Attitudes towards ethical pension management among Norwegians

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 - Fred Erling Wenstøp, Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen


We have surveyed the attitudes of Norwegians toward ethical pension management that carries an opportunity cost. We study attitude regarding own pension fund as well as belief about other people’s attitudes. The focus is on how political party preference and associated values affect attitudes. We analyze the data with three alternative values systems: Inglehart’s Materialism-Postmaterialism scale, Welzel’s Sacred-Secular and Obedient-Emancipative scales and Hellevik’s Traditional-Modern, Materialism-Idealism, and Political Left-Right scales. Our findings show that 40% of the respondents claim they would choose ethical investment, even though it implies reduced pension. 28% would not choose ethical investment. It is unclear how those who say they do not know would end up, still the findings can be interpreted as a general positive attitude among people to ethical pension management. Attitudes depend on values, and Hellevik’s value system is a slightly better predictor than the two other value systems. The findings show that willingness to invest ethically increases with idealism, leftist position and education level, and sinks with income. However, the values are not related to people’s perception of other people’s attitudes.

Ditlev-Simonsen, C. D., & Wenstøp, F. (2016). Attitudes towards ethical pension management among Norwegians. Beta, 30(2), 100-118

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