The awarding of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer hits close to home for several reasons. First, in bringing "an experimental approach to alleviating global poverty," as the Nobel committee said in its Oct. 14 announcement of the prize, these distinguished economists have changed the way we do research at the Research … [Read more...] about A Nobel Prize for Development: A Look From Inside the IDB
Alexandra De Filippo is a principal advisor at the North American division of The Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), an organization widely known as the "Nudge Unit." Since its inception, BIT has used behavioral science in wide-ranging efforts that include, among many others, increasing tax collection and electoral participation rates, boosting organ donation and reducing medical … [Read more...] about Leveraging Behavioral Science for Savings and Health
Economic performance has long been considered key to voter behavior. "It's the economy, stupid," said a campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, cementing a view that a government's economic record is what voters care most about. But too much emphasis on the economy may be missing other, no less consequential, factors. A recent study by George Ward of the Massachusetts … [Read more...] about Does Happiness Sway Elections?
Do welfare programs create dependency? For decades, that question has roiled the United States where supporters call such programs an essential lifeline for the poor and critics condemn them as encouraging laziness and the welfare trap. Latin America and the Caribbean is no stranger to the debate, especially as it concerns conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. Those … [Read more...] about Cash Transfer Programs: Challenging the Welfare Myth
We eat too much, watch too much television, fail to exercise and suffer the consequences of our lack of willpower and self-discipline. None of this is good. Today, as revealed in a recent IDB study, one in four adults in Latin America and the Caribbean is obese, with the Caribbean leading the trend at an alarming rate. That, in turn, results in higher incidences of … [Read more...] about How Using Your Temptations As Bait Can Improve Your Health