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Behavioural economics, experimentalism and the marketization of development


Berndt, Christian (2015). Behavioural economics, experimentalism and the marketization of development. Economy and Society, 44(4):567-591.

Abstract

Using market-based pro-poor development policy in the global South as an example, this paper engages with the rise of behaviourism and experimentalism as a challenge to the neoclassical orthodoxy and the more recent transformation into an influential policy script. After charting the rise of behavioural economics and discussing the key conceptual building blocks of the emerging behavioural mainstream in economics, the paper turns to the marketization of anti-poverty policy in the global South. Based on an analysis of policy documents, project reports and academic interventions, it is argued that the behavioural approach to poverty shifts the focus from the market to the market subject and engages in often thinly veiled attempts at behavioural engineering. This is achieved with the combined work of behavioural economic knowledge and socio-technical market devices.

Abstract

Using market-based pro-poor development policy in the global South as an example, this paper engages with the rise of behaviourism and experimentalism as a challenge to the neoclassical orthodoxy and the more recent transformation into an influential policy script. After charting the rise of behavioural economics and discussing the key conceptual building blocks of the emerging behavioural mainstream in economics, the paper turns to the marketization of anti-poverty policy in the global South. Based on an analysis of policy documents, project reports and academic interventions, it is argued that the behavioural approach to poverty shifts the focus from the market to the market subject and engages in often thinly veiled attempts at behavioural engineering. This is achieved with the combined work of behavioural economic knowledge and socio-technical market devices.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:28 Jan 2016 13:50
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 18:21
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0308-5147
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/03085147.2015.1043794

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