Reading List


  • Banerjee, A. and E. Duflo (2011):. Poor economics: A radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty. PublicAffairs.
  • Collins, Daryl, et al. 2009. Portfolios of the poor: how the world’s poor live on $2 a day. Princeton University Press.
  • World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior. World Bank Group. Available Online:

Lecture 1 – Introduction

Lecture 2 – Core Concepts of Behavioral Development Economics

  • Hoff, Karla, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. ”Striving for balance in economics: towards a theory of the social determination of behavior.” No. w21823. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015.
  • Kahneman, Daniel. 2003. “Maps of bounded rationality: Psychology for behavioral economics.” American economic review, 1449–1475.

Lecture 3 – Cognitive capacity and decision making

  • Mani, Anandi, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir, Jiaying Zhao. 2013. Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function. Science, 341, 976-980.
  • Shah, K. Anuj, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir. 2012. Some Consequences of Having Too Little. Science, 338, 682-685.

Lecture 4 – Aspiration Failures and Self-Affirmation

  • Bernard, Dercon, and Taffesse. 2011. “Beyond fatalism: an empirical exploration of self-efficacy and aspirations failure in Ethiopia.” Centre for Study of African Economies Working Paper 3,1-24.
  • Hall, Zhao, and Shafir. 2013 “Self-Affirmation Among the Poor Cognitive and Behavioral Implications.” Psychological Science.

Lecture 5 – Economics Lives of the Poor

  • Cole, Shawn, et al. 2013. “Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India.” American economic journal. Applied economics 5(1): 104.
  • Dupas, Pascaline, and Jonathan Robinson. 2013. “Why Don’t the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments.” American Economic Review 103(4): 1138–71.

Lecture 6 – Microfinance

  • Banerjee, Abhijit Vinayak. 2013. “Microcredit under the microscope: what have we learned in the past two decades, and what do we need to know?.” Annu. Rev. Econ. 5(1): 487-519.
  • Banerjee, Abhijit V., and Esther Duflo. 2007. “The economic lives of the poor.” The journal of economic perspectives: a journal of the American Economic Association 21(1): 141.

Lecture 7 – Health and Sanitation

  • Neal, David, et al. “Nudging and Habit Change for Open Defecation: New Tactics From Behavioral Science.” (2016).
  • Dupas, Pascaline. 2009. “What Matters (and What Does Not) in Households’ Decision to Invest in Malaria Prevention?” American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 99(2): 224-230.

Lecture 8 – Morals and Social Norms

  • Gneezy, Uri, Kenneth L. Leonard, and John A. List. “Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society.” Econometrica 77.5 (2009): 1637-1664.

Lecture 9 – Corruption

  • Collier, Paul. “The cultural foundations of economic failure: A conceptual toolkit.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 126 (2016): 5-24.
  • Graf Lambsdorff, Johann. Preventing corruption by promoting trust: Insights from behavioral science. Vol. 69. No. 15. Passauer Diskussionspapiere: Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe, 2015.

Lecture 10 – Discrimination and Conflict

  • Miguel, Edward. “Tribe or nation? Nation building and public goods in Kenya versus Tanzania.” World politics 56.03 (2004): 328-362.
  • Prediger, Sebastian, Björn Vollan, and Benedikt Herrmann. “Resource scarcity and antisocial behavior.” Journal of Public Economics 119 (2014): 1-9.

Lecture 11 – Development Aid Discussion