Households have a great influence in the overall economy. If anything, the Covid-19 crisis is a brutal reminder of this obvious but often overlooked fact. Skyrocketing savings caused decreased demand and thus further affected the economic slump in the spring, while the return to shopping and travelling led to the equally forceful rebound over the summer. Therefore, understanding the decisionmaking processes of households is of utmost importance. In recent years, research in this field – from behavioral finance to economic psychology – has made great strides.
Based on these insights, we decided to conduct a survey to decipher the thoughts and motives that are driving spending and saving decisions at this critical juncture in time. In October 2020, we asked almost 7,000 people in seven countries to report the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their economic decisions thus far, as well as some of their risk perceptions. These seven countries account for 40% of global GDP. We found striking results for how the pandemic has affected respondents in similar ways across Europe and the U.S., as well as surprising heterogeneity in some responses by country, age and gender.
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