“Mind and culture” topic for next WDR

3 December 2013

The World Bank has announced that the World Development Report 2015, due to be published in autumn 2014, will focus on Mind and culture. According to the outline circulated by the Bank’s writing team, the report will challenge long held beliefs amongst economists that “the best way to predict human behaviour is to assume that people are rational, selfish, and more or less identical”. Instead it will argue that “policy design that takes into account psychological and cultural factors will achieve development goals faster”. It will aim to “change the way we think about development problems by integrating knowledge that is now scattered across many disciplines” and “help development practitioners use the richer understanding of the human actor that emerges from the behavioural sciences”. Karla Hoff, senior research economist at the Bank, will lead the report writing process.