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Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world

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  • Jeffery Carpenter

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas

Abstract

Explanations of poverty, growth and development more generally 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 some variance from the traditional portrait. We review this growing literature with an eye towards preference-related experiments conducted in the field. We rely on these studies, in addition to our own experiences in the field, to 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0616
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