Behavioral insights for development : cases from Central America / Oscar Calvo-González and Laura Zoratto, editors.

  • Washington, DC : World Bank Group, [2017]
  • ©2017
xxi, 107 pages : illustrations, map ; 26 cm.


  • Directions in development (Washington, D.C.). Countries and regions. [More in this series]
  • Directions in development. Countries and regions.
Summary note
Brings together a set of experiences that applied behavioral insights to different areas of public policy, in some cases through randomized control trials, and in others using surveys or behavioral games. These experiences collectively show the promise of public policies that are informed by a better understanding of what drives individual behavior. In Costa Rica, for example, informing households of how much water they consume relative to their neighbors reduced water consumption (chapter 1). In Guatemala, altering the way government communicates with taxpayers increased revenue collection (chapter 2). In Nicaragua, an analysis of a cash transfer program found that children in households receiving benefits exhibited significantly higher cognitive development-- a result influenced by parental behavior changes during the program (chapter 3). In El Salvador, we explore how different biases explain the apparent puzzle of a gas subsidy reform that benefited most of the population yet proved to be widely unpopular (chapter 4). Chapter 5 also uses behavioral insights to analyze subsidy reforms in El Salvador, this time using a different methodology: a set of economic behavioral games designed to evaluate the willingness of individuals to accept subsidy reforms that would affect them directly. Finally, chapter 6 reflects on the progress made in applying behavioral insights in a development context. These cases illustrate, in practice, some of the findings of the World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior. In particular, they demonstrate the possibility of using nontraditional tools, complementary to regulation, in contexts where time and resources are limited.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references.
Overview / Oscar Calvo-González, Laura Zoratto -- A behavioral approach to water conservation: evidence from Costa Rica / Saugato Datta, Juan José Miranda, Laura Zoratto, Oscar Calvo-González, Matthew Darling, Karina Lorenzana -- Promoting tax compliance in Guatemala using behavioral economics: evidence from two randomized trials / Stewart Kettle, Marco Antonio Hernández Oré, Simon Ruda, Michael Sanders -- Enhancing child development through changes to parental behaviors: using conditional cash transfers in Nicaragua / Karen Macours, Norbert Schady, Renos Vakis -- When winners feel like losers: evidence from an energy subsidy reform / Oscar Calvo-González, Barbara Cunha, Riccardo Trezzi -- Redistribution in times of fiscal pressure: using games to inform a subsidy reform in El Salvador / Germán Caruso, Megan Zella Rounseville, Manuel Sánchez Masferrer, Kinnon Scott -- Lessons learned from implementing behaviorally informed pilots / Laura Zoratto, Oscar Calvo-González, Oliver Balch.
  • 1464811202
  • 9781464811203
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