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
Latin America and the Caribbean has made real progress in expanding health services to its citizens over the last two decades, boosting spending, increasing overall life expectancy and contributing to a decline in mortality rates for children under five. But despite those improvements, the region needs to become more efficient to achieve its goal of universal health coverage in … [Read more...] about Boosting Efficiency En Route to Universal Health Coverage
The year 2017 may be the year behavioral economics found its place in the sun. Fifteen years after behavioral economics pioneer Daniel Kahneman won his Nobel Prize, its principles have been transformed into key policy tools in government, business, and development agencies. The 2017 Nobel Prize to Richard Thaler, one of its principle theoreticians and practitioners, only … [Read more...] about Nudging Latin Americans to Healthier, More Prosperous Lives