Financial behavior

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Decisions on mortgages, insurances and retirement planning

People make lots of financial decisions in the course of their lives, from simple everyday choices (shall I buy this? shall I pay cash or by card?), to complicated decisions on mortgages, insurances and retirement planning. Yet the choices they make are not always in their own best interest, or that of society as a whole.

People spend a lot more than they are consciously aware of, they find it hard to withstand temptations, and are more focused on the present than on the future. They find financial affairs difficult and time-consuming, and at the same tend to overestimate their own financial insight. They postpone important financial matters because they don’t have the time or motivation for it today, are overly optimistic about the future, and take either too many risks in financial respects, or too little. These are all examples of (psychological) barriers that obstruct healthy behavior in this important field.

How can we dispel these (and other) barriers? How can we improve the financial self-sufficiency of households? How can we motivate people to take action now to ensure a healthy financial future? How can we design and offer services and choice situations in a way that helps consumers make well-considered and financially sensible decisions? We are happy to help answer these sorts of questions.

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Why work with Centerdata?

Drawing on our extensive expertise in the field of financial behavior, we can contribute to identifying potential solutions to your needs. We then choose the most suitable research method or methods to measure the effectiveness of these solutions.

We have ample experience with conducting research aimed at describing, understanding and changing the financial behavior of consumers and households.

Every year we field surveys in our own online panels that produce a very detailed picture of households’ financial behavior and the economic and psychological factors that influence this behavior (for instance work and income, and personal risk profile and optimism). These data are available for (longitudinal) research and can be linked to data obtained through new research projects conducted in the panels.

We also have extensive experience with (experimental) research into consumer choices and behavioral change in the financial domain.

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How do we work?

In our research projects, the first step is always to thoroughly understand the problem. After all, in order to design effective interventions, it is important to understand the (psychological) barriers that might obstruct more deliberate or more sensible financial behavior in a specific situation.

Next, we choose the research method that is best suited to the issue at hand. There are many possibilities to choose from: from experiments and surveys within our own LISS panel and qualitative studies (e.g. using focus groups, in-depth interviews), to innovative data collection methods and (big) data analyses, or a combination thereof. The research project is always specifically tailored to your needs.

The research is performed by experienced (and mostly postdoctoral) researchers who not only draw on the scientific literature but also actively contribute to the literature. Our research combines scientific profundity with practical application. We present the research results in an accessible manner and convert these into specific (policy) recommendations that you can put into practice straight away.

Further information? Please contact us.

Meet our team
dr. Millie Elsen
dr. Millie Elsen
Head of Consumer Research
dr. Roxanne van Giesen
dr. Roxanne van Giesen
Senior researcher
dr. Karolien van den Akker
dr. Karolien van den Akker
Senior researcher
dr. Miquelle Marchand
dr. Miquelle Marchand
Senior researcher

What have our research projects achieved?

  • DHS savings study
  • Maximum lending standard (Ministry of Finance)
  • Kickback prohibition/DVD (Ministry of Finance)
  • Child benefit schemes (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)
  • Field experiment cash dispensers (SBEB)