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Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Jeffrey Carpenter

Abstract

Explanations of poverty, growth and development depend on the assumptions made about individual preferences and the willingness to engage in strategic behaviour. Economic experiments, especially those conducted in the field, have begun to paint a picture of economic agents in developing communities that is at variance with the traditional portrait. We review this growing literature with an eye towards preference-related experiments conducted in the field. We also offer lessons on what development economists might learn from experiments. We conclude by sharing our thoughts on how to conduct experiments in the field and then offer a few ideas for future research.

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:44:y:2008:i:3:p:311-338
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380701848327
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