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Examining Role Of Behavioral Economics In Global Health

“Leveraging better health outcomes is difficult without addressing the behavioral roots of health problems: around half of the world’s disability-adjusted life years are lost due to behavioral factors such as physical inactivity, high blood pressure, malnutrition and smoking,” Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Denizhan Duran, a research assistant with the global health policy team at the center, write in CGD’s “Global Health Policy” blog. They continue, “[I]nsights from the work of behavioral economists can be mobilized to enhance the effectiveness of behavior change programs, and not only in marginal ways,” and describe the work of Alison Buttenheim from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE). They conclude, “It is clear that behavioral economics will keep on informing development policy: USAID recently hosted a summit on leveraging behavior change to reduce child mortality, and the World Bank’s World Development Report in 2015 is set to focus on the behavioral and social foundations of economic development, where health will most likely be featured prominently” (6/11).