I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Stockholm University.
My primary research field is Political Economy. I am also interested in Applied Microeconomics and Behavioral Economics.
My CV can be downloaded here.
Can social image concerns cause people to take costly actions benefiting their community? Using newly collected data, I study the impact of public shaming on voluntary recruitment during World War I in England and Wales. At the time, young women in many towns and cities handed out white feathers to men in civilian clothes, marking them out as cowards. This was intended to encourage volunteering. I reconstruct a panel of “White Feather Girls” activity from local newspaper articles and exploit the staggered spread of the movement in an event study framework. Following episodes of public shaming, recruitment increased significantly: Volunteering surged by a third during the 10 days after the first mention of the White Feather Girls in the news. Confounding factors such as reporting of wartime events are unlikely to account for these patterns. These results suggest that public image concerns can have first-order effects on costly altruistic behavior that benefits the group.
We study the causal relationship between moral values (“ought” statements) and factual beliefs (“is” statements) and show that, contrary to predictions of orthodox Bayesian models, values exert an influence on beliefs. This effect is mediated by prior political leanings and, thus, contributes to increasing polarization in beliefs about facts. We study this process of motivated political reasoning in a pre-registered online experiment with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 individuals in the US. Additionally, we show that subjects do not distort their beliefs in response to financial incentives to do so, suggesting that deep values exert a stronger motivational force.
A vast and growing number of studies suggests that minimum wages have limited disemployment effects while they can increase output prices. This finding contradicts the “law of demand” which states that demand should fall whenever prices increase, and so the scale of production and employment. We propose a simple mechanism whereby, all else equal, consumers derive a higher marginal utility from consuming a good if it is produced by workers with a higher wage provided the minimum wage relative to the markup is not too high. Combined with firms’ inability to credibly commit to higher wages, a mandated minimum wage policy could then lead to higher output and positive employment effects simultaneously. To test this mechanism, we run a survey in which we present individuals with different scenarios resulting in a price increase. We then ask individuals whether they consider the price increase to be fair or unfair and whether they are more or less willing to pay the higher price.
This study tests the hypothesis that individuals’ cooperative behavior does not just depend on their available wealth but also on the shape of the income process which generates that wealth. Inequality is no longer observed in levels only. It also affects real incomes with those of the poorest not only stagnating but declining. I ran a pre-registered online experiment to look at the impact of income changes on cooperation. The experiment varies whether participants received increasing, decreasing or constant rewards for a task they had to complete repeatedly, while keeping their final budgets equal. Whereas I find no effects on charitable giving, I find evidence that contributions in a public goods game are affected by players comparing their reward profiles.