Sam Cosaert

Welcome! I am Research Economist at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and Research Affiliate at the University of Leuven.

I am interested in microeconomic theory and its applications to consumer behaviour and labour supply. My research brings existing and new theories of individual and household behaviour to the data, by using revealed preference methods.

I obtained my PhD in Economics at the University of Leuven in June 2015. My doctoral committee consisted of Laurens Cherchye (advisor), Thomas Demuynck (co-advisor), Bram De Rock, Frederic Vermeulen, Geert Dhaene, Ian Crawford and Mark Dean.

E-mail: sam "dot" cosaert "at" liser "dot" lu

Current research

Togetherness in the Household (with Alexandros Theloudis and Bertrand Verheyden)

Spending time together with a spouse is a major gain from marriage. We extend the classical collective model of the household to allow for togetherness between spouses. Togetherness takes the form of joint leisure and joint care for children, and naturally requires that spouses synchronize their schedules to be physically together at the same time. We provide a nonparametric characterization of togetherness that allows us to recover joint childcare separately from joint leisure, both rarely observed in the data. Using a survey of Dutch households, our model explains time allocation and consumption patterns substantially better than the classical model. Parents spend on average between 3.6 and 11.1 hours per week on joint childcare, representing up to 84% of the total childcare of one parent. Households are willing to pay 1.5 euros per hour -12.5% of the average wage- to convert private leisure to joint leisure, and 2.5 euros per hour to convert private childcare to joint childcare. Our results suggest that togetherness is an important component of household time use despite it being relatively overlooked in the economics literature.

Are the smart kids more rational? (with Sabrina Bruyneel, Laurens Cherchye, Bram De Rock and Siegfried Dewitte)

We conducted an experiment to collect data on consumption decisions made by children of different age categories. In particular, our experiment involves unsophisticated discrete consumption choices, and we present a rationality test that is specially designed for the resulting choice data. Our first conclusion is that, in general, the observed children's consumption behavior is largely irrational. Next, we also investigate the relationship between the degree of rationality and the children's characteristics. Specifically, we use teacher based assessments on several personal characteristics to investigate whether and to what extent smart children tend to behave more rational. Here, our main conclusion is that it is important to recognize the multidimensional nature of intelligence to obtain a balanced insight into the effect of intelligence on rationality.

Parental childcare with process benefits (with Veerle Hennebel)

How large are non-budget-constraint effects of monetary incentives on overtime work in the lab? (with Mathieu Lefebvre and Ludivine Martin)

When time is power: Intertemporal consumption with bargaining between the anticipating, the experiencing and the remembering self (with Tom Potoms)


International journals

7. Group consumption with caring individuals (accepted), Economic Journal. (with Laurens Cherchye, Thomas Demuynck and Bram De Rock)

6. What types are there? (2019), Computational Economics, Vol. 53, 533-554.

5. Individual welfare analysis for collective households (2018), Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 166, 98-114. (with Laurens Cherchye, Bram De Rock, Pieter Jan Kerstens and Frederic Vermeulen)

4. Revealed preferences for diamond goods (2018), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Vol. 10, pp. 83-117.

3. Nonparametric welfare and demand analysis with unobserved individual heterogeneity (2018), Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 100, pp. 349-361. (with Thomas Demuynck)

2. Measuring the willingness-to-pay for others' consumption: an application to joint decisions of children (2017), Quantitative Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 1037-1082. (with Sabrina Bruyneel, Laurens Cherchye, Bram De Rock and Siegfried Dewitte)

1. Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets (2015), Economic Theory, Vol. 59, pp. 169-200. (with Thomas Demuynck)

Other journals

1. Store environment and advertising: investigating two manipulative forces from the supermarket (2010), Review of Business and Economics, Vol. 55, pp. 90-107. (with Joeri Clochet, Laurens Cherchye and Bram De Rock)


Some proof of the Cosaert family passion for hiking trails: click here.