The Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen hosted an event on November 29, to mark the official opening of the Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI). Many people attended the event on Wednesday evening, eager to hear the presentations and to congratulate the new CEBI head of center, Claus Thustrup Kreiner.
CEBI’s goal is to understand the role that behavior has when inequality is created, focusing on inequality across people’s income, wealth, and health. Inequality arises from differences in circumstances and differences in behavior. The Danish research database, information from controlled experiments, and results from large-scale surveys will be the basis for analyzing behavioral inequality.
The dean of Social Sciences, Troels Østergaard Sørensen, welcomed everyone and expressed his gratitude to the Danish National Research Foundation’s chair, Liselotte Højgaard, for the DNRF board’s decision to award a grant to Claus Thustrup Kreiner and CEBI. Østergaard Sørensen said that he is sure the center will be a great success.
The DNRF’s chair, Liselotte Højgaard, congratulated both Professor Kreiner and the University of Copenhagen. She expressed her excitement to see the center unfold and to follow the center’s future research results. She recommended that Kreiner focus on the individual decisions, and she added that he should not do things too fast or too slow; such behavior will not produce success. Rather, she suggested, that he should hurry up slowly. With a smile on her face she said: “Enjoy the next six years!”
Kreiner thanked the DNRF for the grant. He told the audience a bit about his background and about how inequality is affected by both circumstances and the behavior of the individual. The overall thesis is that a big portion of patience will positively influence wealth. Afterwards, he gave the floor to Thomas Epper, a guest at CEBI, post-doc Jeppe Druedal, Assistant Professor Torben Heien Nielsen, and Assistant Professor Miriam Gensowski, who presented results from different fields within the centers research area.
At the reception that followed, the head of the Economics Department, Christian Schulz, gave a brief speech thanking the DNRF for the grant and underlined that the center is already cooperating with many high-level international universities. He added that the importance of the center’s research area is reflected in this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, which was awarded to Richard Thaler for his contributions to behavioral economics.