Using lab and field based behavioral research to understand development.
Since its origins in the 1960s, behavioral economics has rapidly risen to prominence, exemplified by the award of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics to Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith. At the same time, the use of field experiments for poverty alleviation, pioneered by the affiliates of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and other NGOs, has revolutionized development economics. The purpose of the Busara Center is to harness the combined power of these two approaches by enabling researchers to conduct rigorous laboratory-based studies in behavioral economics in a developing country and applying the outcomes of research to real-world problems. Our goal is to improve our understanding of how people living in poverty make decisions and to leverage that knowledge to produce better social outcomes.