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The psychology and behavioural economics of poverty

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  • Anand, Paul
  • Lea, Stephen

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anand, Paul & Lea, Stephen, 2011. "The psychology and behavioural economics of poverty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 284-293, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:2:p:284-293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 2007. "Health as human capital: synthesis and extensions -super-1," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 379-410, July.
    2. Paul Anand & Graham Hunter & Ian Carter & Keith Dowding & Francesco Guala & Martin Van Hees, 2009. "The Development of Capability Indicators," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 125-152.
    3. Paul Anand & Cristina Santos & Ron Smith, 2007. "The measurement of capabilities," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 67, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, 2004. "A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 419-423, May.
    5. Solava Ibrahim & Sabina Alkire, 2007. "Agency and Empowerment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 379-403.
    6. Aldi Hagenaars & Klaas de Vos, 1988. "The Definition and Measurement of Poverty," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 211-221.
    7. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
    8. Livingstone, Sonia M. & Lunt, Peter K., 1992. "Predicting personal debt and debt repayment: Psychological, social and economic determinants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-134, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2012. "Subjective well-being and relative poverty in rural Bangladesh," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 940-950.
    2. Ayllón, Sara & Fusco, Alessio, 2017. "Are income poverty and perceptions of financial difficulties dynamically interrelated?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 103-114.
    3. Spears Dean, 2011. "Economic Decision-Making in Poverty Depletes Behavioral Control," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-44, December.

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