2015 World Development Report

The World Bank released the 2015 World Development Report titled "Mind, Society, and Behavior." This year’s report shows how behavioral economics has helped make changes in various disciplines including child rearing and health.

Here are some of the main points discussed in a chapter dedicated to early childhood development and health:

    •    School readiness among rich and poor children are already apparent between the ages of 3 and 6.
    •    Impulse control, information retention, and the ability to concentrate despite surroundings are some of the skills necessary for children to do well in school. For children living in poverty, stress and unpredictable environments, lack of nutrition and health hinder their development
    •    High stress among children living in poverty may damage their brain’s development.
    •    Direct child-parent/caregiver interaction are a major component in children’s learning capacities. The more children hear language directed to them, the more their language processing and vocabulary learning skills increase.
    •    In order to design interventions, it is important to realize that parenting practices vary across groups. Programs must not only emphasize the importance of parents interaction with their children, they must support parents by encouraging discussion, promote confidence, and changing the mindset of parents.
    •    Successful health campaigns should do the following: demonstrate and tell how a behavior will improve health, make help accessible be reducing barriers, and create social and media support for the programs.
    •    When people consider decisions about health care, they think about the benefits and barriers more than the vulnerability and severity of their situation.
    •    Gain-framed messages encourages people to preventative health behaviors more than loss-framed messages.
    •    “Free” has a special meaning. It makes individuals feel they have won something and gives them the opportunity to experiment with products without losses on their end.
    •    Long term benefits are encouraged through short term obvious benefits.
    •    Personally tailored messages and providers who develop trust with their patients encourage health improvements.