Latin Americans enthusiastically backed Pope Francis when in June 2015 he published Laudato Si, his encyclical warning that global warming was "one of the principal challenges facing humanity." Governments in the region at the time were preparing to play a leading role in the United Nations climate summit later that year in Paris. Ordinary citizens meanwhile were becoming … [Read more...] about Can Latin American Citizens Change Climate Policy?
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?
Latin America and the Caribbean is in a punitive mood. The penitentiary population doubled in 17 countries to 1.2 million between 2002 and 2014 as a result of tougher sentencing of criminals and could triple to almost 3.4 million people by 2030. Citizens, meanwhile, demand harsher sentences. In Chile, one of the region's safest countries, a government-sponsored poll released … [Read more...] about Tougher Sentences: The Key to Fighting Crime in Latin America?
I recently attended the IlleXBehavior Meeting in Chicago, a gathering of behavioral and tech consultancies and some of the largest companies in the United States. The meeting focuses on the latest insights from behavioral economics and neuroscience, and I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first. I half-expected the meeting to be a festival of manipulation, in which … [Read more...] about A Walk on the Dark Side: Learning from Corporate Use of Behavioral Economics
How can vaccinations be guaranteed in poor rural areas? Guatemala faced the problem recently when it confronted the declining rates of rural immunization after children's first year of life, a phenomenon that potentially threatened childhood health and survival. Declining rates of childhood vaccination These biases were taking their toll. Mothers made a big effort during … [Read more...] about Nudging: A Path to Greater Childhood Vaccination