Jenny Säve-Söderbergh


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Swedish institute for social research
Telephone 08-16 24 97
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 F
Room F 966
Postal address Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Short presentation:

I am an associate professor at the Swedish Institute for Social Research doing research on behavioral and labor economics with a strong emphasis on gender differences in economic decision-making. My research explores issues of e.g. gender gaps in negotiation behavior and outcomes, risk-taking, gender composition as well as in financial literacy.

In my work I have used several natural experiments from the game-show Jeopardy and Junior-Jeopardy as well as a large pension reform in Sweden. I have also exploited a random assignment of gender composition to estimate causal effects of social context on gender gaps in risk-taking and performance among children and adults.


My current research contains new experimental work on negotiation behavior and work on intergenerational transmission of debt norms. 

Currently I also work (50 percent) as a researcher at the Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate, Inspektionen för Socialförsäkringen.  


Selected Research by Field:


  • Gender Gaps in Negotiations: 

“Gender Gaps in Negotiations: Salary Requests and Starting Salaries in the Field” (revise and resubmit in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2018).


“Gender gaps in negotiations using experimental Data on Salary Negotiation”, joint with Christine Alamaa and Åsa Rosén. Ongoing project 2018-


”Attitudes and Social Costs in Negotiations - Evaluating Gender Gaps in Negotiation Behavior”, Ongoing project 2018-



  • Gender Gaps in Risk-taking: Among Children, In Pension Choices and by Social Context


 “Children do not behave like adults: Gender gaps in performance and risk taking within a random social context in the high-stakes game shows Jeopardy and Junior Jeopardy”, Economic Journal (2017), joint work with Gabriella Sjögren-Lindquist.


 “Self-Directed Pensions: Gender, Risk & Portfolio Choices", Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2012, Vol. 114, pages 705-728. 


 "Girls will be Girls - Especially among Boys: Risk-taking in the 'Daily Double' on Jeopardy" joint with Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, Economics Letters, 2011, Vol. 112, p. 158-160, joint work with Gabriella Sjögren-Lindquist.



  • Policy-oriented Reports on Gender Equality in Pensions


"Makar som delar på kakan- En ESO rapport om jämställda pensioner", a report evaluating  spouses' choices of survivor's covers and voluntary transfers of pension rights in promoting gender equality in pension incomes, published by ESO, Finansdepartementet, December 2017.


Könsskillnader i val och avkastning – en forsknings och kunskapsöversikt över individuella placeringsval inom premiepensionen och tjänstepensionen”, kapitel i SOU:2014 för Delegationen för Jämställdhet i arbetslivet, (2014). 


  • Manager Gender and Wages


Gender of the Immediate Manager and Women's Wages: The Importance of Managerial Position”, joint with Karin Halldén and Åsa Rosén, forthcoming in Social Science Research.   



  • Financial Literacy


“Subjective Borrowing constraints and Intergenerational Transmission of Debt Norms” (2018) joint with Johan Almenberg, Annamaria Lusardi and Roine Vestman. This project is a part of the international project “The Financial Literacy Programme”, headed by Annamaria Lusardi and Rob Alessie. 


 “Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in Sweden”, joint with Johan Almenberg, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 2011, Vol. 10, pages 585-598. 


Promemoria – Räknefärdighet och finansiell förmåga 2015”, Finansinspektionen (2015).


  • CV

You can download my CV below




Teaching spring 2018: 

Gender Differences: Origins and Consequences. 

joint with Anne Boschini, Ian Burn, Johanna Rickne, Jan Sauerman and Emma von Essen.

PhD course, Stockholm University



A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Jenny Säve-Söderbergh, Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist. Economic Journal 127 (603), 1665-1692

    Using unique panel data, we compare the cognitive performance and wagering behaviour of children (10-11 years) with that of adults playing the Swedish version of the TV shows Jeopardy and Junior Jeopardy. Although facing the same well known high-stakes game, and controlling for performance differences, there is no gender gap in risk taking between girls and boys in contrast to adults; while girls assume more risk than women, boys assume less risk than men. We also find that female behaviour is differently sensitive to social context. Whereas women wager less, girls perform worse and employ inferior wagering strategies when randomly assigned to male opponents.

  • 2017. Jenny Säve-Söderbergh.

    Pensionssystemet är neutralt i bemärkelsen att systemet inte gör skillnad på kvinnor och män, samtidigt som det bygger på livsinkomstprincipen. Men det betyder också att inkomstskillnader i yrkeslivet leder till att kvinnor får lägre pension än män. Inom pensionssystemet finns även vissa möjligheter att jämna ut pensionsinkomsterna mellan makar, varav två finns inom premiepensionen: att överlåta pensionsrätter till sin maka/make respektive att teckna efterlevandeskydd. I båda fallen krävs ett aktivt val och de är också förknippade med kostnader. I denna rapport till ESO beskriver Jenny Säve-Söderbergh i vilken utsträckning dessa möjligheter utnyttjas och av vem. Det framgår att det är ytterst få personer som väljer att överlåta pensionsrätter, medan det är vanligare att teckna efterlevandeskydd. Mot denna bakgrund diskuterar författaren avslutningsvis policyförslag rörande förvalsdesign och informationsinsatser. De ojämställda pensionerna har sin grund i de löneskillnader som finns mellan män och kvinnor i yrkeslivet. Olika orsaker till dessa löneskillnader diskuteras i ESO-rapporten ”Olika kön, olika lön – en ESO-rapport om diskriminering på arbetsmarknaden” (ESO 2017:5).

  • 2012. Jenny Säve-Söderbergh. Scandinavian Journal of Economics 114 (3), 705-728

    In this paper, I investigate gender differences in financial risk-taking from a new perspective, and I show that gender plays a different role across the risk distribution. To evaluate risk-taking, I exploit portfolio choices following a reform that entitles almost the entire Swedish workforce to choose a risk profile for a part of their public-pension contributions. The novel finding is that portfolio risk does not differ much between the men and women who choose less risky portfolios, while the men who choose risky portfolios take on significantly more risk than do the women who choose risky portfolios. The findings are robust to investors choosing the default alternative, chasing past returns, rebalancing, and different measures of risk-taking.

  • 2012. Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, Jenny Säve-Söderbergh. Applied Economics 44 (6), 777-783

    This article empirically investigates the common assumption of economicagents' capabilities to process complex mathematical problems to findoptimal strategies applied in economic modelling. By exploiting a designdifference in the game show Jeopardy between the US and Sweden, weobtain a natural experiment of individuals facing an optimization decisioneither having explicit information or deriving it by noncomplex adding andsubtracting. Given the assumption that individuals compute optimally,there should be no difference in the strategies used. Yet, the results showthat even a small change in informational pre-conditions for obtaining anoptimal strategy strongly alters economic-decision making.

  • 2011. Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, Jenny Säve-Söderbergh. Economics Letters 112 (2), 158-160

    Exploiting a natural experiment in Jeopardy we find that, despite no strategic gain, females switch to a more conservative wagering if playing against men only. Our findings complement experimental findings highlighting how gender differences in risk-taking can be socially driven.

  • 2014. Jenny Säve-Söderbergh. Jämställdhet i socialförsäkringen?, 235-269
  • 2006. Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist, Jenny Säve-Söderbergh.

    Abstract This paper empirically investigates the rationality assumption commonly applied in economic modeling by exploiting a design difference in the game-show Jeopardy between the US and Sweden. In particular we address the assumption of individuals’ capabilities to process complex mathematical problems to find optimal strategies. The vital difference is that US contestants are given explicit information before they act, while Swedish contestants individually need to calculate the same information. Given a rationality assumption of individuals computing optimally, there should be no difference in the strategies used. However, in contrast to the rational and focal bidding behaviors found in the US, the Swedish players display no optimal behavior. Hence, when facing too complex decisions, individuals abandon optimal strategies.

  • 2005. Jenny Säve-Söderbergh.

    Recent economics literature has devoted attention towards motives beyond the typical selfish norm for economic decision-making. Yet, it still remains a puzzle who allows such considerations to govern their behavior. This paper contributes by empirically identifying some features which differentiate individuals who choose to bear the cost of ethically guided economic decision-making from others. Using unique Swedish data on individual pension portfolio choices, we find that education, the choice of an occupation that is committed to taking care of others, actively joining a group working for a common cause, clearly predict the choice of an ethical screen for individual investments. In contrast to previous findings on altruism, income, financial wealth and age do not govern the decision. The results therefore suggest that investing ethically is typically a choice of principles.

  • 2011. Johan Almenberg, Jenny Säve-Söderbergh. Journal of Pension Economics and Finance 10 (4), 585-598

    We use data from the Swedish Financial Supervisory 2010 consumer survey to look at levels of financial literacy and retirement planning in the Swedish population. The results indicate that many adults have low financial literacy. In general, financial literacy levels are lower among the young, the old, women and those with low income or low educational attainment. People who report having tried to plan for retirement have higher levels of financial literacy. In particular, an understanding of risk diversification is strongly correlated with planning for retirement. We relate our findings to features of the Swedish pension system. 

Show all publications by Jenny Säve-Söderbergh at Stockholm University


  • CV (129 Kb)

Last updated: March 15, 2018

Bookmark and share Tell a friend