The psychology and behavioural economics of poverty

Anand, Paul and Lea, Stephen (2011). The psychology and behavioural economics of poverty. Journal of Economic Psychology, 32(2) pp. 284–293.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2010.11.004

Abstract

The paper provides an overview and assessment of an emerging literature on the psychology and behavioural economics of poverty. We particularly highlight poverty experiences, role of neighbourhoods, poverty dynamics and transmission, child poverty and disability and personal finance. In addition we consider psychology and policy responses by looking and autonomy and empowerment, and poverty reduction programs. Our central thesis is that the detailed knowledge of individual experiences, cognitions and social factors in psychology and related social science complements the traditional economic emphasis on structural factors and policy instruments in a way that is exemplified by emerging work in behavioural economics. We conclude it is increasingly recognised that poverty reduction policies which are informed by behavioural insights may, as a result, be more effective.

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