Sam Cosaert

Welcome! I am a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and a research fellow 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


International journals

Individual welfare analysis for collective households, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming. (with Laurens Cherchye, Bram De Rock, Pieter Jan Kerstens and Frederic Vermeulen)

What types are there?, Computational Economics, forthcoming.

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

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

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)

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

Other journals

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)

Current research

Working papers

Group consumption with caring individuals

We propose a novel approach to model joint consumption decisions of individuals who care for each other. We assume noncooperative interaction between the different individuals and the within-group consumption outcome critically depends on the degree of caring between the group members. By varying the degree of caring, the model encompasses a whole continuum of group consumption models that are situated between the fully cooperative model (assuming a Pareto optimal outcome) and the noncooperative model without caring (assuming a public good game with voluntary contributions). This feature is used to define a measure for the degree of cooperation within the group, which quantifies how close the observed group behavior is to the fully cooperative benchmark. We also establish a dual characterization of our noncooperative model with caring preferences: we show that the model is dually equivalent to a noncooperative model with non-caring preferences that is characterized by intra-group transfers. Following a revealed preference approach, we derive testable implications of the model for empirical data. Finally, we also use our model to analyze decisions made by dyads of children in an experimental setting. We find considerable heterogeneity in the degree of caring (or cooperation) across dyads, which correlates with assertiveness and the degree of interaction within dyads. (with L. Cherchye, T. Demuynck and B. De Rock)

Are the smart kids more rational?

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. (with S. Bruyneel, L. Cherchye, B. De Rock and S. Dewitte)

Work in progress

Revealed parental preferences for time with children (with Veerle Hennebel)

Togetherness in the collective household (with Alex Theloudis and Bertrand Verheyden)

Testing motives for working overtime (with Mathieu Lefebvre and Ludivine Martin)

Temporal profiles of consumption utility: a revealed preference analysis (with Tom Potoms)


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