TFI News

Household Finance Workshop videos

June 2017: Watch the presenters summarise their papers in five short videos

The CEPR Network on Household Finance and the Copenhagen Business School, supported in part by the Think Forward Initiative (TFI), organised the 2017 CEPR European Workshop on Household Finance in Copenhagen in April. Short videos were produced to summarise the five sessions, on Mortgage Markets, Household Wealth, Financial Decision Making, Finance and Consumption, and Social Interactions. The videos can be viewed here. ​Further information on the workshop itself can be found on the event webpage.

The question of money

May 2017: Thinking about finances is tough, says Economics Guru Dan Ariely

Imagine you have a headache and take a pill to feel better. If you knew the pill cost 50 cents, would it make you feel better than if you were told that same pill cost 1 cent? The answer for many people is surprisingly yes. When it comes to decisions, we’re not as rational as we think. And if anyone knows why, it’s behavioural economist Dan Ariely.

The First CEPR best student paper prize

May 2017: The CEPR Network on Household Finance has launched a prize for the best student paper in household finance​

The purpose of the prize is to recognise academic excellence and potential of young researchers engaged in household finance, as well as their contribution to the field at an early career stage. The first such prize, sponsored by the Think Forward Initiative (TFI), was awarded at the CEPR Network’s European Workshop in Household Finance in Copenhagen, Denmark on 28 April 2017, to Matteo Benetton for his paper on "Lenders' competition and macro-prudential regulation: A model of the UK mortgage supermarket".

Is trend your friend?

April 2017: The quality of our life depends largely on our ability to predict.

People differe in the way they make predictions. They may believe in a trend continuation or in trend reversal. An expectation that the observed trend will continue is the most common strategy for naive forecasting. As studies show, to opt for the prediction of a trend reversal, one has to make a significant effort to go beyond the automatic perception of reality.

Your future self

April 2017: Bring today into the future, bring the future into today

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Is it even an option today to offer that kind of assurance for the future? Sometimes we would like to have a better idea of what the future has in store for us. It would allow us to project the decisions we make today onto our own future. How can I strike the right balance between how I live now and what I will need in the future?

Recap and mindmaps: Summit Report available

April 2017: Think Forward Summit Report

The TFI partners are now working to translate all the outcomes from the past year and the Summit into a clear amibtion and objectives for the coming years. In the meantime, here is the Summit Report, where you can read a recap of the progress made since the first Summit in 2016, information about the speakers at the 2017 summit, and mindmaps that show the results of the break-out sessions.

Need to save more? Learn how to ‘unspend’

March 2017: Would you save more if you know how much your peers saved?

Researchers from the Think Forward Initiative say yes, and are developing an app to help. It’ll compare how similar people save and guide them to start “unspending”. People will set a concrete savings goal, receive suggestions based on their data, and then be rewarded along the way.

From insight to empowerment

March 2017: First Summit project outcomes and practical solutions

How can we empower people to make better financial decisions? We started the Think Forward Initiative with a range of experts and research because we want to improve people’s lives by helping them make better financial decisions.

2nd Think Forward Summit 2017

Munich, 15 March 2017

At the first Summit last year, academics, policymakers, consumer-organisation representatives and leaders from the financial and technology sectors embarked on a journey to help people make better financial decisions.

In March, we’ll keep the momentum going. We will focus on how to combine the innovative and scientific insights we’re gathering about people, their social environment and the economy into practical solutions that will help people make better financial decisions. We’ll also talk about trust, given the privacy concerns related to data analytics and new developments. The idea is to truly think forward – towards a horizon that stretches beyond tomorrow.

Financial Capability

February 2017: Helping millions to keep their heads above water

If you think about the personal finance situation in Europe, the image conjured up is perhaps more stormy seas than calm lake. Sixty percent of the people we surveyed across Europe have said that they worry about their financial position. Nearly three in 10 don’t have any savings at all.  And 10 percent of people who have personal debt don’t even know how much they owe.  What can be done to help the millions across Europe who are struggling to keep their heads above water?

Intra-household dynamics

February 2017: Dutch couples make most financial decisions together

We conducted a survey with around 1,000 Dutch couples in the first stage of the Intra-household Dynamics project. The main conclusion we can draw from the research is that many decisions we make, from choosing clothes for our children to looking for a new job or buying a house, are joint decisions with our partners, children or other family members. As high as 86 percent of husbands in our study claim that the purchase of durable goods is a joint decision. 

Social media analysis

February 2017: Anticipating and avoiding harmful borrowing through social media

Have you ever borrowed money to buy something and later regretted it? Perhaps you even wondered if you had temporarily lost your mind? If so, you’re not alone, at least judging by recent data on credit card debt, loan defaults and home foreclosures. Fortunately, help may be on the way. We’re leading a research project with our predictive analytics start-up Periander, aimed at helping people anticipate and avoid making poor borrowing decisions.

Social-norm nudge

February 2017: Can peer pressure make us save?

We know that people like to behave as others do. Social norms have a strong influence on us. So an often-used nudge is a bit of ‘peer pressure’ meant to induce ‘desirable’ herd behaviour. By informing individuals how the majority behaves or how one should behave from a societal point of view, many change their behaviour. However, so far no research has proved this works for savings. Worse even: the effect of knowing what others save appears to discourage people from saving. Our research and practical solution aim to overcome this.

Showing the progress: The third and final of three progress reports

December 2016

The third and final post-Summit session took place in December 2016 as participants continued to work on the challenges formulated during the first Think Forward Summit last year, and began looking towards the future.

TFI-CEPR conference

14 September 2016, London: Insights into European households: consumption, wealth, savings and investment

Household finance is about combining insights from several fields to understand how finance can be made to work better for people. Exploring to what extent people in Europe have control over their finances, and to what extent they can be empowered to do that is in the very heart of the Think Forward Initiative (TFI) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a new academic partner to the TFI and home to the newly established CEPR Network on Household Finance.

Bringing the Focus: First post-summit sessions take place

June 2016

The first of three post-Summit sessions took place in June 2016 as participants begin to tackle the challenges formulated during the first Think Forward Summit this past February.