Researcher receives substantial EU grant


Steffen Andersen, Professor at the Department of Economics, has received a prestigious research grant of EUR 1.5 million (approx. DKK 11 m.). The grant will help illuminate how households make financial decisions.


How do households approach risks? And what are their expectations for the future? Steffen Andersen, Professor at the Department of Economics, will answer these questions thanks to a grant of EUR 1.5 million from the European Research Council (ERC).

The grant is one of the so-called ERC Starting Grants, the first large grants from Horizon 2020 - the EU's research and innovation programme. Grants are awarded to young researchers to develop their research career and form a research team. A total of approx. DKK 3.6 billion has been awarded to European research, of which DKK 120 million has been distributed between 11 grants in Denmark.

- The project basically concerns most decisions that households make, because most decisions imply some degree of risk. We all need to decide; do we want to opt out of unemployment insurance? Do we want a fixed-rate or a floating-rate loan? We actually make these decisions based on a specific risk evaluation and our expectations to the future, says Steffen Andersen.

Better policies and participation in public debate
The hope is that this research will make it possible for politicians to develop better policies.

- The aim is to give politicians better prerequisites for affecting behaviour. For example, if private spending needs to be increased or decreased, it will be possible to turn the political dials that actually work. It is therefore central to know which choices the households in fact make, explains Steffen Andersen.

- The aim of this research is not only to create knowledge, but also to spread it. Therefore I also participate in the public debate, both directly and through 'Tænketanken Faktisk' (the Think Tank 'In Fact'), the purpose of which is to disseminate economic specialist research, says Steffen Andersen.
Makes research possible
In 2011, Steffen Andersen received a Sapere Aude grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research. He believes the Sapere Aude grant was the foundation for the new Starting Grant from the EU.

Andersen had applied for funding from the ERC in 2010/2011 for a project on the same subject, but his application was rejected. Through his Sapere Aude grant, he could demonstrate to the ERC that it was possible to do a major research project in this area.

The research project will run for five years from early 2015. The grant will be used for financial experiments, PhD-students and research assistance.

- This grant makes it possible for me to delve into a specific subject and I can choose to teach electives that relate to my research, so both my research and my teaching becomes more focused, says Steffen Andersen.

Contact Steffen Andersen for further information via email or telephone 2617 2051

Read more about Steffen Andersen

The page was last edited by: Communications // 12/17/2017