The Dynamics of Consumption and Savings

The Terra scandal became public in 2007. Eight Norwegian municipalities, large hydroelectricity producers, had bought financial products delivered by Citigroup, among them Haugesund. In his dissertation Oddmund Berg links the Terra case to private consumption and saving choices. Photo: Haugesund,
PhD Defense

19 October 2018 11:27

The Dynamics of Consumption and Savings

On Friday 2 November 2018 Oddmund Berg will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Oddmund Berg
Oddmund Berg, PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Aggregate uncertainty and household behaviour: Empirical evidence in light of economic theory

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Title of the thesis:

Empirical Essays on the Dynamics of Consumption and Savings


This dissertation contains three separate empirical essays on the dynamics of private consumption and saving.

The first chapter studies one of the proposed channels for reduced aggregate demand during bad times, namely that higher job loss risk can make households reduce their consumption and save more. We find that a one percentage point increase in job loss risk leads to an increase in saving of 9%. Furthermore, we find that the result is driven by young households increasing their debt when risk decreases.

The second chapter takes advantage of a natural experiment, the Terra-scandal, where eight Norwegian energy producing municipalities lost up to ten years of future earnings during the financial crisis of 2008. The chapter shed light on private consumption and saving choices of households when the future of local fiscal policy is uncertain.

The third chapter presents new evidence on the relationship between alcohol consumption and sick leave, studying the rapid expansion of a State-owned monopolist of high strength alcohol. Exploiting this expansion as a plausibly exogenous increase in the regional availability of alcohol, or a decrease in the generalized price, we estimate the causal effect of alcohol consumption on sick leave.


12:15 in Karl Borch Aud., NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Øivind Anti Nilsen (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH

Professor Christine Zulehner, University of Vienna

Professor Mette Ejrnæs, University of Copenhagen


Professor Gernot Doppelhofer (main supervisor), Department of Economics, NHH

Professor Kjetil Storesletten (co-supervisor), Department of Economics, UiO


The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from