"Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," said the United States' Benjamin Franklin. And few things are less pleasurably anticipated. But at least when it comes to taxes, the avoidance can make running a government especially hard. Behavioral economics, with its psychological insights into how information can be used to change citizens’ beliefs and … [Read more...] about Behavioral Economics and the Messaging That Works
Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago professor who fused psychological insights and economics to reveal how biases affect decision-making, was awarded Oct. 8 the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics. The award, which recognizes Thaler's work in overturning assumptions about economic behavior as rational and demonstrating how people could be "nudged" to make better choices, … [Read more...] about How Nobel Ideas Inspired the IDB
In the wake of its banking and economic crisis of 2002, Uruguay took some bold steps. Unlike other countries that squandered the commodities boom of the subsequent years, delaying fiscal reforms and, in many cases, worsening their long-term fiscal stance, the country embarked on a series of integral reforms in virtually every policy area, from public management systems to … [Read more...] about Should Reform Tackle Rules and Institutions Together?
In the early 2000s, the Research Department of the IDB embarked on a deep exploration of policymaking in Latin America. What made countries in the region veer from state-controlled to market-centered policies? Why did they fail to reach their development goals and why did international aid assistance often come up short in helping them? The answer to those questions lay in the … [Read more...] about A Fresh Look at Policymaking in Latin America
What are the best ways to get people to change their behavior for their own, and society’s, good? Seeking to avoid coercion, policymakers increasingly turn to pricing strategies, like "sin taxes" on alcohol or cigarettes. Or they resort to techniques from behavioral economics like "nudges," which employ peer pressure, moral appeals and suggestive images—such as pictures of … [Read more...] about A Simple Nudge is a Better Nudge