Faculté de gouvernance
sciences économiques & sociales

Africa Institute for Research
in Economics and Social Sciences

AIRESS

Future Risks & Economic Behavior

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In Animal Spirits by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, we read: « In our view, economic theory should be derived not from the minimal deviations of Adam Smith’s system, but rather from deviations that actually occur and can be observed». (Akerlof and Shiller 2009, p. 4–5). The authors thus emphasize the importance of behavioral economics in understanding the differences between the world that results from the interactions of rational agents and the real economic world. In fact, economic agents are often victims of biased perceptions resulting from cognitive limitations and/or specific cultural traits (culture of contracts, negotiation, etc.).

The «Future Risks & Economic Behavior» research program at AIRESS takes a behavioral economics approach to assessing and understanding the «behavioral gap» between rational and real agents. In addition to publishing the results of the program in international scientific journals, the program aims to test the robustness of the results of WEIRD (Western, Industrialized, Educated, Rich and Democratic) behavioral economics in developing countries. This is crucial for any efficient use of results from behavioral economics to inform public policy in these countries.

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