Gustav Agneman

Gustav Agneman

Associate Professor

Norwegian University of Sciece and Technology


Associate Professor of Economics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim). Interested in how preferences, norms, and culture respond to societal changes.

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  • Political Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Conflict Research
  • Field Experiments
  • Spatial Data Science


  • PhD in Economics, 2020

    University of Copenhagen

  • MSc in Economics, 2017

    University of Copenhagen

  • BSc in European Studies, 2017

    University of Gothenburg

  • BSc in Economics, 2015

    University of Gothenburg

Academic positions


Visiting Researcher

Copenhagen Business School

Jan 2024 – Dec 2024 Copenhagen
Visiting research fellow at the Department of International Economics, Government and Business

Associate Professor

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Dec 2023 – Present Trondheim
Associate Professor of Economics with a profile in the Political Economics of Development


Uppsala University

Apr 2023 – Oct 2023 Uppsala
Survey research on the impact of housing wealth disparities on social preferences

Postdoctoral researcher

Lund University

Jan 2021 – Mar 2021 Lund
Teaching at the Political Science Faculty. Independent research and part of the PUSHPEACE project.

Visiting PhD fellow

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Oct 2018 – Jun 2019 Chicago
Undertook coursework and conducted research. Supervised by professor James Robinson.

PhD Student

University of Copenhagen

Sep 2017 – Sep 2020 Copenhagen
Taught Statistics and Development Economics and conducted research in the field Political Economics of Development. Supervised by professor David Dreyer Lassen.

Field Research Projects


Scarcity and Economic Behavior in Rural Tanzania

In this field research project, we exploit temporal variation in scarcity induced by the Msimu harvest to study how scarcity affects economic behavior.

Climate Policy Preferences in Sweden

We surveyed 1600 Swedes on their climate policy preferences. Using experimental components, we elicit the causal effects of policy costs as well as future-orientedness on climate policy support.

Greenlandic Perspectives Survey - A Nationally Representative Survey

A survey project mapping the beliefs and experiences of Greenlanders in relation to the political, economic and climatic changes that the country is undergoing.

Peace Perspectives Belfast

We collect data on social norms for reconciliation in areas close to peace walls. The data collection is scheduled to January, 2023.

The Peace They Wanted? A Survey Project in Meta, Colombia

In 2021, it is 5 years since the signing of the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC. Still, for many colombians the peace has fallen short of expectations. In this survey, we map the experiences of residents in the Meta Department, a war-torn region south of Bogotá, in order to shed light on the potentials and pitfalls of peace and reconciliation.


Selected media participation

2023 Austin Robinson Memorial Prize

Quote: The article makes a great leap in understanding the question of how markets and moral sentiments are intertwined.

Women favour climate actions that benefit future generations more than men

Quote: The decisions we make now inevitably shape the prospects for generations to come. So tackling a long-term problem like climate change raises an intergenerational moral dilemma: should we invest in solutions that might not personally benefit ourselves but will help future generations reach net zero?

Change through trade

Quote: The questions took Chevrot-Bianco and Agneman to Greenland. A kind of random experiment has been running there for almost a century and they hoped it would provide answers. Because of the efforts of past governments, a modern market economy is flourishing even in the remote areas of the giant island. Self-sufficient hunters and fishermen live alongside lawyers and sales people. As a result, there are large differences in the meaning of the market for individuals, even though political and cultural conditions are somewhat similar.

How food scarcity reduces trusting behaviour

Quote: The detrimental consequences of food shortages on trusting behaviour suggest that a temporary hunger spell could have long-term effects on economic performance by upsetting cooperative networks. Consequently, hunger relief may not only serve to alleviate suffering today but also promote a more prosperous society tomorrow.

The Uneven Reach of the State. A Novel Approach to Mapping Local State Presence: Winner of the QoG Best Paper Award 2022

Quote: The paper is theoretically rich and synthesizes survey data with satellite imaging, and uses machine learning to develop measures of predicted state presence in Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors then validate the measure through vaccination rates and census accuracy, and go on to show that state presence predicts the likelihood that oil extraction leads to violent local conflicts. The paper provides a clear and comprehensive description of the method, which will allow replication to create similar data for other geographic regions. In sum, the paper greatly improves on existing approaches to measuring state reach, and thereby paves the way for more rigorous investigations of the sources of state density as well as its implications for a range of societal outcomes.

The effects of food scarcity on trusting behaviour: Evidence from Tanzania

Quote: As the world grapples with a global food crisis, the adverse effects of hunger on behaviour deserve attention. The negative effects of food scarcity on trusting behaviour indicate that a period of hunger, even if temporary, may have lasting effects on economic performance by disrupting networks of cooperation. This adds yet another reason to devote more resources towards alleviating hunger.

Menneskets gode handel

Quote: Her er studiet fra Grønland særlig interessant, fordi det sammenligner mennesker, som lever side om side i de samme små samfund – folk, der har gået i de samme skoler, taler det samme sprog, er vokset op med de samme institutioner. Her er man altså tæt på at bevise en direkte forbindelse mellem markedsdeltagelse og moral.

The Invisible Hand Increases Trust, Cooperation, and Universal Moral Action

Quote: Markets and trade increase trust, cooperation and universal moral action – it is hard to think of a more important finding for the world today.

Løsrivelse anno 2037