Call for Papers: JBEP Special Issue on “Behavioral Economics of the Unseen”

Can economists pry into the depths of the human heart?

Homo Economicus started life as a superhuman abstraction, a useful simplification for economists concerned only with externally observable behavior. Over time, the cold, calculating, cardboard cutout of a person it embodied began to be confused for a model of what people actually do.  In recent decades, behavioral economics has returned to the normative cast of H. Economicus to support the view that humans’ in-built decision-making processes, based as they are on all manner of warm-blooded factors, are biased and need correction.

As economic explorations of altruism, self-esteem, honour, shame, and other unseen psychological factors have proliferated in recent years, the discipline has edged closer to a formal accounting of the unseen motivators that drive human decision-making.  Yet a formal accounting is still a long way from being realized, because few have been prepared to think and theorize deeply about the complex and unseen ideals, commitments, loves, and allegiances nestled in the hearts of human decision makers.  The current state of economists’ understanding of how such factors play into real decision making is largely empirically driven, but not formalised into coherent systems of thought – and thus all but useless to policy-makers.  As economists, we can do better.

This Special Issue seeks papers that consider the relevance of such unseen, typically unmeasured, yet innately human factors to productivity and welfare, and hence to policy.  Included papers might look at the role of tax-paying morale in sustaining modern economies; the mechanisms through which the state can increase or decrease a population’s loyalty towards pro-social or nationalistic ideals, and the impact of this on economic efficiency; the role of education policy in delivering workers complete with internal punishment systems to promote honest behavior; or the primary mechanisms related to how love and loyalty arise, and to what economic uses they can be put by governments and organizations more broadly.  The goal of the issue is to inform the identification of unifying, pragmatic, and policy-relevant ways for economists to appraise humans’ unseen, warm-blooded motivations.

Guest editor, Gigi Foster (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia).

Please send an abstract of 500 or fewer words to Gigi Foster at gigi.foster@unsw.edu.au.

Submission deadline:  1 September 2018.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Special issue on Behavioral interventions: Practitioners informing Academics

Call for papers

The Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE) jointly with the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP) will celebrate their annual meeting at Middlesex University London in July, 19-22, 2018.

Speakers list includes Colin Camerer, Joe Herbert, Elke Weber, Dean Karlan and Dave Rand.

More information is available at https://economics.mdx.ac.uk/sabe-2018/

There is an special session for practitioners running interventions/experiments outside academia (but also academic people collaborating with consultancy firms or the Cabinet, etc). This session will be focused on research with clear policy implications.

Special issue at the JBEP

Selected papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of the JBEP (published in March 2019). Antonio Espin and Pablo Branas will be the guest editors of the special issue. Note that JBEP publishes short but informative papers (see the statement).

Submissions

To submit a paper for the session on “practitioners” please visit the “call for paper” webpage (please, select the topic “practitioners” into the input field “topics”). Only papers submitted for the conference will be considered for the JBEP special issue.

Deadline

Feb 28, 2108

 

Thank you so much for your interest,

Prof. Pablo Brañas and Dr. Antonio Espin
Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy Guest Editors

CfP JBEP Special Issue on “Nudging and Heuristics”

Traditionally economics has assumed that individuals are (perfectly) rational, consciously calculating benefits and costs before making a decision. Behavioral economics research has called this assumption into question, replacing the perfectly rational assumption with bounded, selective, quasi, and near rationality. If we are not calculating costs and benefits before deciding then how do we decide? One way of making decisions is the use of heuristics, short cuts, often the product of unconscious mental processes. Research by Gerd Gigerenzer and others has shown that heuristic can be as effective if not more effective then decision making as the result of conscious cost and benefit calculations.

Simplifications of insights around heuristics and bias have been developed into new policy instruments in the form of “nudges”. Nudging has become a lucrative and influential industry for changing decision making, and nudges are now widely used by private and public institutions. Thaler and Sunstein in Nudge define a nudge as anything which “alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives .” Can individuals be “nudged” by government and commercial organizations towards different decisions, which are not necessarily better from the individual’s perspective? Or are nudges ultimately a more effective and efficient way for government to achieve key policy goals?

This Special Issue will explore heuristics and nudges and the connections between them. Some of the issues we would like to address include the history of the concepts of nudging or heuristics in economics; which economic questions and problems can nudging and heuristics explain; and what is the empirical evidence for the value of nudging and heuristics? All papers or any topic concerning nudges and/or heuristics are welcome.

Guest editors, Michelle Baddeley (Institute for Choice, University of South Australia), and Shabnam Mousavi (Sabnam Mousavi, Johns Hopkins University, and Max Planck Institute, Berlin).

For papers about nudging, please send an abstract of 500 words or less to Michelle Baddeley atmichelle.baddeley@unisa.edu.au, and for papers about heuristics, please send an abstract to Shabnam Mousavi at shabnam@jhu.edu.

Abstract (500 words or less) submission deadline: August 1, 2017.

CfP JBEP Special Issue on “Behavioral Business Research and its Stakeholders”

Traditional research in economics and the other social sciences is sometimes criticized for questionable relevance to business and public policy, inability to prepare students for work or responsible citizenship, and as stymied by internal disciplinary divisions. Behavioral approaches have been touted as a way forward by unifying the social sciences based on the empirical facts of evolved human psychology that are relevant to the concerns of diverse stakeholders.Business schools can nurture this process as forums where researchers from different disciplines, practitioners and students interact. However, misaligned incentives and differences in scientific conventions, epistemology and methods impede the emergence of a behavioral business discipline from economics, psychology and management.

This Special Issue is devoted to the case for, prospects and challenges of a unified behavioral business research that has public policy implications and/or enhances the skills of policy makers. Within this framework, topics of interest include discussions of whether and how behavioral approaches can be help to (1) integrate the social sciences which enhances public policy, (2) bridge the gap to business and public policy audiences, and (3) better serve students and their future employers.

Guest Editors:

  •       Swee Hoon Chuah, RMIT UniversityT
  •       Robert Hoffmann, RMIT University
  •       Jason Potts, RMIT University

We welcome submissions from researchers but also research stakeholders from the public, business and teaching arenas. Full papers submission should adhere to the Journal’s 3500 word limit but shorter, insightful comments are also invited.

Please use JBEP’s online submission system using “SI: Behavioural Business” as article type. Information for authors including author guidelines which also apply to the Special Issue can be found on the journal website. All submissions will be subject to standard refereeing.

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017. Please contact Robert Hoffman with any questions: robert.hoffmann@rmit.edu.au.