World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior -- Empirical Component

Author(s):  Varun Gauri (World Bank), Karla Hoff (World Bank), Alaka Holla (World Bank) and Saugato Datta (Ideas42)

Overview: The underlying assumption for many economic policies is that human behavior arises from “rational “choice, with individuals carefully weighing their choices, considering all readily available information, and making decisions on their own. In recent decades, however, novel policies based on a more accurate understanding of how people actually think and behave have shown great promise in addressing some of the most difficult development challenges, such as increasing productivity, breaking the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next, and acting on climate change. The primary aim of this document is to understand how human behavior should be approached in policy-making.  The report also draws from extensive empirical field research in Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru, and Sierra Leone to compare behavior across income groups and cultures.  

Status: Published