Ask anyone in a Western society what makes the world go round, and they are likely to say selfishness, or at least self-interest. It is an idea drilled into us by Thomas Hobbes more than three hundred years ago and by Adam Smith, who argued for the benefits of self-interest in economic progress. It seems more than obvious in our dog-eat-dog world. But psychology and … [Read more...] about Some Economists Say We’re Less Selfish Than We Think. Why?
When tennis great Andre Agassi flamed out at age 26 dropping from No. 1 in the world to a humiliating No. 141 two years later, commentators attacked his vanity, emotional instability and erratic behavior. Agassi had triumphed in three of tennis's four great tournaments. How could he descend to such lows, where he would deliberately lose an important match, bad-mouth other … [Read more...] about What Can Andre Agassi Teach Us About Socio-Emotional Skills?
Can internet access at home stimulate learning among children? It is an especially urgent question in developing countries where digital access and educational achievement lag considerably behind those in developed ones. Ofer Malamud, Santiago Cueto, Diether Beuermann and I decided to address the issue in an experiment where we provided both laptops and internet access to … [Read more...] about Can the Internet Boost Learning in Latin America?
Villa Esperanza, is a shantytown of unpaved streets and low-slung tin-roofed house, a place where the prospects for children would seem grim. Most adults in the town outside Lima work selling goods on the street or in other low-paying jobs. Many are illiterate, and the social problems, ranging from gangs to high levels of alcoholism, disease and domestic violence, might snuff … [Read more...] about When Poverty Is No Obstacle to Educational Success
Over the last 25 years, Latin America and the Caribbean has boosted efforts in primary education to the point that it is nearly universal, with three out of four students finishing primary school on time. But educational quality for very young children in the region still lags far behind that of developed countries. It even trails countries of similar levels of development in … [Read more...] about It’s Time to Improve Primary Education: This Is How