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?
Latin America and the Caribbean will face steep challenges in coming decades to provide food security and guarantee a decent income for its rural population. Greater rainfall and increasingly devastating floods may threaten some parts of the region. Others, including northeastern Brazil and Central America, will face extended drought. Erosion and dwindling water resources could … [Read more...] about A Changing Climate Requires New Farming Habits: How Can Behavioral Economics Help?
Thomas Prehn is a former head of MindLab, an innovation lab established by the Danish government in 2002 to spur creativity and cultural change within government ministries and improve their delivery of public services. Working in numerous policy areas, including education and employment, MindLab became a pioneer in its work both on specific projects and its efforts to make … [Read more...] about Scaling up Behavioral Interventions to Continually Changing Societies
Most of us are biased. We scan the world, making emotional and often automatic judgments about people based on factors like gender, race and socio-economic status. We misjudge people. When it comes to hiring, this can result not only in unfair decisions that penalize deserving candidates, but to more homogenous—and less creative and productive—groups of employees. As we … [Read more...] about Leveraging Behavioral Insights for a More Equitable Workplace
Alissa Fishbane is a Managing Director of ideas42, a non-profit consulting firm that has grown from a small project of top academics at Harvard to a cutting-edge promoter of scalable behavioral interventions with global influence. A former director of organizations dealing with poverty, health and educational issues, she works with ideas42 in its efforts to address a host of … [Read more...] about Social Environments and the Behavioral Interventions That Work