research institute for compassionate economics

Research

Physical height is an important economic variable reflecting health and human capital. Puzzlingly, however, differences in average height across developing countries are not well explained by differences in wealth. In particular, children in India are shorter, on average, than children...Read More..

Published: Working Paper       Geography: International
RICE

Financial stress is widely believed to cause health problems. However, policies seeking to relieve financial stress by limiting debt levels of poor households may directly worsen their economic well-being. We evaluate an alternative policy –increasing the repayment flexibility of debt contracts....Read More..

Published: PLoS One       Geography: India

Over a billion people worldwide defecate openly without a toilet or latrine, with profound health consequences: over two million children under 5 die from diarrheal disease each year; chronic infection prevents surviving children from reaching human capital potentials. Although it...Read More..

Published: Working Paper       Geography: India

Some experimental participants are averse to compound lotteries: they prefer simple lotteries that depend on only one random event, even when the simple lotteries offer lower expected value. This paper proposes that many behavioral “investments” represent more compound risk for...Read More..

Published: Experimental Economics       Geography: International
RICE

 Reference-dependent decision-making – the core of behavioral economics’ prospect theory – makes people more likely to choose an outcome that they expect to receive. Reference-dependence therefore may imply the perpetuation of disadvantage: people who do not expect an opportunity may...Read More..

Published: Social Science and Medicine       Geography: South Africa

Larger reactions to earlier incentives are usually attributed to time preference. However, cognitive limits could also generate behavior that appears impatient. We present a simple model illustrating “local” intertemporal decisions, then apply this interpretation to the puzzle of monthly consumption increases upon...Read More..

Published: Working Paper       Geography: South Africa
RICE

We compare the administrative data on the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG-NREGA) with the estimates of public works employment from a large-scale survey undertaken by India's National Sample Survey Office. A widely held concern...Read More..

Published: Working Paper       Geography: India
RICE

Economic theory and conventional wisdom suggest that time preference can cause or perpetuate poverty. Might poverty also or instead cause impatient or impulsive behavior? This paper reports a randomized lab experiment and a partially randomized field experiment, both in India,...Read More..

Published: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy       Geography: International

Taller children perform better on average on tests of cognitive achievement, in part because of differences in early-life health and net nutrition. Recent research documenting this height–achievement slope has primarily focused on rich countries. Using the India Human Development Survey,...Read More..

Published: Economics and Human Biology       Geography: India
RICE

How would a boundedly rational agent react to a larger menu? I model bounded rationality as choice from an unobservable, subjective consideration subset. Consideration sets satisfy Sen's (1969) property alpha: larger objective choice sets can generate smaller consideration sets. In...Read More..

Published: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy       Geography: International

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