

-My primary research agenda is tax, development and behavioral economics, but I am also interested in households and global health.

I mainly work with tax related to development issues. Among other things, I study the factors that affect people's willingness to pay taxes and to hold governments accountable. Geographically, I am interested in the Sub-saharan Africa, and I have done fieldwork and several projects in Tanzania.

At CMI, I will be associated with two projects funded by The Research Council of Norway (NFR). The first, Tax compliance, VAT revenues and business development in Tanzania, is in collaboration with the tax authorities in Tanzania, where we will do a field experiment that we hope can make people pay more VAT. The second, Public services, security and the legacy of pre-colonial states in Ugandais a project in Uganda, where we will investigate whether pre-colonial institutions influence the willingness to contribute to the financing of public services today.

The corona epidemic has led to some challenges for these projects but I hope we can travel and do field work after Christmas. Fortunately, we already have some administrative and historical data so we can begin the analysis from our offices.

-Why CMI?

-I am familiar with CMI from my time as a master's student here, so I know that it is a good and stimulating place to work. In addition, CMI conducts research that is policy-oriented and close to decision-makers, and I want to be close to the real world. As a master's student, I wrote about infant mortality in Angola and was mostly interested in health-related issues. It was CMI and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad who sparked my interest in tax issues. In my eyes, tax research is incredibly exciting. The tax system is fundamental to a country's development. If a state is to be sustainable and independent, it must be able to offer a minimum of public services. Then it needs tax revenue.

-What are your professional goals?

-It must be to find out something that can make a difference. I am driven by conducting research that is interesting and relevant. What motivates many of us in this field is to try to understand something of value for decision makers, which may lead to the formulation of better policies.

-What makes your heart beat a little faster?

-I am very fond of my job, so that must be when I discover particularly exciting findings in the data or get a good idea. Outside of work, I have to say physical activity. I live in Sandviken in Bergen which is close to the mountains and I love to run up the Stoltzen stairs. I love mountain hikes and nature in general, but I am no wilderness woman!


Ingrid Hoem Sjursen's homepage: