Better Choices to Reduce Poverty

Sendhil Mullainathan

in Understanding Poverty

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305197
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783519 | DOI:
 Better Choices to Reduce Poverty

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A growing number of researchers are studying how to integrate psychological insights into economic reasoning. In this perspective, people sometimes make bad choices, ones that they themselves would like to improve on. This perspective is opening up new ideas, such as how good institutions might help people improve their decisions. This essay discusses these insights using a few choice examples. The goal is to provide a glimpse of how radically different policy suggestions might be in 10 or 20 years as the integration of psychology and economics deepens.

Keywords: development economics; active choices; passive choices; developing countries; psychological insight; psychology; economic reasoning

Chapter.  4300 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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