Economic Prosperity

Honoring Black Behavioral Scientists and Examining the Psychology of Race in History

by ideas42

People often (erroneously) believe that a few leaders are responsible for the development of an emerging field, an idea, or event in history because of perceived “natural attributes” such as superior intelligence. This is known as “great man” theory–a flawed theory, of course, because in reality it is the tireless work of countless people that […]

How Can Behavioral Science Help Improve Economic Outcomes for Women?

by Catherine MacLeod, ideas42, and Sarika Gupta, the World Bank

Eleanor, a young woman living in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, wants to start a business to improve her family’s life. As a young girl, she saw the women in her life braiding hair – her aunt worked at a hair salon, and her mother taught her how to braid. When deciding what kind of […]

Our Top Behavioral Science Highlights of the Year (Goodbye, 2020)

by ideas42

It’s become tradition of sorts that each December, we reflect on the year behind us and celebrate the newest evidence and social impact generated by behavioral science. Of course, 2020 is a difficult year to look back on with much fondness. And yet, even in one of the more challenging years in living memory, we […]

Utilizing Pre-COVID Behavioral Designs During a Pandemic: Experiences of Kenya’s National Cash Transfer Beneficiaries

by Sylvia Kezengwa and Kate MacLeod

Beyond the grim realities of a growing death toll, the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on multiple dimensions of life for many people across the globe for much of 2020. Sadly, those already facing instability are disproportionately affected. Social protection programs, including cash transfers, are crucial to safeguarding those living with extreme poverty, and […]

Fieldwork During the Pandemic? Four Behavioral Insights for Conducting Remote Interviews

by Preeti Anand and Sylvia Kezengwa

As behavioral scientists, we know context matters. That’s why in a typical ideas42 project, our team members engage closely with the lived context of real people who will use or be impacted by our designs. We observe how people go about their lives and make daily decisions, interview service providers and people who use these […]

Helping Community Food Advocates Spread the Word about Pandemic-EBT Food Benefits to NYC Families

by Toni-Anne Richards and Laura Wolff

At ideas42, we’ve thought a lot about how to maximize the impacts of public benefits in the lives of everyday people, especially during a pandemic. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we’ve assisted government and non-profit agencies in making their communications about the changes to these benefits more effective. We also generated guidelines for states and […]

Spreading Fear: Public Charge Rule Announcement Reduced Enrollment In Child Safety-Net Programs

by Jeremy Barofsky, Ariadna Vargas, Dinardo Rodriguez, and Anthony Barrows

On February 24, 2020, the Trump administration’s expanded “public charge” rule took effect.  Afterward, the Department of Homeland Security could reject an immigrant’s application for permanent residence for using safety net programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). The rule’s adoption was the culmination of a years-long […]

Using Behavioral Insights to Make the Most of Emergency Social Protection Cash Transfers

by Laura Rawlings, World Bank, and Jessica Jean-Francois and Catherine MacLeod, ideas42

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across the globe have been adapting social assistance policies to support their populations. In fact, since March 2020, 139 countries and territories have planned, implemented, or adapted cash transfers to support their citizens. Cash transfers specifically make up about half of the social protection programs implemented to address […]