Ph.d.-forsvar: Amalie Sofie Jensen:"Essays on Saving Behavior, Homeownership, and Political Preferences"
Understanding individual behavior and decision making, is often the foundation for understanding general movements in society, and the impact of aggregate shocks and government policies. While contributing to different fields of economics, all chapters of this dissertation are concerned with how individuals behave economically and politically in response to economic conditions, incentives, and information.
In many countries, a majority of the population are homeowners and housing wealth is a dominating share of household total assets. Homeownership is also encouraged politically, as most governments subsidize it through the tax code. Homeownership, and its influence on household balance sheets and consumption patterns, potentially plays an important role for the economic and political decision making of households. The first three chapters of the dissertation analyze questions that are in various ways related to homeownership and savings in housing. The last chapter of the dissertation analyzes individual formation of political attitudes and perceptions of economic risk in response to information about unemployment.
The work presented in this dissertation contains examples of how micro behavior can help us understand general matters. All questions answered relate to greater economic and political issues such as savings for retirement, taxation and housing, inequality and redistribution, social insurance systems, and political consequences of economic trouble.