Helene Willadsen forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling

Helene Willadsen forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling: "Economic Behaviour of Children and Young Adults"


Helene Willadsen


"Economic Behaviour of Children and Young Adults". Det vil være muligt før forsvaret at rekvirere en kopi af afhandlingen ved henvendelse til Receptionen (26.0.20), Økonomisk Institut.

Tid og sted

8. januar 2020 kl. 13:30, Økonomisk Intitut, Københavns Universitet, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 København K, bygning 26, lokale 26.2.21. Af hensyn til kandidaten lukkes dørene præcis.


Lektor Miriam Wüst, Økonomisk Institut, Københavns Universitet, Danmark (formand)
Professor Seda Ertac, Koc University, Tyrkiet
Professor Daniel Schunk, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Tyskland


Preferences and choices in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood are important because they lay the foundation for the adult life. Children face economic decisions every day, like the choice of studying versus leisure. As children transcend into adolescence, economic choices are increasing in number and importance. Already at age 15 to 16, adolescents must choose to enroll – or not – in High School, and how much effort to spend in school. After High School, young adults must choose if they want to invest in more education, and of what type of education. Friends are also becoming increasingly important and counterbalancing own interests with those of friends is essential for forming and maintaining social relations.

The chapters in this thesis are all self-contained. Chapter 1, Coauthored with Marco Piovesan is a methodological contribution where we design and validate a survey to measure risk, time and social preferences. Chapter 2 documents how risk, time and social preferences change in age, from age 9 to age 15. Specifically I show that patience and risk neutrality is more widespread among older children, and that social preferences are more heterogeneous among older children. Chapter 3, coauthored with Marco Piovesan and Lotte Kofoed, investigates competitiveness among children in the age from 7-15 years old. We find that girls are 8.4 % less likely than boys to choose a competitive scheme. Chapter 4, coauthored with Anne Toft Hansen, investigates how high school graduates are choosing educations and shows that females are less likely to choose educations within a math field. For females the expected probability of having children is a determinant of their choice of education but not for males. Chapter 5, coauthored with Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen, focuses on cooperation among 1st year University students. Based on an experiment, we show that subjects can use information from real-world interactions to inform them of cooperativeness of others.