Economic, Experiments, Evidence: Poor Behavior and the Development of Market Subjects

  • Christian Berndt
  • Marc Boeckler


The chapter charts the rise of behaviorism and experimentalism in economics, and the specific way in which the behavioral and experimental apparatus is being translated into the marketization of poor smallholders in the rural Global South. We argue that this shift is connected to the reformulated ideal of an “imperfect” economic subject. Speculating tentatively about a corresponding assemblage of a rearticulated “roll-in neoliberalism”, we discuss the contradictions in a policy script that sets out to engineer seemingly “passive” subjects and point to parallels with similar policies that are targeted at “undesired” behavior in the Global North.


Economic Mainstream Standard Economic Theory Libertarian Paternalism Economic Subject World Bank Policy Research Working 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Berndt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Boeckler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Human GeographyGoethe UniversityFrankfurtGermany

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