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Fine, Ben, Johnston, Deborah, Santos, Ana and Van Waeyenberge, Elisa (2016) 'Nudging or Fudging: The World Development Report 2015.' Development and Change, 47 (4). pp. 640-663.

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The 2015 World Development Report, Mind Society and Behaviour (World Bank, 2015), seeks a redesign of development policy on the basis of insights emerging from behavioural economics. This paper offers a critical assessment of the Report across four dimensions. First, it situates the Report within the broader and evolving knowledge role of the Bank. Second, the paper locates the Report in the context of the evolution of economics as a discipline and how this informs the evolution of the Bank’s development economics. Third, the Report is critically assessed for its narrow take on behavioural economics itself. Finally, the practical significance of the promotion of behavioural economics is considered through reference to its use in interventions in health in general and in response to HIV/AIDS in particular. It is argued that the Report suggests a dramatic and flawed reduction of what development is about, in that it foregoes any analysis of the structural problems facing developing countries and fails to propose major reforms to tackle these.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: behavioural economics, cash transfers, economics imperialism, nudge, World Bank, World Development Report
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISSN: 0012155X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 18:54

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